A powerful, new female blues voice that evokes the spirit and grit of Janis Joplin and the contemporary delivery of Beth Hart, belongs to an indigenous North American named Crystal Shawanda. Her new album, Voodoo Woman, captures the intensity an incredible range of this performer who story is finally being told.
Crystal grew up on the Wikwemikong reserve on an island in Ontario, Canada. Her parents taught her to sing and play guitar and encouraged her to play country songs, but it was her oldest brother who introduced her to the blues.
She was signed as a country artist to RCA Records in 2007. Her country debut album produced a Top 20 hit on country radio, sold over 50,000 copies in the US, and went top 20 on Billboard’s country albums chart, but left Crystal feeling like a fish out of water. While on the road promoting the album, visiting radio stations, she wrote the “Whole World’s Got The Blues,” and told RCA Nashville she wanted to make blues album. She formed her own label, New Sun Records, and begin making that music that was her calling. The blues.
“The music just fell out of me and it was like setting my voice free,” she says. “I can’t help but feel like I’m home, no longer holding back.”
Voodoo Woman is Crystal’s third blues album and the first be released outside of Canada. it is a modern take on the blues but is deeply rooted with heart wrenching laments and catchy rump-shakers. It’s where the North meets the South and it captures the resilience of the human spirit… much like the way Crystal does.
“VooDoo Woman is a whole new Crystal Shawanda,” she says. “And when you think about it, blues is the root of everything; country, pop, rock — they all derive from the blues… Maybe this album is like a mini-education in blues! If that’s how people approach it, well, that’s fine with me.”