Today’s featured event:
TULSA – Oklahoma female country Rocker Shawna Russell and Joplin, Mo.-based country band LiveWire will co-headline in concert at 8 tonight at The Vanguard, 222 N Main. Doors open at 7 p.m. The show will be Russell’s second at The Vanguard this year.
Russell’s unique vocal style has been compared to Stevie Nicks and Martina McBride and she possesses impressive skills on the electric slide guitar akin to Bonnie Raitt. Her music blurs the lines between Country, Red Dirt, Americana, Pop and Rock music and she blends those influences into a show that appeals to a wide range of ages. Since 2008, Russell, who hails from Okemah, OK, has released two critically acclaimed albums which have produced a string of charted singles in the U.S. and Europe, including “Should’ve Been Born With Wheels,” “Fire In The Desert,” “Get Right Or Get Left,” “Waitin’ On Sunrise” and “Sounds Like A Party.” Her music has been singled out for praise by some of the top music industry critics and publications in the world, including Country Weekly, MusicRow, Maverick, and many others. Russell’s busy touring schedule has included recent performances with Randy Rogers Band, Dustin Lynch, Rick Springfield and others.
LiveWire has been performing together for over a decade and recently released its debut album, LIVIN,’ which has won critical acclaim from Music News Nashville, CMA Close Up, Roughstock, and other tastemakers in the music industry. LiveWire’s edgy sound has been likened to the Marshall Tucker Band, Hank Jr. and Charlie Daniels – with harmonies reminiscent of Rascal Flatts. With the release of several successful U.S. and European singles including “Tater Fed,” “Miracle Of The Human Spirit,” “Gone” “and Lies,” LiveWire’s homegrown style of Southern Country Rock has been embraced by contemporary Country audiences and appeals to red dirt music fans as well. LiveWire has appeared in concert with Kix Brooks, Casey Donahew, Diamond Rio and others.
Both Russell and LiveWire are signed to Way Out West Records, an Oklahoma and Nashville-based company co-founded by Russell in 2008.
General admission tickets to the all-ages concert are $10 and may be purchased in advance online at www.thevanguardtulsa.com or at the door.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
Check out the music video for Shawna Russell’s “Waitin’ On Sunrise,” the latest single from her self-titled 2011 sophomore album.
The video, which has been climbing the Music Row Breakout Chart, features clips of the Okemah singer/songwriter/musician performing at Billy Bob’s, J.R. Spanky’s and the July 4 Oil Patch Festival in Drumright.
If you don’t feel like following tonight’s American Country Awards on Fox – I’ll be live blogging along with the show – Okemah singer-songwriter Shawna Russell is hosting the “Breaking Out” video show on The Country Network (TCN) at 7 tonight and again on Dec. 12. TCN is Cox channel 218 in Oklahoma City.
Russell recently released “Waitin’ On Sunrise,” the second U.S. single from her self-titled sophomore album.
The Oklahoma native released her self-titled sophomore album on Way Out West Records in June 2011. Co-produced by Julian King (Grammy-winning engineer for Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith), along with Clif Doya and Tim Russell, the album has won critical praise from Roughstock, Maverick, Music News Nashville, Today’s Country and the Oklahoma Gazette. Russell wrote or co-wrote the 10 songs on the project.
In addition to the album’s first single and video “Get Right Or Get Left,” Russell has released two singles in Europe in 2011, including “Sounds Like A Party” which climbed to No. 3 on the Hotdisc chart and “Everybody’s Got A Story” which held down the No. 1 spot for two weeks in a row on the New Christian Music Charts in September.
Russell first came on to the national and international music scene with the release of her debut album, “Goddess,” in 2008. Critical acclaim followed: the CMA named her “Who New to Watch,” and top music critics weighed in with praise for her debut. Chris Neal of Country Weekly gave “Goddess” a 3 ½ star review, Music Row’s Robert K. Oermann bestowed a “DISCovery Award,” his highest compliment to a new artist, and rave reviews followed from CMA Close Up, Maverick (U.K.), Nashville Music Guide, DreamWest (France), Music News Nashville and me for The Oklahoman and BAM’s Blog. Three radio singles from the album including “Goddess,” “Should’ve Been Born With Wheels” and “Fire In The Desert” cemented her status as a contender, with action on the Billboard “New and Active,’ Music Row and Texas Music Charts. Russell’s debut video “Should’ve Been Born With Wheels” reached the No. 1 position on the “Ya’llturnative” chart at Ya’ll Wire.com and stayed there for over a month and also attracted fans at CMT.com, AFN, GAC.com (debuted at No. 3 as a “Top Pick”) and on Pulse Network Television (“Top 20 Country Chart” for three months).
