Description of Michelle Shocked's Music:
Recommended Michelle Shocked Albums:
Mexican Standoff (Mighty Sound, 2006) compare prices
Arkansas Traveler (Mercury, 1992) compare prices
Purchase/Download Michelle Shocked MP3s:
"How You Play the Game" (from Don't Ask Don't Tell)
"Mouth of the Mississippi" (from Mexican Standoff)
Michelle Shocked Biography:
While at the festival one year, she sat at one of its storied "campfires" and recorded a collection of songs onto a tape recorder which was eventually bootlegged and sold in Europe under the title The Texas Campfire Tapes. Unbenownst to her, the recording traveled Europe as a bootleg, eventually garnering the attention of Mercury Records and scoring Shocked a major label recording contract.
In 1988, Shocked released her first official (i.e. intentional) full-length studio album in the US. The album was titled Short Sharp Shocked and had a photo on the cover of an angry Shocked being dragged away by police. Indeed, she had developed an affinity for aligning herself with grassroots political activism in the '80s and was, years later (2011) carted away by cops during the Occupy movement in Los Angeles. Prophetic as the cover image may have been, the disc introduced a college radio crowd to Shocked, the intuitive singer-songwriter.
The following year, she dropped a rock album followed by another almost completely folk/bluegrass disc called Arkansas Traveler (after the traditional bluegrass standard).
Finally, in 1994, after recording for Mercury for about seven years, Shocked struck out on her own and began releasing follow-up albums independently. Through the years, Shocked has dabbled in various styles and sounds - from swing to rock to gospel and back to folk again - always staying true to the intrinsically creative qualities in the songs, veering from trying to craft songs to fit a specific style.
Since The Texas Campfire Tapes found its way into the world in 1986, Shocked has released a total of sixteen albums through the year, including a couple collaborations and a collection of her recordings for Mercury records. Her music appeared in the Oscar-nominated film Dead Man Walking and the 2004 documentary film Bush's Brain. She had a small handful of US chart hits in 1988 and '89 with her first couple of albums on Mercury Records but has mostly maintained an underground, independent, and cult status since.