Colvin Stretches Beyond 'Four Walls'
Shawn Colvin will ring in the "second half" of her life with "These Four Walls," due Sept. 12 via Nonesuch.Shawn Colvin will ring in the "second half" of her life with "These Four Walls," due Sept. 12 via Nonesuch. Not only has the 50-year-old artist begun the lifestage of middle age, but she has also teamed with a new manager and label for the release.
"It's a major confrontation, knowing that you have to grow up," Colvin tells Billboard.com. "I come from a generation of prolonged adolescence. I have an eight-year-old, I'm a single mother and I don't have image marketing at my disposal anymore."
It was a conversation with country vet Emmylou Harris that encouraged her to make a switch from Columbia to the Warner Bros. subsidiary. "She was going on and on about how she was on the best record label and waxed on how much she loved it and how well they treated her," Colvin recalls. "So while I was still at Columbia, I just stored that little nugget in the back of my brain."
Despite these changes, Colvin's collaboration is a familiar one with producer/songwriter John Leventhal, who co-wrote nine of the album's 13 tracks. The album also includes covers of "Even Here We Are" by former Replacements frontman Paul Westerberg and the Bee Gees' "Words." Guest musicians like singers Patty Griffin, Marc Cohn and Teddy Thompson and pedal steel player Greg Leisz contributed to the recordings.
In support of the album, Colvin will tour extensively this fall for the first time since giving birth to her daughter. "She's got school and activities that she has to deal with. I can't take her away from that. But I also can't be gone for all three months The longest I've ever gone is a week and a half!" she says. "But it's an investment I have to make every few years. And I'm hoping to round up some very good friends and players for the road."
Having released nearly a dozen records and won three Grammys, Colvin is unsure what her next big career goals are.
"I've never been motivated to conquer the world. I don't need some big, explosive makeover or to sell out big rock stadiums. I've always been a solo artist, touring solo," she says. "The things I would like to do are more collaborative, like what Emmylou did with Mark Knopfler. How smart was that! My fantasies would be maybe Neil Finn or somebody like James Taylor. It would be quite an adventure."
Here is the track list for "These Four Walls":
"Fill Me Up"
"These Four Walls"
"Let It Slide"
"Even Here We Are"
"So Good To See You"
"That Don't Worry Me Now"