Watch Shawn Colvin's Rare Performance of 'Polaroids' - Rolling Stone
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Watch Shawn Colvin’s Rare Performance of ‘Polaroids’

Footage from intimate 1997 TV performance accompanies 20th anniversary reissue of landmark LP, ‘A Few Small Repairs’

Three years after her much-heralded debut LP, Steady On, Shawn Colvin released 1992’s Fat City, which earned a rave review in Rolling Stone, noting Colvin’s “gift for describing fragile, passionate and anxious states of mind with a dense, low, percussive sound that is both rhythmic and muscular.” 

That aspect of Colvin’s lyrical prowess is certainly evident on the deliciously oblique, dreamlike opening track, “Polaroids,” one of the record’s four solo-penned cuts from the singer-songwriter. Colvin threaded the romantic lyrics with subtle nods to the Temptations (“Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)” and Bob Dylan (“She Belongs to Me”), a gesture that served as a prelude to her next album, Cover Girl – the first of two collections of cover songs she’s released.

Colvin would experience her career breakthrough in 1997 with A Few Small Repairs, a cathartic collection in the wake of her divorce and a move to Austin, Texas. On September 15th, Columbia/Legacy Recordings will mark that LP’s 20th anniversary with an expanded edition featuring seven bonus audio tracks and the Grammy-winning album’s first-ever vinyl release. As a PledgeMusic exclusive, Colvin is making available rare, unreleased video clips from a 1997 edition of the public television music series, Sessions at West 54th Street. Among the clips is an intimate live performance of “Polaroids” on which she is accompanied by bassist (and Fat City co-producer) Larry Klein and her longtime guitarist Steuart Smith, who has also been performing with Don Henley and the Eagles since 2001. Watch the performance of “Polaroids” above.

Colvin’s incisive songwriting has earned her three Grammys, including Song and Record of the Year in 1998 for “Sunny Came Home” (penned with John Leventhal) from A Few Small Repairs, and nominations for Fat City and Cover Girl, yet admitted to Rolling Stone Country in 2015 that confidence in her songcraft has, at times, been an uphill battle.   

“Some people find it easy,” she said. “I can perform easily; I don’t mind getting up in front of people at all. I’ve always sung and felt confident about that and guitar playing isn’t a stretch, but songwriting is. We all have our challenges in what we do, and that’s mine.”

The recipient of the Americana Music Association’s Americana Trailblazer Award in 2016, Colvin will embark on a tour this fall to celebrate the anniversary of A Few Small Repairs. The trek will be her first major tour with a full band since the album’s original release, and runs from September 30th through November 19th, with shows consisting of the album performed in its entirety along with numerous hits, personal favorites and surprises.

A Few Small Repairs is available for pre-order. At her PledgeMusic page, three configurations of the LP are available as well as the digital EP, A Few Extra Repairs, along with an exclusive DVD featuring the original promo videos for the album (including a “lost” alternate version of “Sunny Came Home”) and the 1997 performance on Sessions at West 54th, which also includes previously unreleased rehearsal and performance footage from the broadcast. Several additional packages and perks are currently available for pledgers, including an Austin shopping trip with Colvin.

A Few Small Repairs 20th Anniversary Edition track listing:

1. “Sunny Came Home”
2. “Get Out of This House”
3. “The Facts About Jimmy”
4. “You and the Mona Lisa”
5. “Trouble”
6. “I Want It Back”
7. “If I Were Brave”
8. “Wichita Skyline”
9. “84,000 Different Delusions”
10. “Suicide Alley”
11. “New Thing Now”
12. “Nothin’ on Me”

13. “Sunny Came Home” (Live at KFOG)
14. “Trouble” (Live from Columbia Records Radio Hour)
15. “Get Out of This House” (Live at KFOG)
16. “The Facts About Jimmy” (Live at the Ryman)
17. “You and the Mona Lisa” (Live at the Ryman)
18. “If I Were Brave” (Live from Columbia Records Radio Hour)
19. “Ricochet in Time” (Live at the Ryman)

In This Article: Shawn Colvin


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