We recently sat down with Shawn Colvin, a Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter who has a Fall residency here at City Winery. In 2012 the Folk singer released an album All Falls Down along with her memoir, Diamond in the Rough. Take a look at what the artist had to say about the writing process and her favorite parts about City Winery.
CW: What’s your favorite food at City Winery NYC?
SC: No question about it, crispy brussel sprouts.
CW: When it comes to songwriting, what’s the biggest difference between writing now and writing when you first started?
SC: I trusted myself less, I had less confidence when i first started I had to edit a lot and I thought things through maybe too much. I’m a little more intuitive now.
CW: You recently released the a book, Diamond in the Rough. What was the biggest difference between writing a book and writing an album?
SC: There’s a vast difference, I found out. Writing a song you’re kind of limited to 3 – 5 minutes, things have to rhyme, you need to scan the lyrics over the melody in the right way. All of those things limit you in a way. So you’re edited so you have to fit them in in a puzzle, like a sort of jigsaw puzzle. Whereas writing a book it’s like your butt is hanging out in the wind. Where do you start? Especially when you’re writing about yourself. There’s no poetry in it, it’s just you talking. Which is the secret. To capture what you actually sound like talking, instead of trying to be clever or fancy. Doesn’t work for me.
CW: On your latest album you collaborated with many different artists. What’s the best part about collaborating for you?
SC: Favorite part is just that, having someone offer an idea that you didn’t think of. You don’t always necessarily take it literally as their idea. I co wrote a song with Jakob Dylan and he set the song in the Civil War, and I kept a lot of lyrically what he wrote. But I kind of transformed it into a sad love song, took out the circa 1865 thing. What he gave me was invaluable. It’s the satisfaction in coming up with something together, and being proud along with someone else.
CW: What’s your favorite part about performing at City Winery NYC?
SC: I guess the audience. It’s a great room and I love the sound. But the audiences are respectful and enthusiastic. Even though they’re drinking and they’re eating you don’t notice it. And everyone who works here is divine. It’s a great experience!