Shawn Colvin’s 32nd Anniversary “Steady On” Tour Live! at the Grunin Center


By Spotlight Central

originally published: 05/10/2022

It’s a great night for live music in New Jersey this Saturday, April 30, 2022 at the Grunin Center for the Arts in Toms River. Tonight’s concert is a highly anticipated performance from singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin, who is currently appearing on his constant on 32nd Anniversary Tour.

Shawn Colvin was born in Vermillion, SD and started playing guitar in Carbondale, IL when he was 10 years old. She made her first public performance at the University of Illinois at age 15. After working as a member of a western swing band in Austin, TX – the city she now calls home – she moved to New York where she recorded her 1989 debut album, Constant on. The album won her a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Recording and helped her amass a loyal fan base.

In 1996, Colvin released his breakthrough album, A few small repairs which contained the Top 10 hit, “Sunny Came Home”, and won him two coveted Grammy Awards – one for Record of the Year and one for Song of the Year. She published her autobiography, Rough diamondin 2012, and, in 2019, recorded an all-acoustic version of his first album, constant onto commemorate the 30th anniversary of its initial release.

Inside the Grunin Center auditorium, Colvin’s first act, singer-songwriter Clarence Bucaro, takes the stage. Looking somewhat like a young James Taylor, he greets the audience by asking, “How are you guys?” Launching into his original composition, ‘Tragedy’, Bucaro’s clean tone fills the auditorium as he strums his guitar singing ‘In your tragedy/This is where you want me to be’ on this sweet folksong. .

Bucaro’s set highlights include “Let Her Fall,” a lullaby about the challenges of addiction, where repetitive fingering underpins a legato vocal line. Other highlights include “Old Friend,” where Bucaro sings softly, “Nobody Knows You Like an Old Friend,” and “Watching You Grow,” a song in which he recalls the joy of experiencing his child’s development.

After the inspiring “Love Like the Last Chance,” Bucaro publicly thanks the audience and Shawn Colvin for his appearance tonight. He concludes with “Where am I going? a moving composition where he sings, “I know I only talk to you when I’m down/Could you help me turn the tide?/Give me a sign and make it clear/I gotta know/Where are we going from here?” The crowd whistles and cheers for Bucaro’s heartfelt performance.

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After a short intermission, Shawn Colvin takes the stage sporting a sleek haircut with long side bangs and wearing a dress with a ruffled bodice and skirt and knee-high boots. After asking, “How are you?” Are you ready?” Colvin tunes her acoustic guitar and begins with a poignant cover of “Words” by the Bee Gees. Her rich alto serenading the audience as she sings “It’s just words and words are everything. what I have / To take away your heart”, she strikes softly on her guitar while strumming to add a full-bodied rhythm to the arrangement.

Colvin references the two-year delay in her performance here at the Grunin Center due to the pandemic when she explains, “This show was meant to be a celebration of the 30th anniversary of constant onbut there was a ‘little hiccup’, so now it’s the 32nd birthday”, before announcing: “I’m going to play the whole record top to bottom”.

Launching into the album’s opening number, “Steady On,” Colvin’s vocal inflection and vibrato punctuate her performance as she cries, “I’ll hold my head up high/I just hope that ‘It’s Not Too Late/Open the Door/I’m Going Straight/Keep Going Her talent and artistry shines through as she strums and rhythmically hits the feel of the song’s funky groove on her guitar.

The crowd responds with eager applause and Colvin opens his instrument for his next selection, “Diamond in the Rough”. With his twangy fingered guitar accompaniment, Colvin hums along to the gripping chorus, “You’re shining/I can see you/You’re smiling/That’s enough/I’m clinging to you/Like a diamond in the rough” as the muscles arrange toward the forward like a freight train before ending with applause, hoots and howls.

Colvin talks to the public about his songwriting process, revealing, “’Diamond in the Rough’ was a launch pad for many songs that followed. I was a very reluctant songwriter. I wrote ‘Diamond’ just for the guitar, then I took it and created the rest of the songs. Adding, “The core of any singer/songwriter is the ‘wretched breakup song,'” Colvin jokes as he acknowledges, “You love ’em and so do I.”

Colvin’s full alto rings out on his breakup song, “Shotgun Down the Avalanche.” Singing “Sometimes you make me lose my will to live/And just become a beacon to your soul/But the past is stronger than my will to forgive/Forgive you or me, well, I don’t know”, his poetry is accompanied by accomplished fingerpicking and skillful guitar hammering.

