Shawna Russell
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"Goddess CD Review"

April 12, 2008
Country Weekly
Country Weekly Magazine

April 7, 2008 Edition

Shawna Russell Goddess CD Review

by Chris Neal

* * * ½ (3 ½ Stars out of 5)

Shawna Russell hails from Okemah, Okla., but her promising debut is contemporary country soaked in the influence of 1970’s country-rock and California pop – the drummer on Goddess is L.A. session veteran Russ Kunkel, the lone cover is of Firefall’s 1978 rock hit “Strange Way,” and the role model most clearly evoked throughout the album is Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks. It’s a winning fusion that evokes the era’s sense of mystery while remaining grounded in the present – especially on the scorcher “Fire in the Desert,” which Stevie might have been proud to call her own.
- Country Weekly


"Goddess Review"

The Oklahoman
Shawna Russell's CD, Goddess, was reviewed in The Oklahoman and at newsok.com this week.

Click here to download the review: Download the_oklahomanshawnarussellgoddesscdreview.doc

From NewsOK.com's blogs:

Up-and-coming country artist Shawna Russell of Okemah will make her first foray into national radio next week.

On Monday, Russell will release her first single, “Goddess.” The love song, which brings to mind a countrified spin on Fleetwood Mac’s late ’70s work, is the title track of her new debut album, which is gaining some positive buzz. I reviewed it myself this week and was impressed with Russell’s strong voice, budding songwriting talent and eclectic taste.

On Tuesday, Russell will begin a radio promotional tour in support of “Goddess.” She will start out visiting stations in Woodward, Weatherford and Stillwater before hitting the road for Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina this month. The radio tour is set to continue and travel across the country in May and June, and she also has a few concert dates coming up at casinos in the state and region.

-BAM

by Brandy McDonnell, Music Writer for The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City
- The Oklahoman


"Goddess Review"

March 26, 2008
Maverick Magazine (UK)
Maverick Magazine (UK)
April 2008 Edition
Shawna Russell Goddess CD Review
By Dave Knowles

* * * * ½ (4 ½ Stars out of 5)

This debut album highlights a singer with a very big talent, and who could go straight to the top.

Oklahoma has produced some big stars within country music, and Shawna Russell could prove another big success for the State. Graced with stunning good looks, and a voice that many singers would kill for, Shawna has released an album packed full of songs that could catapult her name into the premier league of current top singers in Nashville.

The power ballad The Only One is perfect for American radio, and if promoted right could be a massive hit. She also shows she can liven things up on tracks such as the fun country-pop tune Back On My Feet with its driving guitar sounds.

The title track Goddess is a wonderfully dreamy song, very much in the mould of Fleetwood Mac. Fire In The Desert is a superb country rocker that shows just how good Shawna’s voice really is, and this would be another great choice for a single release, and the accompanying video if done right could be absolutely phenomenal! Just think of Shawna walking through the desert singing, and as she hit’s the title line from the chorus a wall of flame appears behind her…what am I doing writing, I should be making videos!

The highly emotional Shed A Tear has such gorgeous yet at the same time sad lyrics, and Shawna’s voice is just superb as she rolls out the emotional carpet. She co-wrote this homage to women who serve in the military with Tim Russell and Little Texas singer Tim Rushlow, and the video that can be found on You Tube has already been striking chords with military personnel and their families.

This album has a fine mix of ballads, country/pop and rock tunes. Should’ve Been Born With Wheels really kicks, and the final track Little Dixie comes at you like a hurricane, as her powerful and raunchy vocals storm out over the tornado backing that is played in a true Southern rocking boogie-woogie style.

What a singer! What a debut album! This lady should be winning awards very soon! DK

# # #

- Maverick Magazine (UK)


"Goddess Review"

Nashville Music Guide
Nashville Music Guide
Feb.- Mar. 2008 Edition
Shawna Russell Goddess CD Review
by Brad Fischer

Once you give this CD a listen you’ll agree that the album was aptly named. Shawna Russell has it all: looks, a way with words, and pipes that send goose bumps up and down your spine. She can belt out a tune with the best of them. The title track tells it all! Masterfully produced by Tim Russell and Ted Curtis for Way Out West Records, the album features thirteen tunes, all but one of which were co-written by the artist. The bottom line is that this truly talented girl will rock you into Americana heaven. Find your GODDESS at your favorite record store, or at www.shawnarussell.com on the web.

