Shawna James' soulful voice and penchant for haunting melodies bespeaks the influences of icons like Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald and Patsy Cline. But it is Shawna's earnest approach to storytelling paired with the spacious, ambient sound of her own band which places her at home in the decidedly more modern company of Fiona Apple, Beth Orten and Lucinda Williams.
Shortly after Shawna first began making waves on the music scene in her native Cincinnati, her talents garnered a prestigious CAMMY Award for "Best Jazz Vocalist of the Year"(Cincinnati Enquirer) from her performances with The Pavilion Music Company--a 20 piece big band formed in 1975. Not one to be stylistically pigeonholed, her versatility and country music roots also stepped to the forefront during her time with "Hey Hoss!" a Patsy Cline tribute band.
As Shawna's own songwriting aspirations grew, she honed her craft in venues around Cincinnati. As 2004 began, Shawna recruited a rhythm section comprised of drummer Todd Drake(Ruby Vileos) and bassist Chris Mundy(Tonefarmer) for when she is not playing solo acoustic gigs.
Armed with a smokey, soothing, expressive voice and deceptively simple songs that suggest a pleasingly dark amalgam of Jazz, Country, and the Blues, Shawna (Snyder) James offers an intriguing new alternative for discerning fans.
HONEY -Shawna James
Big Joe Duskin--courtesy Yellowdog Records
"Big Joe Jumps Again--The Cincinnati Sessions"
"Black Mountain Blues" album features Peter Frampton, William Lee Ellis, Larry Nager, Phillip Paul and Ed Conley(King Records session drummer and bassist).
Cari Clara--courtesy Tiberius Records
Self-Titled Debut (Eric Dietrichs--Beautiful Disaster Music Company)
"HONEY"--Shawna James debut CD recorded with Billy Alletzhauser-2007.