Shawna Russell hails from Okemah, Oklahoma, the home of Woody Guthrie. And like the legendary figure, Shawna has spent a good deal of her life writing songs and traveling the roads of America performing her music. Forging a musical sound that combines Country, Rock, Folk and Americana, Shawna has built a reputation as a powerhouse singer who also knows how to play a mean slide guitar.
Her music has received critical acclaim from COUNTRY WEEKLY, BILLBOARD.COM, CMA CLOSE UP, MAVERICK (UK), MUSIC ROW, ROUGHSTOCK, DREAMWEST (France), THE OKLAHOMAN, TODAY’S COUNTRY MAGAZINE, OKLAHOMA GAZETTE and others. Shawna’s radio singles have included “Goddess,” “Should’ve Been Born With Wheels,” “Fire In The Desert,” “Get Right Or Get Left,” “Sounds Like A Party,” “Everybody’s Got A Story” and “Waitin’ On Sunrise.” Her songs have charted in the U.S. on the Texas Music, Billboard “New and Active” and MusicRow charts, and internationally on the Hotdisc and New Christian Music charts.
Shawna released her self-titled sophomore album on Way Out West Records in summer 2011. Recorded in Oklahoma City and Nashville, and co-produced by Julian King (Grammy-winning engineer for Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith), along with Clif Doyal and Tim Russell, the album reflects her growth as an artist and a maturity of her song crafting skills. Shawna wrote, or co-wrote, the 10 songs on the project and they provide the listener with a deeper personal connection to her varied influences and artistic expression. From the guitar-driven Country Rock sounds that have become her trademark to mandolin-tinged traditional Country and Americana stylings, ‘SHAWNA RUSSELL’ presents the Oklahoma songbird at a new creative pinnacle.
Shawna takes great pride in the musicians who join her in the studio to help create her sound, including stellar and legendary talents such as mandolin, banjo and acoustic guitarist, Bryan Sutton (2000-2006 IBMA “Guitar Player of the Year”); electric, slide and acoustic guitarist, Jon Conley (Kenny Chesney, Wynonna); along with keyboardists Charles Judge (Stevie Nicks, Rascal Flatts) and Jim “Moose” Brown (Jamey Johnson, Ricky Skaggs); drummers Russ Kunkel (Carly Simon, James Taylor), Shannon Forrest (Mindy Smith, Sheryl Crow) and Billy Thomas (Vince Gill); bassists David Santos (John Fogerty, Elton John) and Mike Brignardello (Lynyrd Skynyrd, Sugarland).
Shawna first came on to the national and international music scene in 2008 with the release of her debut album, ‘GODDESS,’ for which she co-wrote 12 of the 13 songs. Leading up to her well-received debut was an incredible amount of hard work and years of perseverance. Shawna first sang in public at age 7. At 13, she and her dad, Keith, formed a country band that played for clubs and Elks Lodges on weekends. At 17, she joined her Uncle Tim’s band, which was already a successful regional band on the club circuit across the Southwest. These experiences gave Shawna a training ground to hone her remarkable vocal chops and skills on acoustic rhythm, electric slide and lead guitar while touring across much of the U.S. performing at many of America’s top live music clubs, including The Grizzly Rose, Billy Bob’s and the Wildhorse Saloon. She also spent three years fronting and playing guitar in fellow Oklahoman, Ty England’s band, which included a USO Tour of Korea in 2005.
Shawna currently performs a busy schedule of casino, club and concert dates traveling with her band in a bus formerly owned by Willie Nelson. With her admirable resume and even more extraordinary musical and vocal talents, she is indeed a force to be reckoned with. Retro and rockin’- to country and contemplative - Shawna Russell stakes her claim with a power that will not be denied.