Shannon Hawley
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Shannon Hawley


Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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Out of Deep Dark Holes (Mendoza, Argentina) 2007
Live EP (New Jersey) 2009



If Regina Spektor and Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Mangum had a child, and Tom Waits was her nanny, you’d have Shannon Hawley. Shannon lures audiences in with her sweet voice, imagistic lyrics, and spitfire stage-presence. Her performances are like journeys to the present moment, touching on all things that make you feel alive -- all the pain and all the joy -- and sometimes both at once.

She grew up mostly in New Jersey in a house full of strong women - four younger sisters, her mom, and their dog, Lady. Her mother, who still sprinkles the house with lyrical phrases painted on wooden signs, taught her that words and songs are reminders to open your heart. Her father’s severe dyslexia prevented him from reading to the girls at bedtime instead he improvised stories complete with Pegasus, unicorns, and mermaids in the tradition of the oral poets. Inspired by these mythical creatures, Shannon now has has her own tales of struggle and triumph to tell.

Moving and traveling for the past decade, she recorded for the first time in Mendoza, Argentina in 2007. Her recent live EP showcases her songwriting’s evolution. In “Arthur”, inspired by a mentally-ill client from her social working days, she sings “Blessed are the splintered the ones we try to mend, the ones we try to fix up, the ones who can’t pretend.” “Radium Girls”, which received praise from Amy Speace and Vance Gilbert depicts the disturbing conditions of her great-grandmother’s job in a New Jersey watch and compass factory during the First World War. “Notes from a Dirty Young Woman” is Shannon’s rendering of a gritty, Bukowski-esq woman brought to life by the sultry sorrow of Scott Cohen’s guitar.

She’s played in local bars and coffee shops to the places she’s called home - from San Diego, Brooklyn and Ithaca, NY, to Montclair NJ where she had weekly gigs while also singing here and there around the US.

Shannon Hawley’s got a thing for mythical creatures – so much so that she spent most of her childhood saying she wanted to be a mermaid when she grew up. Instead she became a folk singer. In her opinion – that’s close enough.