For more information about Shawna Russell, go to www.ShawnaRussell.com
My excellent colleague George Lang and I teamed up to assemble this roundup of Independence Day events happening around Oklahoma for Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman. To read my interview with Fort Sill Independence Day Celebration headliner Miranda Lambert, click here. To read my feature on Jamey Johnson, who is playing Willie Nelson’s Country Throwdown Tour, click here. For more July 4 weekend options, go to www.wimgo.com.
Light up the sky for the Fourth of July in Oklahoma
Oklahoma lights the fuse and sends rockets skyward to kick off the United States’ 235th birthday festivities this weekend. All across the state, cities will celebrate the Fourth of July with patriotic parades, fun for families and pulse-quickening pyrotechnics.
Leading the march to celebrate America is Red, White and Boom, the annual two-day fireworks-and-music blowout headlined by the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. This year, renowned gospel singer Sandi Patty will join the philharmonic, conducted by maestro Joel Levine, to perform a wide-ranging program featuring patriotic favorites such as “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “God Bless the USA” and “The Star-Spangled Banner,” a Broadway medley, a salute to ABBA and hymns such as “How Great Thou Art.” Grounds open at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the Coca-Cola Bricktown Events Center parking lot, 429 E California, with the philharmonic taking the stage at 8:30 p.m. Admission is free.
And the explosive entertainment continues Monday as the Oklahoma City RedHawks take on the Iowa Cubs at 7:05 p.m. at the AT&T Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S Mickey Mantle Drive. Fireworks will light up the sky over the ballpark at about 10 p.m., following the game.
Edmond also stakes a claim as a must-visit destination for Fourth of July fun: The city’s annual LibertyFest is a weeklong extravaganza of Americana and family-friendly activities. While the past week of LibertyFest included a car show, a kite-flying event and a patriotic performance by the UCO Summer Band, the crowning glory of the festival comes at 9 a.m. Monday as the LibertyFest Parade, a 100-entry line of bands, floats and marching groups, winds its way through downtown Edmond. At 6:30 p.m., the University of Central Oklahoma is the location for an evening of food, music, rides and games, followed by a fireworks display at dusk.
One of the longest-running and most enthusiastic festivals in the area is under way in Bethany with the Freedom Festival. This event, in its 53rd year, began Thursday with a carnival at Eldon Lyon Park, NW 39th between Council and Rockwell, featuring $1 rides or $15 wristbands for unlimited excitement (the price goes up to $20 on Monday). On Monday, the parade begins at 10 a.m., the annual car show runs from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and the fireworks display, one of the state’s largest pyrotechnics events, begins at 9:55 p.m. For more information, go online to www.cityofbethany.org.
The epicenter of Yukon’s Freedom Fest is Yukon City Park at 2200 S Holly, with concerts taking place at Chisholm Trail Park, 500 W Vandament. Festivities begin at 5 p.m. Sunday with “A Tribute to Veterans,” featuring Mike Black and the Stingrays, and a patriotic brass band performance at 8:15 p.m. by Irv Wagner’s Concert Band, followed by fireworks. On Monday, Freedom Fest rolls out a car show, a children’s parade, a “best decorated bicycle” contest for kids, a “family fun triathlon,” a sand volleyball tournament and a hot dog eating contest. Freedom Fest culminates with the 5 p.m. Rodeo Opry show, followed by an 8:30 p.m. patriotic concert by the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and fireworks. For more information, go to www.cityofyukonok.gov.
Norman’s 36th Annual Norman Day Celebration on Monday is a distinct kind of patriotic blast. Norman Day, which takes place at Reaves Park, 2501 Jenkins, features inflatable games, pony rides and baby crawl races, followed by performances from Full Circle at 5 p.m., Mama Sweet at 7 p.m. and fireworks at 9:45 p.m. For more information, go to www.ci.norman.ok.us.