The crowd reacts with enthusiastic applause and Colvin jokes, “Let’s not stop there. This one is perhaps darker than the previous one. Here she performs the folk ballad “Stranded”. Becoming one with her guitar as the music flows from her fingers and voice, Colvin presents a masterclass in the effective use of dynamics, stepping away from the mic as she sings and adding to the emotion of the song. She follows with “Another Long One”, the movement of the arrangement coming from the pounding and strumming of her guitar as she cries, “And it’s gonna be another long tonight / It’s just me and my well spite intentioned” on this rhythmic Number.

“It was a pretty mournful song,” jokes Colvin, “but you’ll notice it was perky in a major key.” Moving on to his next track, Colvin explains, “It’s a song about friends. I’m lucky to have people who understand me,” grateful: “Sometimes you just have to hold someone’s hand and cry. Sliding up and down the neck of her guitar and tapping out the beat as she plays, Colvin performs the slow folk rock, “Cry Like an Angel”, over which she sings, “You can cry like angel/ When there are no words.”

The crowd cheers and a woman in the audience shouts, “I like your dress!” to which Colvin replies, “Thank you,” before curtsying, ruffling her skirt, and looking into the darkness of the audience to ask, “Are you okay there?”

The audience responds with warm applause and Colvin tunes his guitar by ear, explaining, “I have an electronic tuner here, but I don’t like using it. When you have a band you want to be in tune with everyone, but without a band it’s just you and me – no fourth wall – and if I engage with the tuner I cheats on you and it’s wrong.

After the deal, Colvin announces, “This next song I wrote like I was talking to my younger sister. This is my family. With a dynamic that builds and falls effectively on “The Story,” Colvin vocalizes, “I was born to tell this story/I could only tell this story/I always will tell this story” on this powerful 6/8 folk tune. weather.

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Colvin provides context for his next composition, revealing, “I used to live in the East Bay area and got a job at a stained glass store.” Continuing, “I lived in an attic room that had a skylight that could open, and I would sit on the roof and look across the bay to San Francisco with a six-pack of beers,” Colvin explains, “There, I wrote the verse to that song, but when I got to New York, I came back to it, so it starts in the Bay Area and ends in New York.

Deftly choosing the accompaniment, Colvin deftly twangs single high notes on her guitar to perfectly punctuate “Ricochet in Time”, a number on which she sings, “Ricochet in time to the music/Just pick a day and I’m in /A new destination.”

The crowd reacts with eager applause and Colvin acknowledges, “That last song is a great album closer, but not a great gig closer, so I’ll do another song after that.” After an audience member shouts, “Thank you, Shawn, for all these years of great music,” Colvin graciously replies, “I’ll be forever grateful.”

Speaking of his time as a backing vocalist on a European tour with Suzanne Vega, Colvin confesses: “I had an affair – not the best idea in the world – and it left a hole in my heart. I returned to New York deep in that nostalgic state and this song is what I came up with.

Here she performs her melancholic composition, “The Dead of the Night”. Engaging the audience with a moving performance, Colvin sings, “Now all that burns is a candle/And the fog melts into the night/And it softens the edges/I begin to write/In the heart of the night,” to which the the crowd responds with loud applause, hoots and howls.

Colvin ends his set with “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go”. Deftly fingering the guitar, her tearful voice comes through, making the audience feel like she’s singing just for them on this apropos number that ends with the whole crowd standing and cheering.

“It was a pleasure for me to play for you,” Colvin said before leaving the stage. Audience members continue to stand and applaud, wanting more from this seasoned performer who returns to sit at the grand piano for encores of “If I Were Brave,” a song from her breakthrough album A few small repairsas well as a cover of “Ol’ 55” by Tom Waits.

Audience members continue to whistle and applaud, and Colvin quietly waves, “One more.” She takes a seat on a stool in the center of the stage and accompanies herself on the guitar as she sings a cover of “This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)” by Talking Heads. Rhythmic strumming complements her easy vocals, capturing the audience as she sings, “Say goodnight, say goodnight.” The crowd waits for another ovation and Colvin responds by exclaiming, “Thank you, everyone! Thank you for coming,” before graciously waving to the audience, bowing and leaving the stage.

To learn more about Shawn Colvin, visit For more information about Clarence Bucaro, please click on For more information on upcoming performances at the Grunin Center in Toms River, including Amanda Anne Platt and The Honeycutters on May 27, NYC3 on June 3, and The Bronx Wanderers on June 26, visit

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