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Short Sharp Shocked 

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Editors’ Notes

Michelle Shocked made the leap from the lo-fi approach of her debut album into a fully produced setting on Short Sharp Shocked, an excellent set that remains her best-known release. The Texas-bred singer/songwriter teams up with producer Pete Anderson (of Dwight Yoakam fame) to achieve an appealing fusion of folk and alt-country sounds, with a dash of punk tossed in. Shocked comes to grips with both old memories and new realities here — there’s a hard-won wisdom in these tracks, conveyed in Michelle’s jazz-tinged delivery and the wry humor embedded in her lyrics. “Memories of East Texas,” “Gladewater” and “V.F.D.” examine the pleasures and limitations of small-town life with a knowing eye. Shocked rocks righteously on the bluesy “When I Grow Up” and the thrashing “Fogtown” (a team-up with punk unit MDC); she gets political on “Graffiti Limbo” and asserts her trad-folk credentials by covering Jean Ritchie’s “The L&N Don’t Stop Here Anymore.” Most of all, the album is defined by “Anchorage,” a bittersweet look at the distance between old friends.


Born: 24 February 1962 in Dallas, TX

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Michelle Shocked was born Michelle Johnston in Dallas, TX, in 1962, where she spent her early childhood traveling around army bases. In 1977, she ran away from her Mormon fundamentalist mother to live with her father, who introduced her to country bluesmen Big Bill Broonzy and Leadbelly, as well as contemporary songwriters Guy Clark and Randy Newman. She spent the next several years exploring the folk underground, spending the early '80s in Austin, where she began honing her own songwriting skills....
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Short Sharp Shocked , Michelle Shocked
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