Moore hosts its 17th Annual Art in the Park: A Celebration in the Heartland, featuring live entertainment with crafts, food, carnival rides, car show and children’s activities, from noon to 10 p.m. Sunday and Monday. Musical performances include Bad Monkey at 7 p.m. Sunday and Johnny Lee at 7 p.m. Monday, followed by fireworks. For more information, go to www.cityofmoore.com.
Midwest City’s annual Fourth of July event will feature live music from 6 to 10 p.m. Monday, followed by fireworks, at Joe B. Barnes Regional Park, near Reno and Midwest Boulevard. For more event information, call 455-1818.
And Frontier City presents fireworks on Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights at dusk. The fireworks shows are free with park admission.
Country music salutes
The Fourth of July weekend will be particularly festive for country music fans. White-hot star Miranda Lambert, who lives in Tishomingo, will headline the Fort Sill Independence Day Celebration with her Saturday stop on the 2011 Army Concert Tour. The show will begin at 6:20 p.m. Saturday on the Polo Field and will feature Lambert’s “ultimate hero” and Oklahoma Music Hall of Famer Merle Haggard, as well as Edmond red dirt mainstay Stoney LaRue. Gates will open at 6 p.m. The concert is open to the public, and tickets are available at www.sillmwr.com. Information: (580) 442-2025.
Willie Nelson’s Country Throwdown Tour will make its next-to-last stop Saturday at Eufaula Cove Amphitheatre, 399 Lakeshore Drive, Eufaula. Along with Nelson, the lineup includes Jamey Johnson, Randy Houser, Lee Brice, Jack Ingram, Brantley Gilbert, Craig Campbell and Lukas Nelson and The Promise of the Real. In addition, the Bluebird Cafe Tent will feature up-and-coming singer-songwriters performing throughout the day. Gates open at 2 p.m. Saturday; the music starts at 3 p.m. Information: (866) 977-6849, www.countrythrowdown.com or www.protixonline.com.
Also, the 42nd Annual Fireworks Spectacular at Eufaula Cove will blast off at 10 p.m. Sunday on the shores of Lake Eufaula, where the rockets’ red glare can be viewed from land or from boat. Information: (918) 689-2791 or www.eufaulachamberofcommerce.com.
Texas country standouts Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen will bring their fifth annual “Hold My Beer and Watch This Acoustic Tour” to Riverwind Casino, 1544 W State Highway 9 in Norman, for the holiday weekend. The acoustic one-upmanship will start at 7 p.m. Sunday inside the casino’s Showplace Theatre. After the concert, patrons will move outdoors for the fireworks show, which will begin at dusk. Information: 322-6464 or www.riverwind.com.
Homegrown talents Shawna Russell, Ricochet and Bo Phillips Band, along with fellow country acts LiveWire and Flat River Band, will provide the music for the fourth annual Summer Oil Patch Festival Monday at the Sellers Ranch north of Drumright. The free, family-friendly concert also will feature a children’s fair area, entertainers such as sky divers and magicians and a huge fireworks display at dusk. Gates open at 11 a.m. Monday. Information: (918) 352-2443.
Oklahoman Shawna Russell talks about her new sophomore album, living the dream as a working musician
A version of this story appears in Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
Shawna Russell continues to live her music dream.
Okemah singer/songwriter/guitarist released her self-titled second album, playing home state shows this weekend
Shawna Russell emerged as a country-rock “Goddess” with her 2008 debut album.
Crowned among the Country Music Association’s “Who New to Watch,” the Okemah singer/songwriter/guitarist has now conjured up her self-titled second album, and she’s come too far and worked too hard to get mired in the dreaded sophomore slump.
“It’s just always one of those things where you just keep working and keep working and keep working, and then all the sudden, somebody asks you to take a look behind and you have to see how far you’ve come since you started. And that’s what’s always wonderful for me, that I’ve been able to progress as an artist and just been able to have the inspiration to write songs and to make new music. It’s just been wonderful, it’s been a wonderful experience for me just to be able to live the life I want to live and live out my dreams,” Russell said in a phone interview Tuesday, the day she released her new album on her indie label Way Out West Records.
