Critic's Choice

Michelle Shocked

Michelle Shocked, with Sonny Landreth, Sunday, December 17, at the Boulder Theater, has always presented a deft combination of punk philosophy and folk tradition, beginning with the rustic and bluesy Texas Campfire Tapes, a sparely recorded acoustic offering that caught the attention of fans and, later, Mercury Records, in the late '80s. A legal snafu with the label followed (Shocked sued Mercury in order to get out of her contract), establishing Shocked as a bold artist willing to take her career into her own hands, as well as take artistic chances. Her refusal to stick to one sound has resulted in a fine, eclectic body of work, as Shocked has tackled every genre from big-band-era swing to gospel. Shocked's recorded output has slowed somewhat of late -- her most recent CD, Kind Hearted Woman was released in 1996 -- but she's still writing: Sunday's performance will consist of all new material. And she's still engaging audiences with her irreverence, her wit and her talent. Sunday's performance with Landreth, the trusty and accomplished Cajun slide guitarist, marks the final E-towntaping of the year.

 
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