Artist DescriptionMichelle Shocked is a traveler and a troubadour; a 'picker-poet,' as they say in Texas. As a young feminist, Shocked left Texas to travel, Kerouac-style, a musical vagabond caught up in Reagan-era grassroots politics. Her musical career was ignited by a bootleg recording made around a Kerrville Folk Festival campfire on a Sony Walkman. Released as The Texas Campfire Tapes in England without Shocked's authority, its success abroad enticed Mercury Records to offer Shocked a recording contract.For Mercury, Shocked recorded a trilogy of albums that stand as a captivating primer on American music. Short Sharp Shocked's spirited folk-rock progressed into Captain Swing's energetic jump blues, expanding to Arkansas Traveler's travelogue of minstrel-era country. While songs like "Anchorage", "Come A Long Way", and "On The Greener Side" achieved popular success, her stylistic iconoclasm frustrated Mercury, particularly since she retained ownership of her masters. Shocked spent several years battling the label before, citing the 13th Amendment, finally liberating herself. Shocked launched her own label, Mighty Sound, in 2001. A gospel-tinged debut, Deep Natural in 2002 was followed by reissues of her Mercury albums in 2003-2004. 2005 saw her simultaneously releasing another trilogy: the roots-rocking 'divorce album' Don't Ask, Don't Tell, a Disneyfied western swing set Got No Strings and the Latin/blues blast Mexican Standoff. Shocked's bold creativity and adventurous musical style mark her as a true American original.
For this special show, she offers a sneak peak at her forthcoming album, ToHeavenYouRide, in which Shocked comes full circle. Her debut album was a bootleg that caught the world off guard and introduced us to her. Unaware that ToHeavenURide was being recorded, it spotlights her where she's always shone brightest – live, on stage, in front of an audience. It was a special invitation to perform a "gospel" set at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival – and what a show it was! Sister Shocked shines throughout. Highlights include her cover of the Billie Holliday classic "God Bless The Child", her cover of The Band's "The Weight" and amazing renditions of soulful, yes – spiritual - Shocked originals such as "Quality of Mercy" (from the Dead Man Walking soundtrack, which has never been on a Michelle Shocked album before).