Rating : Seven Stars******* (out of 7)

- Nashville Music Guide


"Goddess Review"

Country Stars Online
Country Stars Online
February 2008
Shawna Russell Goddess CD Review
by George Peden, CSO Staff Journalist

“There could be no happier moment in a person’s life than the moment that they can see, touch and hear their dreams. For me, this is that moment.”

Liner notes from Goddess.

Happy is the person who can find what truly makes them content. Country newcomer Shawna Russell seems to have found the answer. It revolves around music and family. This Oklahoman is out with her debut album, Goddess, and it’s a solid mix of both.
First: the music.

There’s talent aplenty here, with Russell co-penning 12 of the 13 tracks. The album glides, and easily, from rocky toe-tappers to contemplative introspection. “Back On My Feet”, with its hard pounded rock feel, is the album opener, claiming an immediate take notice hearing from this listener. Russell soars in her delivery, pumping her vocals without distortion, jam or jar. She may be country, but this no backwoods nasal whine -- she knows how to rock. Among the radio-friendly here is a chart potential “Don’t Put Yourself Out”. With its Shania/Faith taint, the song pulls in the right direction. It’s hooky. It’s catchy, and if it lands heads up on the right radio programmer’s pile, the song could entrée Russell to wider commercial success.

“Cemetery Hill” with it’s tale of contrast – on Friday nights the eerie surrounds give way to upbeat music and party times, while a “sadder song” plays out in the daylight hours, is a sign Russell can stretch beyond the “hurtin, leavin’ and losin’ ” of the familiar . The harmony rich “Goddess”, with Russell’s voice primed and pure, is also a partnership of good writing and melody. Listen out also for “The Only One,” “Fire In The Desert” and the strength of “Get Out Of My Way,” just to hear how songs can live when passion is applied.

On Russell’s webpage is a video, “Shed A Tear.” The tune, written with her uncle, Tim, and former frontman for Little Texas, Tim Rushlow, is a poignant reminder: war and duty are not the exclusives of men.

The song, with it’s homage to women who serve, is sensitive, honest and thoughtful. “They prepared her for war and combat, but not the war in her heart,” say the lyrics. In these times of conflict and uncertainty, women who bravely leave the comfort of home and the security of family, even their children, need not only our thanks but a wider understanding of their unique sacrifice –this song helps with that understanding.

While the needed mix of talent, rich vocals and cutting songs make this album one to wait on, Russell would readily admit her reward lies in the family bonds behind this CD.

“Most of the songs were written with my dad, Keith, and my uncle Tim, says the singer who cites Trisha Yearwood as an influence. “It was the most amazing thing. We would get together with some rough ideas, and several hours later we’d have these killer tunes.” (Just to complete the family circle, Jayme, Shawna’s little sister, does harmony.) It may be an modest answer to the evolution of these tunes, but it overlooks Russell has been honing her style since fronting her dad’s band at age 12 – the last three years on the road with Garth’s band buddy, Ty England, have further helped stamp out her distinctive presence.

The album, available on Way Out West Records, hits the streets on March 4.

Do yourself the favor. Order it.
- Country Stars Online


"Goddess Review"

June 21, 2008
Nashville Country Club

June 20, 2008

Shawna Russell Goddess CD Review

by Leslie Armstrong, Editor


Goddess, Way Out West Records (Shawna Russell) One of Nashville Business Journal's highlighted indie artists at CMA Festival 08', Shawna has caught attention with her career and music development. Her style isn't comparable to any other artist, which gives her a stronger originality edge. Her radio single-'Goddess' displays this characteristic with the free-flowing 'day-dreamy' music, along with her spot-on vocals. Her album unfolds like a movie soundtrack, as given in song-'The Only One'. Her potential has been noted by Nashville, and her music is available at- www.myspace.com/shawnarussell878
- Nashville Music Guide


"Shawna Russell Performs at Seminole Nation Days"

I just wanted to say a few words about the performance that Shawna Russell and The Way Out West Band at our Seminole Nation Days Celebration on September 15, 2007. Shawna put on a performance of a lifetime, from the opening of her show with help from the Seminole Nation Honor Guard with the presentation of the colors to her deeply moving performance of “Shed A tear” her latest single honoring the women who serve in the United States Armed Forces. The delivery by Shawna and the band which included music from her latest CD was flawless and exhilarating. Shawna carried herself onstage with the confidence of a seasoned veteran, never once intimidated by the crowd but actually seem to be more exhilarated as the show progressed. I received nothing but positive comments from concertgoers on the your show which I still get from time to time today meaning people will not soon forget that exciting evening at the Mekusukey Mission.



