The Holly Shawver Project
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The Holly Shawver Project

Billings, Montana, United States | SELF

Billings, Montana, United States | SELF
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter

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Oh, to have been a knob on the audio console when longtime musical buddies Holly Shawver and Danielle Egnew put the polish to Shawver's debut CD over the summer.

The two friends spent 60 hours at Hot Mamma Studio, 1415 First Ave. N., bringing “Wayne's Waitress” to fruition. It was Shawver's magnum opus, but she was wise enough to realize it would take more than her stellar songwriting and emotive lyrics to make all 13 tracks pop. She brought together some of the region's best musicians, dubbed the Holly Shawver Project, including Brad Edwards on percussion, Steve Melia on guitar and Linda Villereal on backup vocals. She added rapper LV on a few tracks because, she said, “I just heard rap in my music.” Then her onetime touring sidekick Egnew, founder of the all-female rock band Pope Jane who now works in film and music production in Los Angeles, brought the magic to “Wayne's Waitress.”

The CD is available on CDbaby.com and Amazon.com.

Egnew said that when she played it for the producers she works with at Island Records in L.A., they were blown away.

“ 'This came from Montana?' they all asked,” Egnew said. “It is absolutely in the top CDs I've ever worked on.”

Shawver was so curious about the process and intent on turning her songs into something special that she hovered over Egnew's shoulder while she worked at the sound console.

“Danielle had to tell me to take a walkabout to get me out of her hair,” Shawver said. “So I ended up out here on the couch.”

Egnew worked into the early morning hours many days and on the final night of mixing and mastering the disc, she stayed up all night, finishing the project at 6 a.m. so she could return to L.A. later that day.

“Holly is as good, if not better, than a professional performer with a household name,” Egnew said.

Rapper LV was a cool addition to the project and his brash words on the track “Jack Me Up,” “Sneak” and “Down in the Trenches” drive the songs' rhythm. Shawver said she can't pigeonhole the sound on “Wayne's Waitress” because it harnesses all of her influences, from classical to jazz, blues and rock.

Shawver grew up a “beet farmer's daughter” in Terry, studying classical piano beginning at age 4 with her mother and later at Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan. She played trumpet in the Terry High School Band and picked up the bass to play in Pope Jane in 1994.

Sometimes the songs on “Wayne's Waitress” are sweet ballads, others are heavy both lyrically and musically.

“I have people tell me they can't listen to track 6 because it's evil. That's what I wrote about — my life battle between good and evil. That is rock 'n' roll. Then there's the song I wrote as a Christmas gift to my husband, Wayne.”

Shawver, who has four sons ranging in age from 9 to 25, said she has been a wife and mother for the past decade and had put her music on hold when Wayne bought her a recording work station for her computer last year for Christmas. Her kids were surprised when Shawver's inner rocker started to erupt through the making of the CD. When she had streaks of blue, purple and red added to her long dark hair, Shawver said her kids warned, “You're not coming to any school functions for six weeks.”

Wayne encouraged her to record some of her original songs for her kids so they could appreciate her creative side. Now she's looking at launching a short tour in March on the way down to Austin, Texas, where Shawver has been invited to play at the renowned SXSW on the Outlaw Stage. She hopes to do a few local warm-up shows before she leaves.

“I try to do things small, but it ended up being these 60 tracks per song and I ran out of space,” Shawver said. “I came up to the studio and we looked at it and ended up buying it. I flew Danielle here from L.A. and for a steak and a plane ticket and a little pay, she did this wonderful thing for me.”

Contact Jaci Webb at 657-1359 or jwebb@billingsgazette.com
- The Billings Gazette


Oh, to have been a knob on the audio console when longtime musical buddies Holly Shawver and Danielle Egnew put the polish to Shawver's debut CD over the summer.

The two friends spent 60 hours at Hot Mamma Studio, 1415 First Ave. N., bringing “Wayne's Waitress” to fruition. It was Shawver's magnum opus, but she was wise enough to realize it would take more than her stellar songwriting and emotive lyrics to make all 13 tracks pop. She brought together some of the region's best musicians, dubbed the Holly Shawver Project, including Brad Edwards on percussion, Steve Melia on guitar and Linda Villereal on backup vocals. She added rapper LV on a few tracks because, she said, “I just heard rap in my music.” Then her onetime touring sidekick Egnew, founder of the all-female rock band Pope Jane who now works in film and music production in Los Angeles, brought the magic to “Wayne's Waitress.”

The CD is available on CDbaby.com and Amazon.com.

Egnew said that when she played it for the producers she works with at Island Records in L.A., they were blown away.