Russell, 32, played 115 dates last year and plans to cross the 100-show mark again this year. She will play Friday night at Downstream Casino in Quapaw and Saturday at the Rhinestone Cowboy in Oklahoma City.
She also toured radio stations across the country in support of her freshman album, and three radio singles, “Goddess,” “Should’ve Been Born With Wheels” and “Fire In The Desert” saw action on the Billboard New and Active, Music Row and Texas Music charts.
With her second album, she wanted to show a different side of her personality as well as showcase her growth as a songwriter and performer.
“I think the overall sound was just a little bit softer, it was a little bit more me, it was a little bit more feminine. You know, a lot of the songs off the ‘Goddess’ album were really rocking and really straightforward and pretty powerful vocals throughout the whole thing,” she said.
“I think that’s what you want as an artist, you want that growth,” she added. “I think it just had to be pretty organic. I think it had to be very genuine.”
She picked one of the album’s sassiest tracks for her lead-off single, “Get Right or Get Left,” about a fed-up woman confronting her disrespectful man. The song was inspired by a saying a family friend used to apply to the women he dated.
“I always thought that was such a cool title for a song, and then when we wrote the song, it was fun because it was this very assertive character singing the song. And that’s not really me, but it’s a fun part to play. And even in the video, I get to be very assertive, and it was just a lot fun to be able to kind of go into that character and sing with that emotion I’m not used to portraying,” she said.
The songstress penned more of the lyrics on her own, wrote two songs solo for the first time and collaborated with Nashville songsmith Adam Wheeler on the heartbreaker “Was It Good for You.” But she again co-wrote most of her second album’s tracks with her dad, Keith Russell, and uncle, Tim Russell.
“I’ve always realized that it’s kind of a special relationship that we have. Anytime that you’re growing up in a business where passion kind of fuels everything that you do and you have two people in your family who have the same passion and you’re all working toward the same goal, it just makes it so much easier. And it’s wonderful that you can collaborate and create this music together,” she said of her dad and uncle, who live in Okemah, too. “And just being able to travel with them and perform with them onstage is wonderful, too. I don’t ever take it for granted. I don’t know that I could have started out in the business as young as I did without them and their support.”
When it came time to record, Russell worked with a top-shelf lineup of experienced session musicians, including drummer Shannon Forrest, the 2010 Academy of Country Music top percussionist/drummer, and mandolin, banjo and acoustic guitar player Bryan Sutton, the 2000 and 2003-06 International Bluegrass Music Association guitar player of the year.
“They have taken my songs from these measly little demos that I’ve recorded to these giant beautiful songs that I have to go in and sing to. That’s what makes it great is they’re so talented and they work so well together in the studio that … it elevates my performance as well because I don’t want to be the weakest link in the chain,” she said.
Russell has known since she was a little girl that she wanted to make her living as a singer and musician, and she feels fortunate that she can do that and continue to live in her hometown.
“Even though things didn’t progress as quickly as I might have wanted to get to some sort of status that people perceive as being successful, I was successful because people loved the music and they wanted to hear more and they were ready for me to put out another album,” she said. “I had so much positive energy around the first album that I was even able to make the second one, so that’s been a great learning process.”
“I just hope to grow my fan base some more. I hope to get out more and to expand where I’m performing, just so I can get the music out to more people,” she added. “That’s always been my focus. I love performing live, and just anytime I’m able to do more of that, that makes me very happy.”
When: 8 p.m. Friday.
Where: Downstream Casino, 69300 E Nee Road, Quapaw.
When: 9 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Rhinestone Cowboy, 900 SE 59.
Information: 616-0288 or www.shawnarussell.com.
New releases for June 7, 2011: Ronnie Dunn, Shawna Russell, Randy Travis, “True Grit,” “Just Go With It,” “Pretty Little Liars,” new Theodore Boone
Ronnie Dunn, former Tulsan and former half of the superstar duo Brooks & Dunn, releases his first album as a solo artist today. The self-titled album already has notched a top 10 single on the Billboard Top Country Songs chart with the passionate anthem “Bleed Red.” Look for my review of “Ronnie Dunn” in the coming days.
