Uncovered's twelve tunes include songs by Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Tom Waits, Stevie Wonder, Robbie Robertson and Graham Nash to name a few, but in their selection and delivery, they are pure Shawn Colvin. As Shawn says: "Unless a song moves you, it doesn't matter what you do with it."
Following 1994’s critically lauded release Cover Girl, Uncovered is Colvin’s second complete album to feature masterful interpretations of songs written by other people. Eagles guitarist Steuart Smith, who produced Cover Girl, returns, with Stewart Lerman, as producer for Uncovered. The album also features guest vocalists David Crosby (on Gerry Rafferty's "Baker Street") and Marc Cohn (on "Give me a Little Sign," made famous by Bretton Wood).
For Colvin, the difference between the two cover albums is that the now, the three-time Grammy-winner is a fully seasoned writer and interpreter. "The songs on Cover Girl were actually staples of my live act at the time," Shawn explains. "This wasn't the case with Uncovered. Some of these songs I knew how to play, others I learned for the purpose of recording this album. Until you learn a song, you don't know if you can bring anything to it." She continues, "Twenty-one years later, even though I am primarily known as the composer of my material, I've never tired of learning covers, and I had more than a few in the hopper. It seemed fitting to get together with Steuart once more and record a follow-up to Cover Girl."
Uncovered's gems include Colvin’s sepia-tinged interpretation of Tom Waits’ ballad "Hold On” (co-written by Waits with his wife Kathleen Brenan). Colvin will feature that song in performance on her upcoming tour with Don Henley, as well as her version of the Graham Nash composition "I Used to Be a King," the latter in part a nod to Colvin’s deep admiration of (and friendship with) the members of Crosby, Still, and Nash.
Uncovered closes with "Til I Get It Right," the Red Lane-Larry Henley composition taken to the top of the country charts by Tammy Wynette in 1973. It is this last song, a statement of controlled passion and resilience that is presented more faithfully to the original recording than any ofUncovered's other numbers. It also encapsulates the intent of the album as a whole.
"The title Uncovered has a few meanings," Shawn reveals. "It means uncovering as in an excavation, and uncovered in the sense of vulnerability. This album was made very spontaneously, we didn't over-think or overdub it. One of my friends said to me, 'You sound so exposed on this record!' and I think that's the thematic key, vulnerability."