Diamond In The Rough by Shawn Colvin


6 Critic Reviews

Colvin chronicles an impressive array of accompanists and backup, two husbands, and myriad awards.
-Publishers Weekly


After learning to play guitar at the age of ten, Shawn Colvin was determined to make a life in music—a decision that would send a small-town girl out on the open road for good. In 1997, two decades after she started, she got her big break. Like the troubled would-be arsonist and survivor of her smash hit "Sunny Came Home," Colvin knows a thing or two about heartache—and setting fires. Diamond in the Rough recounts this passionate musician's coming-of-age, from the prairies of South Dakota to the dark smoky bars in Austin, Texas, to the world stage at the Grammys.

Humorous and deeply honest, Colvin relates the experiences behind her best-loved songs in vivid color in this memoir. Diamond in the Rough captures her years of touring cross-country in bands and vans full of guys; falling in and out of love; meeting heroes like Joni Mitchell; searching for her musical identity; and making friendships that would last a lifetime. It is also an unflinching account of Colvin's struggles—weathering addiction and depression, learning to care for not only herself but also a child—and, always, channeling those experiences into song.

With the wit, lyricism, and empathy that have characterized Colvin's performances and inspired audiences worldwide, Diamond in the Rough looks back over a rich lifetime of highs and lows with stunning insight and candor. In its pages, we witness the inspiring story of a woman honing her artistry, finding her voice, and making herself whole.


About Shawn Colvin

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Shawn Colvin is a singer-songwriter and musician. She began performing in bands in the late 1970s, and after years of honing her skills in Austin, Texas, and the New York folk scene Colvin released her debut album Steady On in 1989, earning a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album. Her breakthrough success was the album A Few Small Repairs in 1996, featuring the song Sunny Came Home, a top-ten hit which won Grammys for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. Colvin has released ten albums, won three Grammy Awards and been nominated for seven others.
Published February 5, 2011 by OnlineSheetMusic.com. 240 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Diamond In The Rough
All: 6 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 1


Below average
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Apr 15 2012

Ultimately, there’s too much "Of Meds and Men" and too little of the music that made Colvin popular.

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Publishers Weekly

Reviewed by Publisher's Weekly on Apr 16 2012

Colvin chronicles an impressive array of accompanists and backup, two husbands, and myriad awards.

Read Full Review of Diamond In The Rough | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

The Independent

Reviewed by Fiona Sturges on Jul 01 2012

Unlike the countless young pups catapulted to stardom in their teens, Colvin had the wisdom and self-awareness not to let it overwhelm her. 

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The Boston Globe

Reviewed by Scott McLennan on May 05 2012

Examining her early life, Colvin assures readers that music was her salvation, and by the final chapters that reflect on where she is at currently, she convinces them that her music still serves that purpose.

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Austin Chronicle

Reviewed by Abby Johnston on Jun 15 2012

With the frank additions of the names of her lovers, the memoir gives just the right amount of juicy details to the stories behind her most celebrated songs.

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Wade Kwon

Reviewed by Wade Kwon on Nov 09 2012

After “Diamond in the Rough,” I understand Shawn Colvin the person better.

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Nicole Petticord

Nicole Petticord 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list