Okemeh singer-songwriter Shawna Russell drops her self-titled sophomore album today. Russell first came on to the national and international music scene with the release of her debut album “Goddess” (Way Out West Records), in 2008, for which she co-wrote 12 of the 13 songs. The Country Music Association named her “Who New to Watch,” and three radio singles, “Goddess,” “Should’ve Been Born With Wheels” and “Fire In The Desert,” cemented her status as a contender, with action on the Billboard New and Active, Music Row and Texas Music Charts. Look for my interview with Shawna in the coming days.
Country stalwart Randy Travis marks 25 years as a recording artist with “Anniversary Celebration,” featuring duets with Oklahoma natives Kristin Chenoweth and Carrie Underwood (Travis and Underwood scored a hit duet with “I Told You So”; this time they collaborate on “Is It Still Over?”), along with fellow country stars Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown Band, Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson, Josh Turner and more.
In DVDs, the Coen brothers’ masterful remake of “True Grit,” the Adam Sandler-Jennifer Aniston comedy “Just Go With It” and the acclaimed recession drama “The Company Men,” starring Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper and Tommy Lee Jones, are among the new films available for home viewing. Several summer TV series have released their previous seasons in anticipation for their new beginnings, including “White Collar,” “Burn Notice,” “Breaking Bad,” along with “Pretty Little Liars,” which features Oklahoma-born and bred actor Ryan Merriman.
In books, John Grisham is releasing the second book in his “Theodore Boone” series for young readers.
Here is a list of new CDs, DVDs and books, from Amazon.com and VideoETA.com:
Ronnie Dunn, “Ronnie Dunn.”
Shawna Russell, “Shawna Russell.”
Randy Travis, “Anniversary Celebration.”
Arctic Monkeys, “Suck It and See.”
Original Broadway Cast, “The Book of Mormon.”
Daniel Radcliffe, John Larroquette and more, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”
Tedeschi Trucks Band, “Revelator.”
Depeche Mode, “Remixes 2: 81-11” (3CD Deluxe Edition).
Tech N9ne, “All 6′s And 7′s.”
The Big C: The Complete First Season
Blue Crush 2
Breaking Bad: The Complete Third Season
Burn Notice: Season Four
The Company Men
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights
Hawthorne: The Complete Second Season
Just Go With It
Pretty Little Liars: The Complete First Season
Shadows and Lies
White Collar: The Complete Second Season
Theodore Boone: The Abduction by John Grisham
Hit List (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Book 20) by Laurell K. Hamilton
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
Robopocalypse: A Novel by Daniel H. Wilson
The Simplicity Primer by Patrice Lewis
License to Pawn: Deals, Steals, and My Life at the Gold & Silver by Rick Harrison, Tim Keown
Sister: A Novel by Rosamund Lupton
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
Okemah singer-songwriter Shawna Russell and her label Way Out West Records have released the video for her latest single, “Get Right Or Get Left.”
“Get Right Or Get Left” was written by Russell; her father, Keith Russell; and her uncle, Tim Russell. The song is the current US single from her forthcoming self-titled album, recorded at LOUD Studios in Nashville and produced by Grammy-winning engineer, Julian King, along with Clif Doyal and Tim Russell. The album is slated for release in late spring 2011.
The video “Get Right Or Get Left” was shot in Nashville in between Russell’s busy schedule of tour dates. The video features performance footage of Russell and her trademark purple Les Paul “Goddess” guitar and includes the songstress acting in three vignettes where she tells her rude and insensitive man that he has pushed her too far, and he better “Get Right Or Get Left” behind.
“I had a great time making this video,” Russell says in a news release. “Director Mark Nicolosi had such a unique vision for telling the story in the song. He helped visually capture the attitude of the music and assertive feeling of the lyrics. I am very honored that Yallwire is making the World Premiere of this video possible. I can’t wait to share it with everyone!”
Shawna Russell, Stars Go Dim, Chuck Allen Floyd to play “Stars for the Homeless” benefit tonight in Shawnee
SHAWNEE – Oklahoma musical talents Shawna Russell, Stars Go Dim and Chuck Allen Floyd will perform at a benefit concert titled “Stars for the Homeless” at 7 tonight at the Shawnee Municipal Auditorium, 401 N Bell Ave.
Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. They may be charged by phone at (800) 965-9324 or online at www.itickets.com.
The “Stars for the Homeless 2011” benefit concert is a joint effort of Red River Productions, Small Pocket Poets Agency and others to raise awareness and proceeds for the homeless situation and the organizations that take care of the needs of the homeless in and around Shawnee.
A portion of the proceeds from the concert will be split among three nonprofit organizations: Central Oklahoma Community Action Agency, Shawnee Senior Center, and Shawnee Rescue Mission. All three organizations involved in various aspects of homeless care and support.
For more information, go to www.cocaa.org, www.shawneerescuemission.com or www.shawneeseniors.org.
Country artist Shawna Russell performing hometown benefit show Saturday for Okemah’s Crystal Theatre
Oklahoma singer-songwriter Shawna Russell will headline a concert to benefit the historic Crystal Theatre in her hometown of Okemah at 7 p.m. Saturday. The show will take place at Okemah Middle School Auditorium, 204 West Date. Tickets are $10 at the door. Ben Short will open the show.
All proceeds from the concert will go toward the renovation and restoration of the historic downtown landmark. In addition to movies, the theater also hosts many musical events during the annual Woody Guthrie Folk Festival and other times during the year. Russell will also be a celebrity racer in the Crystal 5 K Run earlier that day.
Built in 1921 as a Vaudeville venue, the Crystal Theatre was remodeled in 1931 and was inspired by Tulsa’s Ritz Theatre, complete with floating clouds, twinkling stars, stained glass lights and cut-velvet upholstered seats. With its balcony and orchestra pit, the Crystal is one of few historic Vaudeville theatres left in the state.
The Crystal was also one of Okemah native Woody Guthrie’s favorite haunts, where he would listen to live music and watch silent movies.
Russell herself has fond memories of the theater:
“As a young girl, I would visit my family in Okemah and we would often go to the Crystal to watch movies together. I always admired the classic decor and intimate feel of the theater. I am hoping that this concert will aid in restoring this community gem back to its glory so that future generations will also be able to enjoy all that it has to offer.”
For more information about the concert, contact Roger Thompson at the Okemah Chamber of Commerce at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In preparation for the upcoming release of her sophomore album, Russell is back in the national and international news. She is featured on the cover of the current edition of the Direct Buzz, the monthly digital magazine published by AirPlay Direct, the global radio music delivery service.
In the feature, titled “Okie Songbird,” Russell speaks with country music journalist Peter Cooper about her career to date, and her forthcoming self-titled album slated for release in spring. The story is part of a special “Women In Music Edition” and includes interviews with former Country Music Association executive and current president of The Country Network Tammy Genovese, country/Americana music icon Emmylou Harris and other female leaders in music and related fields. Read the full issue at www.theDirectBuzz.com.
Also in the magazine, Russell makes her first appearance as a model in a full-page ad for Sheplers, the Western wear clothing retailer who sponsors her.
The Direct Buzz coverage coincides with Russell’s upcoming album reaching the No. 1 position on several of AirPlay Direct’s Global Radio Indicator Chart for the month of January, including the Top 50 Albums chart (all-genre) and the Top 50 Country / Alt. Albums chart. Her music also dominated the top 15 positions of the Country / Alt. Singles chart and top nine slots on the Americana/AAA Singles chart. The charts reflect real-time activity by radio stations around the world that have downloaded her music for airplay. In addition, Russell has catapulted to the No. 8 position on the service’s All Time Radio Creds chart, just below major artists, Charlie Daniels, Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard, John Mellencamp and The Grascals. This chart is based on positive feedback given to an artist’s music by radio programmers.
Although release plans have not been finalized, Russell and her label, Way Out West Records, wanted to gauge reaction to her new music from radio programmers around the world. “I am totally overwhelmed by the early response to my new music at AirPlay Direct,” says Russell. “It is all very exciting that people remember me from my first album.”
Fans may stream music and radio programmers can download broadcast quality songs from Russell’s upcoming album at www.AirPlayDirect.com/shawnarussell.