Let us not forget about how Shawna took the time afterwards to meet and greet her loyal, and after leaving the stage, new fans. The look on the faces of the little girls who approached Shawna with expectations of meeting her and to walk away with a personally signed autograph picture and smile was priceless. I’m sure she inspired several of those children to follow their dreams, that you can do anything you set your mind to, but most importantly never forget your roots.
- Seminole Nation News


Discography

Shawna Russell (Self Titled) in 2005
"Goddess" in 2008
"Shed A Tear" a web video from "Goddess" has received over 10,000 hits world wide.
The first single "Goddess" was well received at radio across America and around the world.
The second single "Should've Been Born With Wheels" is currently in the top 25 on The Texas Music Chart, Texas Regional Radio Report and in the Top 40 of Music Row. The single is also # 4 on New Music Weekly Indie AND Main Country Charts.
The new video of Should've Been Born With Wheels is currently being played on GAC and ALL internet video outlets.

Photos

Bio

From the red dirt roads near her hometown of Okemah, Oklahoma, south to the Rio Grande, north to Calgary, west to the Pacific, and east to Korea, Shawna Russell has covered the map performing and making music her life. With a voice that must be heard, her sound contains a lifetime of influences gathered from a family with deep musical roots, and a decade of touring the world playing music and singing.

Music has always been Shawna's destiny. Her father and uncles - on both sides of the family - have been involved in successful country bands for over 30 years. Many of her first childhood memories are of going to rehearsals and following her dad’s bands all around Oklahoma. Encouraged by a family member, she made her first public appearance at age seven, singing in a church Christmas program. Her first paid performances were singing the National Anthem at campaign rallies for a gubernatorial candidate in Oklahoma. After the election, Shawna and her father, Keith, traveled the Oklahoma countryside playing for “anyone who would listen”—family gatherings or Christmas parties.

When she was 13, they formed a full-fledged country band playing at clubs and Elks Lodges nearly every weekend. "Dad was teaching school at the time and would have to hurry home, so we could get our gear loaded and set up to play," says Shawna. "It was pretty hectic, but lots of fun!" Four years later, a Nashville agent saw her perform and remarked that she had “everything it takes to be a superstar.” At that point, she joined her uncle Tim’s band, "Way Out West," which was already a successful regional band on the “A” club circuit.

Shawna’s musical influences are diverse: Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow, Stevie Nicks, Trisha Yearwood, and Martina McBride. While these artists flavor her sound, her style is uniquely her own. She has toured across much of the U.S., performing 2-6 nights a week, up to 5 sets a night, at many of the top live music clubs on the circuit, including The Grizzly Rose in Denver; Billy Bob’s in Ft. Worth; and the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville. Shawna carries her weight on stage - she sings, plays acoustic rhythm, lead guitar, and occasionally saxophone. She has spent the last three years on the road touring with fellow Oklahoman, Ty England (of Garth Brook’s fame), before going solo, again.

On March 4, 2008, Shawna celebrated the national release of her debut CD, Goddess, on Way Out West Records, with a VIP event during CRS-39. The title single is currently at radio across the U.S.

Goddess was recorded in Oklahoma City and produced by Tim Russell and Ted Curtis at Upstairs Productions Studio, and includes some of the top music industry professionals in the business. Impressed by Shawna’s voice, several world-famous musicians came to Oklahoma in order to record with her, including Russ Kunkel, drummer for Carly Simon and James Taylor, and David Santos, bassist for Elton John, Billy Joel and John Fogerty. They were joined by Grammy-winning vocal engineer, Julian King, who has worked with country superstars, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, and Toby Keith. Nathaniel Kunkel, whose recent clients include Diana Ross and The Police, mixed the album. Early buzz from music industry insiders predict that Goddess will finally give Shawna her long-awaited break.

Shawna co-wrote 12 of the 13 songs on Goddess. “Most of the songs were written with my dad, Keith, and my uncle Tim,” she states. “It was the most amazing thing – we would get together with just some rough ideas, and several hours later, we would have these killer tunes. We joked that we were ‘channeling’ Woody Guthrie! (Also an Okemah native). Retro and rockin’- to country and contemplative, Shawna Russell stakes her claim with a vocal intensity that will not be denied. It is clear that she means business.