Shannon LaBrie is a Nashville based singer-songwriter who brings life to insightful stories of a woman who remains true to herself in a life where only uncertainty is certain. She creates music with emotionally-charged lyrics that give a voice to the love and loss she has experienced throughout her life.
LaBrie is a fearless performer and guitar player whose music possesses a unique blend of Americana and Soul.
Saw in your bio “Nebraska Born Singer … Allergic to corn”. What are your favorite foods from your home state?
Whenever I go home, I dig into the nostalgic foods of my childhood, so on the top of the list is going to be Runza, Taco Inn, and Valentino’s. One bite, and I’m transported to my favorite memories of youth! Also top of the list is my Mom’s chocolate cake and potato soup.
You’ve said it was your Dad who influenced your career choice, “he taught me my first guitar chords and the basic structure of a song”. How has songwriting helped you deal with his passing?
My Mom has always said that I remind her so much of my Dad when it comes to creativity. Sometimes I wonder if he realized our kindred spirit in music, and made it a point to pass along the gift of songwriting because he knew how badly I’d need it to cope. Songwriting helped me grieve his loss and made me feel close to him, even after he’d gone.
Family. Praying for your niece — how is Eddison Joy doing?
Thank you for asking. Currently, Eddi is doing amazing! She is too young to fully understand the gravity of things, which is good because that allows her the freedom to be her happy, joyous fun self. Keep the prayers coming; there is a long journey ahead.
Pet adoption. Having my heart touched years ago by a rescue (my sweet angel beagle Ben came from the local humane society), I know how pets are truly family. How did you get involved with the Foster To Forever program?
I love pet rescue and believe wholeheartedly that we aren’t so much pet rescuers as animals are human rescuers. I was asked to participate in the Foster To Forever campaign, and after taking one look at what they do, I was hooked. Animals keep us all grounded and soul connected.
Can you share Nike’s “Dream it! BUILD it! Act on it!” #racemvmt challenge with fans?
Nicole Hardy Miller partnered with the Nike Run app and started the Race Movement. While the Race Movement has a component around running, the challenge also focuses on mind movement. It is geared towards focusing on education, learning, building out knowledge of equality that will drive conversations and actions continually. I just started on Juneteenth, and it’s not too late to join! The goal is to run 70 miles in 31 days for Color of Change.
I love it because Nicole provides listening materials to soak in while on the run. The materials acknowledge systematic racism and white privilege and help me think about how I can be part of the solution.
I’ve felt like I’ve needed a song like this for years, and thanks to Joe and Tia, I finally have it. All three of us had, in many ways, come through the fire, and I was ready to write a song with some oomph. Tia had suggested the title “Fire Walker,” a few weeks prior, and with Joe in the room, it just felt right and easy. I must admit, I feel more resilient and powerful every time I sing it.
“I needed a song to give me guts every day. I wanted a song that I could sing that ignited strength, confidence, and grit.” How did Charles Yingling and Brent Maher at Blueroom Studios bring out your vision in just a few takes?
The more I record in the studio, the more I realize that it’s the people you are in the room with that make all the difference in the world. Charles and Brent truly create such a safe and collaborative space that it’s impossible not to feel deeply focused and inspired. They also ease the nerves, which in my opinion, is essential to performance.
Now you’re releasing the video for the new single. Director Roger Pistole filmed it in the woods near Nashville after stay-at-home restrictions were lifted. Were there any unique challenges filming without a crew and at a social distance?
What I love about Roger is he doesn’t shy away from an experiment. There were lots of unique challenges as a result of social distancing. Our crew was limited to just the two of us. He ultimately single-handedly did the job of 5 people in one night. Essentially, COVID-19 put parameters around filming, and the challenge to try something completely new with so many restrictions was inspiring. I guess that makes us both optimists.
With tours postponed until next year, how will you be promoting your new single?
Reading this made me laugh out loud. It’s a whole new world for me and just about anyone in the entertainment industry. Again, being that I’m an optimist, I do find inspiration in finding new ways to tell stories and connect with people.
One of the ways I’m hoping to share the stories of the album is through a new video series called “The Building Project.” It will primarily focus on local Nashville businesses and highlight how they are opening and staying safe in these COVID times. It will also highlight a special guest artist with performances. I love my community and am hoping the series will encourage the neighborhood to continue to stay strong and stay safe through hearing the stories of our local workers and musicians.
Following 2016’s critically acclaimed “War & Peace”, what can fans expect on your upcoming full-length album?
I’m so proud of this new album. These songs mean the world to me. The last few years have been hard — very hard. The themes represented in these songs are the beacons that led me through the fire and onward to where I am now, and my greatest hope is that they will encourage others not to give up and be inspired by the people in their lives and the earth around us.
The album was recorded all live and to tape at The Blueroom Studios in Nashville. The beauty of recording live is that you can’t change anything. There’s no going back in and tweaking, tuning, or adjusting. It is what it is. I hope when people hear this record, they hear their own stories and are inspired to look at the brighter side.
You wrote that you didn’t think you’ve listened to more music than what you have in these past few months. What songs would be on a Firewalkers Unite 2020 playlist?
What a fabulous question! I’ve been listening to music across the board…just a few off the top of my head I’ve been repeating a lot…
1. Aretha Franklin’s version of “A Change Is Gonna Come”
2. Kyshona Armstrong “Too Much”
3. Liz Longley “Funeral For My Past”
4. Al Green “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart”
5. Gabe Dixon “All Will Be Well”
6. Leon Bridges “Sweeter”
7. Michael Logan “Everybody Feels Alone”
8. Matt Lovell “Trouble”
9. Rayland Baxter “Yellow Eyes”
10. Mike Hicks “Come Go With Me”
11. Joseph “Enough In Your Eyes”
12. Valerie June “Workin’ Woman Blues”
13. Skylar Gregg “Landfill”
14. Alabama Shakes ENTIRE album Sound and Color
15. 21 Pilots “Polarize”
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