Evoking the strength of KOKO TAYLOR and the contemporary spirit of BETH HART, “Church House Blues” showcases one of the most powerful voices in the Blues — CRYSTAL SHAWANDA
Crystal is an Indigenous musician, who grew up on the Wikwemikong reserve on an island in Ontario, Canada.
Her parents taught her to sing and play guitar and encouraged her to play country songs, but she grew up in a home filled with the music her oldest brother loved most: the blues. Her rise to fame was documented in the six-part series Crystal: Living the Dream, broadcast in February 2008.
She was signed as country artist to RCA Records in 2007 producing a Top 20 hit on country radio, sold over 50,000 copies in the US, went Top 20 on Billboard’s Country Albums chart, but left Crystal feeling like a fish out of water.
While on the road promoting the album, visiting radio stations she wrote “The Whole World’s Got the Blues,” inspired by the music she loved to overhear in her youth. She told RCA Nashville she wanted to make blues albums, formed her own label and began making the blues music that to Crystal, is her true calling.
Now signed to True North Records, “Church House Blues” is Crystal’s fourth blues album. Crystal has performed for the Obamas in the 2013 Inauguration and she has served as a board of director for Nike 7 for the past 11 years. She is a world class motivational speaker and speaks regularly to colleges, communities and reserves, delivering her thoughts on never giving up and truly believing in yourself. Crystal delivers that message in everything she does.
The track “When It Comes To Love” released this March (shared below) and taken from the album has rich and perhaps bittersweet guitars. The pensive voice is crumpled linen & pickled-pumpkin… carbonic, yes, but deliciously yummy at all times. This is staggering and profound!