MICHELLE SHOCKED is a traveling troubadour whose musical talent is so eclectic it is difficult to categorize. As a young feminist, she left Texas to travel, Kerouac-style, and was caught up in Reagan-era grassroots politics. Her musical career was ignited by a bootleg recording made around a Kerrville Folk Festival campfire on a Sony Walkman. A career veteran, Michelle famously escaped major-label indentured servitude in 1996, subverting the artist-label relationship that helped lead to the current trend toward artistic self-containment. She has made good use of her independence, releasing more critically-acclaimed albums on her Mighty Sound label. Her 2009 album, Soul of My Soul, is the most recent. In 2010, she launched Roadworks, a 5-year touring project curating audience favorites while developing her current work-in-progress, Indelible Women.
“Michelle Shocked” is the nom de guerre given at her arrest in a political protest called “The War Chest Tour” during the 1984 Democratic National Convention in San Francisco, California. The demonstration challenged the practice of U.S. corporations receiving lucrative military contracts from the U.S. government while giving generous campaign contributions to both political parties, thus benefiting from political favors regardless of election results. “Michelle Shocked” was intended to invoke the specter of “shell shock” as a result of Reagan’s Cold War policies. Michelle is a three-time Grammy nominee and crusader in the copyfight for artists’ rights.
Michelle Shocked, Godmother of Americana, celebrates her Mercury Trilogy 30th anniversary this year with a series of residencies over three months at the City Winery venues in New York City, Chicago, Nashville and Atlanta. Each month features one of her legendary albums Short Sharp Shocked, Captain Swing,and Arkansas Traveler. Michelle is a three-time Grammy nominee and crusader in the copyfight for artists’ rights.