Artist Spotlight at The Rodeo Crystal Shawanda
Crystal Shawanda is a country and blues solo musician. Growing up on the Wikwemikong reserve on an island in Ontario, Canada, she learned country music and the guitar from her parents and the blues from her brother.
She would sit on the top of the stairs in her house listening to her brother play Muddy Waters, B.B. King and Etta James in their basement.
Her professional country music career started at age 10 with paid gigs and by 12, Shawanda was frequently visiting Nashville with her truck driver dad. At 16, she moved to the Music City. After moving back to Canada, she settled in Nashville to play at Tootsies Orchid Lounge almost daily.
Scott Hendricks discovered Crystal Shawanda and Joe Galante signed her to RCA records after hearing her cover Janis Joplin and B.B. King. Her album created a top 20 country radio single. It was the highest selling album by a Native American in history.
Crystal Shawanda left country music to sing the blues. Her new album Voodoo Woman was released on November 24th
Listen to Crystal Shawanda cover Etta James’ “I’d Rather Go Blind” below.