Russell first came on to the national and international music scene with the release of her debut album, 2008′s “Goddess” (Way Out West Records), for which she co-wrote 12 of the 13 songs. Critical acclaim followed: The CMA named her “Who New to Watch,” and top music critics weighed in with praise for her debut. Chris Neal of Country Weekly gave “Goddess” a 3 ½ star review, Music Row’s Robert K.Oermann bestowed a “DISCovery Award,” his highest compliment to a new artist, and rave reviews followed from CMA Close Up, Maverick (U.K.), Nashville Music Guide, Dreamwest (France), Music News Nashville, Country Stars Online and from me in The Oklahoman.
Oklahoma country artist Shawna Russell is offering a free download of her powerful new song, “Rumor,” during the month of November at her Web site www.shawnarussell.com/home.htm. The talented Okemah singer is in great voice on this new track, which is definitely a great free gift.
Fans who download the song will also have the opportunity to purchase a limited-edition series signed copy of Russell’s unreleased “Goddess Multimedia Edition” CD/DVD combo at a special price of $14.99.
“Rumor” has spread across radio waves and the Internet since its release three weeks ago on AirPlayDirect.com, the global digital-to-radio delivery service, according to a news release.
“Rumor” has dominated the service’s Global Radio Download Charts, reaching the No. 1 position on no less than five of their charts, including Top 50 Tracks This Month, where “Rumor” and four other Russell compositions held five out of seven of the top positions – ahead of new releases by Roseanne Cash featuring Bruce Springsteen and Patty Loveless.
“This song really has taken on a life of its own,” Russell said in the release. “It was not intended to be a traditional single release to radio, but after Robert Weingartz, the CEO of AirPlay Direct, heard the song – he insisted that we make it available to his radio members – and the response from programmers around the world has been amazing.”
The reaction to the song was so strong that AirPlay Direct rushed a songwriter profile about Russell and “Rumor” into the November issue of their new digital/interactive publication the Direct Buzz (www.thedirectbuzz.com).
“Time will tell if ‘Rumor’ will become an official radio single for me,” Russell added in the release. “For now, I am excited that people are reacting so positively to it.”
Written by Shawna Russell, her father Keith and her uncle Tim, “Rumor” explores the darker side of Russell’s passion in a powerful song that marries voice, lyric, music – and the magic that happens when there are no rules to follow – or genre categories to fence in creativity.
“Rumor” was produced in Nashville by Tim Russell and Clif Doyal and reunites key players from Russell’s debut CD, including Emmy and Grammy-winning mix master Nathaniel Kunkel (Maroon 5/Sting) and guitarist extraordinaire Jon Conley (LeAnn Rimes/Wynonna). The production also features a stellar group of all-star musicians, including keyboardist Charles Judge (Bon Jovi/Rascal Flatts), drummer Billy Thomas (Vince Gill), and bassist Mike Brignardello (Lynyrd Skynyrd/Sugarland).
Along with the free download of “Rumor” at her Web site, Russell’s fans will also have the opportunity to purchase her not-yet-released “Goddess Multimedia Edition.” The deluxe CD/DVD combo includes all 13 tracks from her critically-acclaimed debut CD, “Goddess,” and an original booklet with song lyrics and photos.
The DVD features Russell’s video biography, music video for her No. 1 YallWire and CMT.com favorite, “Should’ve Been Born With Wheels.” It also includes exclusive, never-before-seen content including the unreleased video, “Wheels – The Director’s Cut,” plus alternate and unreleased versions of her singles “Goddess” and “Should’ve Been Born With Wheels” and a live recording of Russell singing onstage at the Oklahoma Opry at age 9. The DVD also includes several photo galleries from her career, plus downloadable artist bio, videos, fact sheet, song lyrics, CD reviews and more.
The Okemah singer-songwriter was introduced onto the national music scene with the release of her debut CD, “Goddess,” in early 2008. Her music has received rave reviews from yours truley, CMA Close Up, Country Weekly and esteemed Music Row critic Robert K. Oermann, among others. With the release of three well-received radio singles, “Goddess,” “Should’ve Been Born With Wheels” and “Fire In The Desert,” Russell has established herself as a strong contender on the country and Texas music scenes. She has also earned international acclaim from Europe’s top music publications, including Maverick Magazine in the UK and DreamWest Magazine in France.