Shawna Russell

Shawna Russell
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Shawna Russell hails from Okemah, Oklahoma, the home of Woody Guthrie. And like the legendary figure, Shawna has spent a good deal of her life writing songs and travelling the roads of America performing her music. Forging a musical sound that combines Country, Rock, Folk and Americana, Shawna has built a reputation as a powerhouse singer who also knows how to play a mean slide guitar. Her music has received critical acclaim from COUNTRY WEEKLY, BILLBOARD.COM, CMA CLOSE UP, MAVERICK (UK), MUSIC ROW, ROUGHSTOCK, DREAMWEST (France), THE OKLAHOMAN, TODAY’S COUNTRY MAGAZINE, OKLAHOMA GAZETTE and others. Shawna’s radio singles have included “Goddess,” “Should’ve Been Born With Wheels,” “Fire In The Desert,” “Get Right Or Get Left,” “Sounds Like A Party,” “Everybody’s Got A Story” and “Waitin’ On Sunrise.” Her songs have charted in the U.S. on the Texas Music, Billboard “New and Active” and MusicRow charts, and internationally on the Hotdisc and New Christian Music charts. Shawna released her self-titled sophomore album on Way Out West Records in summer 2011. Recorded in Oklahoma City and Nashville, and co-produced by Julian King (Grammy-winning engineer for Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith), along with Clif Doyal and Tim Russell, the album reflects her growth as an artist and a maturity of her song crafting skills. Shawna wrote, or co-wrote, the 10 songs on the project and they provide the listener with a deeper personal connection to her varied influences and artistic expression. From the guitar-driven Country Rock sounds that have become her trademark to mandolin-tinged traditional Country and Americana stylings, ‘SHAWNA RUSSELL’ presents the Oklahoma songbird at a new creative pinnacle. Shawna takes great pride in the musicians who join her in the studio to help create her sound, including stellar and legendary talents such as mandolin, banjo and acoustic guitarist, Bryan Sutton (2000-2006 IBMA “Guitar Player of the Year”); electric, slide and acoustic guitarist, Jon Conley (Kenny Chesney, Wynonna); along with keyboardists Charles Judge (Stevie Nicks, Rascal Flatts) and Jim “Moose” Brown (Jamey Johnson, Ricky Skaggs); drummers Russ Kunkel (Carly Simon, James Taylor), Shannon Forrest (Mindy Smith, Sheryl Crow) and Billy Thomas (Vince Gill); bassists David Santos (John Fogerty, Elton John) and Mike Brignardello (Lynyrd Skynyrd, Sugarland). Shawna first came on to the national and international music scene in 2008 with the release of her debut album, ‘GODDESS,’ for which she co-wrote 12 of the 13 songs. Leading up to her well-received debut was an incredible amount of hard work and years of perseverance. Shawna first sang in public at age 7. At 13, she and her dad, Keith, formed a country band that played for clubs and Elks Lodges on weekends. At 17, she joined her Uncle Tim’s band, which was already a successful regional band on the club circuit across the Southwest. These experiences gave Shawna a training ground to hone her remarkable vocal chops and skills on acoustic rhythm, electric slide and lead guitar while touring across much of the U.S. performing at many of America’s top live music clubs, including The Grizzly Rose, Billy Bob’s and the Wildhorse Saloon. She also spent three years fronting and playing guitar in fellow Oklahoman, Ty England’s band, which included a USO Tour of Korea in 2005. Shawna currently performs a busy schedule of casino, club and concert dates traveling with her band in a bus formerly owned by Willie Nelson. With her admirable resume and even more extraordinary musical and vocal talents, she is indeed a force to be reckoned with. Retro and rockin’- to country and contemplative - Shawna Russell stakes her claim with a power that will not be denied.

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Average Rating : 5              Total Reviews: 13

Shawna Russell  11/11/2009            
Shawna Russell is offering a FREE download of her new tune "Rumor". Just go to and hit the download button.. It's a cool new tune!
Shawna Russell  04/23/2009            
Dog Star
Shawna Russell's Fire In The Desert is a HIT... What a rockin' song and a rockin' chick! She's hot... so's the song! WOW!
Shawna Russell  04/08/2009            
I just heard Shawna Russell's "Fire In The Desert" on the radio! It's AWESOME! What a cool (hot) tune. Sounds like Stevie Nicks, married the Eagles..
