Arts council hosts acoustic evening with Shana Morrison
Carson Valley Arts Council presents another evening of music, with Shana Morrison, April 12 at CVIC Hall in Minden.
This is part of an ongoing series to help raise awareness and money for the council’s goal to create a performing arts center in Carson Valley, through restoration of the Copeland Lumber building. The evening begins at 6 p.m. with a reception, followed by the concert at 7 p.m. Donations will be accepted at the door.
A perennial favorite in the area since the release of her second album, “7 Wishes,” in 2002, Morrison is now promoting her fourth album “That’s Who I Am.”
“It’s definitely been awhile since I’ve been in Minden and I’m looking forward to this,” Shana said from her home in Northern California. “This will be an acoustic show, which is nice, because we are able to present the songs in (different) arrangements.”
Shana rarely gives acoustic performances, but has found they have their own charm and appeal.
“We do those shows at Freight & Salvage in Berkeley and at Noe Valley Ministry and they’ve been well received,” she said.
“Those arrangements are different than what (we record).”
The performances have actually led Shana to consider producing an all-acoustic album. In fact, Shana produced her latest release, a new experience for her and continues to write her own material.
“When we recorded the first album, ‘Caledonia,’ it was by committee,” she said. “This last one was done with two days in the studio and a week of mixing.”
Her third album, “Everybody’s Angel,” was a collaboration with slide guitarist Roy Rogers, who will also be playing at CVIC in May (see related story).
What she has learned through the years is that the recording process takes patience.
“I am getting more comfortable with the recording process, which has always been difficult for me,” Shana said. “As I’ve been more patient, I find being in the studio is more enjoyable.
“The show is always the fun part, but with age the other gradually comes.”
Growing up the daughter of Van Morrison, showed Shana first-hand, the ups and downs of the business. Seeking more stability, she received her master’s degree in business and is presently working with friends on an Internet start up that offers aptitude testing, education and job placement in the tech field.
“It was a friend’s idea and now we’re all on board,” she said. “Every musician I know is dabbling in something else to guarantee a paycheck.”
But her first love is her music and that passion has taken her around the world.
“We’re actually planning our summer season now,” she said. “We have dates in the Midwest and on the West Coast and perhaps we’ll go to Ireland, which we try to do every other year.”
When traveling overseas, Shana plays one or two “big exposure dates,” and limits the travel to two or three weeks.
“We want a couple of big dates that pay for the majority of expenses, and have found a way to make the tours very efficient and stick with venues on our route,” she said. “It’s too hard being away from family much longer than that.”
As far as her audiences are concerned, Shana said that while people are people most anywhere, there can be differences.
“In Italy, audiences really get into the show, jumping up and down and sweating,” she said. “In San Francisco, people sit with their arms crossed and you can hear them saying ‘entertain me.’
The greatest challenge for Shana is keeping band members over the long haul, an experience that as far as she can tell is common with all recording artists.
“Some of my band members have been with me a long time, but it seems we’re always dealing with comings and goings,” she said. “Finding, keeping and working a new person can be difficult.
“Once we get a group of people where everybody knows everything we can improvise and go off script which makes performing more fun,” she said. “When we have a new musician on board, it’s hard to do that without losing the new guy. But I definitely see that from the age of 16 to 62 it’s always gonna be this way!”
Shana’s music is available for download at CD Baby, iTunes, Rhapsody, “all those places,” she said, or through any book or music store. You can also purchase directly, and follow Shana’s career at http://www.shanamorrison.com.