Michelle Shocked Trilogy Residency featuring "Arkansas Traveler" in the Lounge - 8/25
at City Winery Nashville
- 10:30pm APPX
Please note there will be no photography or video recording of any kind.
6/29/17- Short Sharp Shocked (1988)
Short Sharp Shocked is the leader of the pack. In the summer of 1988, the windows of the Lower East Side were blasting the blues shuffle of If Love was a Train in anticipation of that fall's hit single, Anchorage and a tropical winter-blues chaser When I Grow Up soon followed. Short Sharp Shocked was the delivery on the promise of an auspicious Cinderella story, when Michelle was "discovered" in the UK by a bootleg recording released by the indie label Cooking Vinyl. To no one's surprise, the studio effort was even more confident than the candid snapshot of the ingenue captured at a Texas campfire. The balladry and regional narratives of Short Sharp Shocked belie the punk-aggro cover of the album, a newsphoto of the young squatter arrested in a San Francisco protest. The Grammy nomination for a freshman effort was industry acknowledgment of a solid sender.
7/3/2017 - Captain Swing (1989)
Captain Swing is a misunderstood middle child. The sophomore studio effort was a bold success by any measure, with a heavy rotation single, On the Greener Sider later nominated for a 1990 MTV Award, a near-miss with (Don't You Mess Around With) My Little Sister featured in Ridley Scott's Thelma & Louise and a strut through American jazz/blues traditions headlining a national tour with Tower of Power. Captain Swing featured jump blues, Dixieland, Delta blues, western swing, big band, bebop and even a lime-twist of African palm-wine. Unprecedented in its audacity, a Texan naif was swinging for the fences in a major label showdown that bet the farm on the staying power of swing. "Swing is a feeling, everything else is just style" Michelle boldly declared on the album's back cover.
8/25/2017 - Arkansas Traveler (1992)
Arkansas Traveler is a sleeper of a masterpiece. Bookended by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" and T-Bone Burnett's Cohn Brother collaboration "Oh Brother Where Art Thou?," Michelle Shocked demonstrated the visionary prescience that brought the Trilogy full circle with Arkansas Traveler. With bold, ebullient strokes she laid out the parameters of the nascent Americana format by transforming string band music and traditional fiddle tunes with masterful lyric poetry that brought the old saws back to life in a fresh, dynamic iteration for a new generation of American traditional music lovers and managed to reach back and hold hands with its Celtic roots at the same time, by touching the third rail of American music history by framing the entire exercise in the context of a conversation about blackface minstrelsy. Nothing says success like getting away with it, and a 1992 Grammy nomination for Arkansas Traveler was a well-deserved acknowledgment of her lasting achievement.