Shawna Russell  04/05/2009            
Nashville, TN (March 31, 2009) – Oklahoma Country Rocker, Shawna Russell, released her new Way Out West Records single - “Fire In The Desert” to country radio stations across the US this week! Anticipation for the new single has been high - and music reviewers have been enthusiastic with their support. Chris Neal, Music Editor of Country Weekly says the song is a “Scorcher, soaked in the influence of 1970’s country-rock,” while Maverick Magazine exclaims that “Fire In The Desert” “is a superb country rocker that shows just how good Shawna’s voice really is.” “Fire In The Desert” is Russell’s follow-up release to her hit single and video, “Should’ve Been Born With Wheels.” "Fire In The Desert" is a hot summertime rocker delivered with power and passion by singer/songwriter, Russell, who co-wrote the song with father/guitarist, Keith, and uncle/producer, Tim. The track features an all-star line up of musicians including famed L.A. session drummer Russ Kunkel (Lyle Lovett/James Taylor/Stevie Nicks) and bassist David Santos (John Fogerty/Elton John). Russell’s vocals were engineered by Grammy award-winning Julian King (Tim McGraw/Faith Hill), and the track was mixed by Emmy and Grammy recipient Nathaniel Kunkel (The Police/Diana Ross). "Fire In The Desert" is from Russell’s critically-acclaimed debut CD 'GODDESS.' "Fire In The Desert" is available on CDX Vol. #471 and CD Tex Music Delivery Service Vol. #74b. Radio programmers may also download an airplay quality version of the single and other songs by Russell at AirPlay Direct: For more information, visit Shawna Russell’s online sites at: and *Photo credit: Cynthia Donati-Stepping Stones Photography About Shawna Shawna Russell was introduced onto the national music scene with the release of her debut CD, GODDESS, in early 2008. But her reputation as a world-class talent had already caught the attention of many folks in the music industry. Prior to the release of the CD, Shawna made her national television debut on the popular show "INSIDE MUSIC ROW" and the COUNTRY MUSIC ASSOCIATION named her as one of their "Who New To Watch in 2008" artists. Since then, Shawna’s music has received rave reviews from the CMA Close Up, Country Weekly, The Oklahoman, and esteemed Music Row critic, Robert K. Oermann. And she has earned International acclaim from some of Europe’s top music publications, including Maverick Magazine (UK) and DreamWest Magazine (France).
Shawna Russell  03/26/2009            
Shawna's video "Should've Been Born With Wheels is #1 at Over 3500 hits in ONE DAY... Check out her new single Fire In the Desert on Texas Radio NOW!
Shawna Russell  01/25/2009            
SHAWNA RUSSELL RELEASES VIDEO FOR “SHOULD’VE BEEN BORN WITH WHEELS” NASHVILLE, TN (January 21, 2008) -- Shawna Russell has released a video for her current Way Out West Records single, “Should’ve Been Born With Wheels.” The video has been added at And it is currently featured as a “Top Pick” at “Wheels” was directed and produced by Flick Wiltshire of Nashville-based Vintage Flick. Shooting for the production took place in late-November 2008 at various locations in Oklahoma, including the Sellers Ranch, Crow River Bottom and other locations in and around Drumright, and at the Steel Horse Saloon in Seminole. R.A. (Rick) Sellers was Executive Producer for the project and Clif Doyal of Way Out West Records served as Assistant Director. A real “family affair,” the video features several members of the Russell family including Shawna’s father Keith, uncle Tim, and sister Jayme - who all perform in her band. Her grandmother Norma Russell and nephew Nick Haddox also make their acting debuts. As the video opens, Russell’s band is setting up for a show, but she is not there yet. Her RV is smoking and broken down on the side of the road. As the story unfolds, she strikes out for the gig – guitar in hand – and hitches a series of rides with an interesting cast of characters. The vignettes are intercut with solo performance shots of Russell on electric guitar and full band sequences which highlight her on slide guitar. Always heavily involved in all aspects of her career, Russell - who co-wrote the song - conceived the storyline for the video along with Tim Russell. “It is based on an actual event that happened to us when we were on the road in Texas several years ago,” Russell explains. “Our RV caught on fire and we had to leave it on the side of the road. Looking back, it’s funny now, but it sure wasn’t at the time!” Russell adds, “It was a real blast to make this video. We had so much fun. I’m looking forward to the next one!” Also look for Russell in a Country Weekly “Who’s New” feature in the Jan. 26 edition of the magazine - on newsstands now. For the latest updates, go to or
Shawna Russell  01/19/2009            
See Shawna's new video on CMT.COM It's cool!
