Colvin’s visit brings back vivid memories

Colvin's visit brings back vivid memories Shawn Colvin performed before an enthusiastic audience at USD's Slagle Hall Saturday , and laughed while responding to a question during a press conference before her concert. by David Lias Shawn Colvin admitted before a crowd of local media Saturday that returning to Vermillion after more than a 25-year absence had some frightening aspects.

"It's pretty bizarre . . . I have some very vivid memories, though," she said at a press conference shortly before she performed on stage at USD's Slagle Auditorium in a concert simply known as "An Evening with Shawn Colvin."

She admits that it's hard to bridge the distance from when she moved from Vermillion at age 12, to today. Some things, though, she'll never forget.

"I certainly remember the seasons being very discernable," Colvin said. "I remember Main Street really pretty well, and I've always asked about the places I remember really well — none of which are there anymore."

She remembers car trips to Mt. Vernon, near Mitchell, to visit her grandmother, and family vacations in the Black Hills.

On Sunday, she planned to tour Canby Street, where the Colvin family once lived, and take a drive on Valley View Drive, where her grandparents used to live on a bluff.

"Somehow or another I remember you could take your bike to where that hill went down and ride like a bat out of hell."

Colvin picked up her first guitar at the age of 10. At age 12, she moved from Vermillion with her family to Canada, and her love of music continued to grow.

She left college to perform and compose on a full-time basis, living in Texas, San Francisco, New York and Boston.

Her first album, Steady On, contained 10 original songs including Shotgun Down the Avalanche, Cry Like an Angel and Diamond in the Rough. It was awarded a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Recording.

A second album, Fat Cat, released in 1993, received two Grammy nominations. Colvin has also kept busy with film projects and finds herself today in perhaps one of her most important roles — motherhood.

Growing up in a small town like Vermillion, she admits, was both a blessing and a curse.

"I think it took me a long time to feel like I could do artistic work, because it's not really encouraged in a small Midwestern town," Colvin said. "On the other side of it, having come from a place like Vermillion, I'm really grateful for what I have. I've often thought that coming from this particular landscape has given me a lot of imagination."

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