“ 'This came from Montana?' they all asked,” Egnew said. “It is absolutely in the top CDs I've ever worked on.”

Shawver was so curious about the process and intent on turning her songs into something special that she hovered over Egnew's shoulder while she worked at the sound console.

“Danielle had to tell me to take a walkabout to get me out of her hair,” Shawver said. “So I ended up out here on the couch.”

Egnew worked into the early morning hours many days and on the final night of mixing and mastering the disc, she stayed up all night, finishing the project at 6 a.m. so she could return to L.A. later that day.

“Holly is as good, if not better, than a professional performer with a household name,” Egnew said.

Rapper LV was a cool addition to the project and his brash words on the track “Jack Me Up,” “Sneak” and “Down in the Trenches” drive the songs' rhythm. Shawver said she can't pigeonhole the sound on “Wayne's Waitress” because it harnesses all of her influences, from classical to jazz, blues and rock.

Shawver grew up a “beet farmer's daughter” in Terry, studying classical piano beginning at age 4 with her mother and later at Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan. She played trumpet in the Terry High School Band and picked up the bass to play in Pope Jane in 1994.

Sometimes the songs on “Wayne's Waitress” are sweet ballads, others are heavy both lyrically and musically.

“I have people tell me they can't listen to track 6 because it's evil. That's what I wrote about — my life battle between good and evil. That is rock 'n' roll. Then there's the song I wrote as a Christmas gift to my husband, Wayne.”

Shawver, who has four sons ranging in age from 9 to 25, said she has been a wife and mother for the past decade and had put her music on hold when Wayne bought her a recording work station for her computer last year for Christmas. Her kids were surprised when Shawver's inner rocker started to erupt through the making of the CD. When she had streaks of blue, purple and red added to her long dark hair, Shawver said her kids warned, “You're not coming to any school functions for six weeks.”

Wayne encouraged her to record some of her original songs for her kids so they could appreciate her creative side. Now she's looking at launching a short tour in March on the way down to Austin, Texas, where Shawver has been invited to play at the renowned SXSW on the Outlaw Stage. She hopes to do a few local warm-up shows before she leaves.

“I try to do things small, but it ended up being these 60 tracks per song and I ran out of space,” Shawver said. “I came up to the studio and we looked at it and ended up buying it. I flew Danielle here from L.A. and for a steak and a plane ticket and a little pay, she did this wonderful thing for me.”

Contact Jaci Webb at 657-1359 or jwebb@billingsgazette.com
- The Billings Gazette


Discography

2010 -- "The Holly Shawver Project: Wayne's Waitress"

Stations airing singles:

Mojo 92.5 FM
"Music Highway with Sheena Metal" (LA Talk Radio)
NUMUBU
Jango
Facebook
MySpace

Songs currently in rotation:
Tired Betty
Jack Me Up
Addiction Whore
Peace
Right There
Sneak

As bassist with Pope Jane:

2008 -- "Slightly Used / Pope Jane, The Best Of Album"
2001 -- "Pope Jane: Industry Whore"
2000 -- "Pope Jane: hide me from the moon"
1998 -- "Pope Jane: Relief"
1995 -- "Pope Jane (self-titled)"

Photos

Bio

Breaking into the national scene as bassist for legendary girl-band Pope Jane (1994-2003), Holly Shawver has graced audiences and radio stations across the country, sharing tour stages and magazine pages with some of America‘s top musical acts. Now venturing into her own solo career with the critically-acclaimed December 2010 release “Wayne’s Waitress” (Hot Momma Records), Shawver unleashes her multi-instrumentalist talents, not only with her signature bass style, but with inspiring piano performances as well as riveting vocal lines.

A trained classical and jazz pianist, Shawver climbs into an 88 key saddle on “Wayne’s Waitress” to draw from a musical background that includes scholarships to the illustrious Interlochen Arts Academy, where she also played trumpet. Studying directly under Doti Mehta, cousin of famed conductor Zubin Mehta, Holly’s talents as a pianist and composer began at an early age. Shawver’s raw and sensual vocal style, emotively reminiscent of Macy Gray with an Axl Rose edge, is the perfect messenger for her dramatic and sometimes shocking approach to lyrics.

Owner of Hot Momma Studios, a professional multi-track recording facility in the romantic heart of Big Sky Country, Montana, Holly continues her perfect blend of classical musical training and hot pop/rock hook with her undeniably melodic Funk / Rock groove to produce some of the most engaging and listener-friendly musical messages today. Listen for The Holly Shawver Project on several online and terrestrial AM/FM broadcasters. http://www.WaynesWaitress.com