Shawna Russell  12/16/2008            
George Pedon
Shawna Russell Goddess Review By: George Peden, CSO Staff Journalist “There could be no happier moment in a person’s life than the moment that they can see, touch and hear their dreams. For me, this is that moment.” ~ Liner notes from Goddess. Happy is the person who can find what truly makes them content. Country newcomer Shawna Russell seems to have found the answer. It revolves around music and family. This Oklahoman is out with her debut album, Goddess, and it’s a solid mix of both. First: the music. There’s talent aplenty here, with Russell co-penning 12 of the 13 tracks. The album glides, and easily, from rocky toe-tappers to contemplative introspection. “Back On My Feet”, with its hard pounded rock feel, is the album opener, claiming an immediate take notice hearing from this listener. Russell soars in her delivery, pumping her vocals without distortion, jam or jar. She may be country, but this no backwoods nasal whine -- she knows how to rock. Among the radio-friendly here is a chart potential “Don’t Put Yourself Out”. With its Shania/Faith taint, the song pulls in the right direction. It’s hooky. It’s catchy, and if it lands heads up on the right radio programmer’s pile, the song could entrée Russell to wider commercial success. “Cemetery Hill” with it’s tale of contrast – on Friday nights the eerie surrounds give way to upbeat music and party times, while a “sadder song” plays out in the daylight hours, is a sign Russell can stretch beyond the “hurtin, leavin’ and losin’ of the familiar . The harmony rich “Goddess”, with Russell’s voice primed and pure, is also a partnership of good writing and melody. Listen out also for “The Only One”, “Fire In The Desert” and the strength of “Get Out Of My Way”, just to hear how songs can live when passion is applied. On Russell’s webpage is a video, “Shed A Tear”. The tune, written with her uncle, Tim, and former frontman for Little Texas, Tim Rushlow, is a poignant reminder: war and duty are not the exclusives of men. The song, with it’s homage to women who serve, is sensitive, honest and thoughtful. “They prepared her for war and combat, but not the war in her heart,” say the lyrics. In these times of conflict and uncertainty, women who bravely leave the comfort of home and the security of family, even their children, need not only our thanks but a wider understanding of their unique sacrifice –this song helps with that understanding. While the needed mix of talent, rich vocals and cutting songs make this album one to wait on, Russell would readily admit her reward lies in the family bonds behind this CD. “Most of the songs were written with my dad, Keith, and my uncle Tim, says the singer who cites Trisha Yearwood as an influence. “It was the most amazing thing. We would get together with some rough ideas, and several hours later we’d have these killer tunes.” (Just to complete the family circle, Jayme, Shawna’s little sister, does harmony.) It may be an modest answer to the evolution of these tunes, but it overlooks Russell has been honing her style since fronting her dad’s band at age 12 – the last three years on the road with Garth’s band buddy, Ty England, have further helped stamp out her distinctive presence. Do yourself the favor. Order it.
Shawna Russell  12/10/2008            
Today's Country Magazine
“Goddess” is Shawna Russell’s debut album, but she is certainly not a newcomer. Her past includes live performances at well-known national venues like Billy Bob’s, The Wildhorse Saloon, Grizzly Rose, etc… And she has spent the past three years touring with Ty England before deciding to take a stab at a solo album. She is more than ready to be one of country music’s top rising stars if “Goddess” is any indication and it is evident the minute that you hit play and are met with the upbeat “Back on My Feet,” which begs to be compared to the likes of “Beautiful Goodbye” era Jennifer Hanson. The guitars smoothly deliver the licks that will have you bouncing along with Russell’s crisp radio friendly vocals; a trend that continues on tracks like the roadhouse flavored “Should’ve Been Born With Wheels,” and the honky tonk tinged album closer “Little Dixie.” Russell hasn’t forgotten about the ballad though as she displays her ability to let her voice carry a great lyric on “The Only One,” a love song that offers hope to the rejected, and “Shed A Tear,” an outstanding song with a lyric paying tribute to women that serve in the military offering a different look at a solider then we are used to hearing in most songs. From the upbeat, pop driven songs, to great ballads, to a voice that shines throughout, Shawna Russell has put out a very solid debut effort that encompasses everything modern country is. This is a must have album for any fan of modern country and Shawna Russell is an artist to definitely keep an eye on.
Shawna Russell  12/08/2008            
Country Weekly
Country Weekly Magazine April 7, 2008 Edition Shawna Russell Goddess CD Review by Chris Neal * * * ½ (3 ½ Stars out of 5) Shawna Russell hails from Okemah, Okla., but her promising debut is contemporary country soaked in the influence of 1970’s country-rock and California pop – the drummer on Goddess is L.A. session veteran Russ Kunkel, the lone cover is of Firefall’s 1978 rock hit “Strange Way,” and the role model most clearly evoked throughout the album is Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks. It’s a winning fusion that evokes the era’s sense of mystery while remaining grounded in the present – especially on the scorcher “Fire in the Desert,” which Stevie might have been proud to call her own.
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