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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shawn's debut (revised), 11 May 2005
By 
Milt Ingarfield "milt_fm" (Arbroath, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Steady On (Audio CD)
The first time I became aware of this singer song writer was at a Blue Nile concert (September 1990) she was the support act invited by the band themselves, this enough of a reason for me to check out her live set.
I am glad I did what a performer, singing all on her own on the big stage at "Edinburgh's Usher Hall" with just an acoustic guitar to back herself, very impressive indeed.
At the concert I picked up a leaflet (which I still have) telling background stuff about her such as Ms Colvin was born in "Vermillion" "South Dakota" and was a background singer on Suzanne Vega's European hit "Luka" and more importantly the leaflet gave me the title of her album so that at a later date I could buy it.
"Steady On" was the all-important title I was looking for.
The album was even better than her live show, with most of the songs being co-written by long-time guitarist "John Leventhal" he also had a hand in producing the bulk of this collection of songs.
The album opens with the title track, with it's programmed drums by John Leventhal which has one Dennis McDermott playing hi-hat to introduce the track along with Shawn playing acoustic guitar, the sound that makes this track stand out is Leventhal's Fender six string bass which along with his backing vocals add the perfect background for Ms Colvin to sing against opening line "China gets broken And it will never be the same" and the album is off and running.
For the next cut which is a pivotal song in her catalogue "Diamond in the rough" which is still a live favourite, Shawn has Suzanne Vega in the backing chorus Shawn has also used Lucy Kaplanski (who is a singer song writer in her own right) and herself overdubbed as the other backing singers, listen out for "I Go down" section in the right ear/speaker is Vega in the left ear/speaker is Kaplanski and the fade out line "snakes in the grass better step on the gas" is all of them
"Shotgun down the Avalanche" starts again with acoustic guitar and the sound of a shaker effect from the drum programming of the producer his mandolin playing in the middle 8 section is excellent and gives the vocals the right background "I'm riding Shotgun down the avalanche" is the last line sung which gives all the players a chance to shine as the track fades out.
The next track sounds like a song for a lost love the opening line is "Was it really two summers ago Or was it outer space" the emotion of the track is brought over to me by the use of Dobro and high strung guitar which is played by Hugh McCraken.
The song "Another long One" has a bit of fun about it for during the intro and the chorus "And it's gonna be another long one tonight It's just me and my well intentioned spite I said someone did this to me But no one did, there's no in justices I just can't afford to be right no more" Shawn has a percussion madman (that what the sleeve credit says) Michael Blair playing metal trays bells ceramic jars and other objects I can't quite work out, this percussive cacophony has played against it fiddle by Soozie Tyrell and Charles Curtis on Cello the use of this string section add a bit sanity to the song.
The following track for me is the standout track of the whole collection as it's the big love song "Cry Like an Angel" and has one of my favourite session players on it "Rick Marotta" who has played for Steely Dan, Peter Gabriel, Suzanne Vega, Ron Sexsmith and Robbie Robertson to name a few of his credits adds his signature drumming style to great effect which played along with T-Bone Walk on bass and accordion create the background for Shawn's singing which is given added drama with the use of hammond organ played by Bob Telson towards the end of the song.
The song "Something to Believe in" has something of a high point as Shawn duets with herself to great effect which Rick Marotta adding his superb drumming to which along with a Bruce Hornsby piano solo make this a high point in an album that is already full of them.
"The Story" is a song that finds the singer and producer playing and singing everything to create a song that has a wonderful sound that is both touching and heartfelt.
"Ricochet in Time" is a self-penned track that sounds little country in nature and finds Shawn telling a story about herself or is she?
Rick Marotta and T-Bone play a rock steady rhythm section for her to sing against.
The last track on the album Shawn singing puts shiver down my spine with the line "In the Dead of the night".
This album is really satisfying with it great production, well written and played songs an outstanding debut album real find in the world of music, a great addition to anyone's music collection...
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb studio debut..., 12 Nov 2003
By 
Milt Ingarfield "milt_fm" (Arbroath, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Steady On (Audio CD)
The first time I became aware of this singer song writer was at a "Blue Nile" concert (September 1990) she was the support act invited by the band themselves, this enough of a reason for me to check out her live set.
I am glad I did what a performer, singing all on her own on the big stage at "Edinburgh's" "Usher Hall" with just an acoustic guitar to back the songs, very impressive indeed.

At the concert I picked up a leaflet (which I still have)telling background stuff about her such as Ms Colvin was born in "Vermillion" "South Dakota" and was a background singer on "Suzanne Vega's" European hit "Luka" and more importantly the leaflet gave me the title of her album so that at a later date I could buy it.
"Steady On" was the all important name I was looking for.

The album was even better than her live show, with most of the songs being co-written by her longtime musical partner guitarist "John Leventhal" he also had a hand in producing the bulk of this collection of songs.

To pay back the favour that "Suzanne Vega" had done her "Suzanne Vega" along with "Lucy Kaplanski" and "Shawn" herself act as backing singers on the pivotal song "Diamond in the Rough".The song "Something to Believe in" has something of a high point in it as it features a "Bruce Hornsby" piano solo.

This album is really satisfying with it great production, well written and played songs a real find in the world of music,a great addition to anyone's music collection...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Solid Rock steady, 27 May 2013
This review is from: Steady On (Audio CD)
I've only just discovered this talented lady and this album is a real cracker! I'm always on the hunt for singer/songwriters who are pushing the boundaries without the PR and overproduced mediocrity that blights present day offerings. I have copied the stomping drumming style of songs like 'Shotgun...' and 'Diamond..' when I've been playing recently!
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5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant album, 12 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Steady On (Audio CD)
there's real quality in the songs on this album which has excellent recording quality too. It gets better the more you listen too. Should appeal to a wide audience, so give it a try.
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Steady On by Shawn Colvin (Audio CD - 2001)
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