Michelle Shocked was born Michelle Johnston in Dallas, TX, in 1962, where she spent her early childhood traveling around army bases. In 1977, she ran away by her Mormon fundamentalist mother to live with her father, who released her to nation bluesmen extreme Bill Broonzy and Leadbelly, as well as contemporary songwriters Guy Clark and Randy Newman. She spent the next various years exploring the folk underground, spending the early ’80s in Austin, where she commenced honing her individual songwriting skills. After sacrificing out in the University of Texas, she moved to San Francisco, where she in no time embraced the city’s punk scene. When she returned house, her mother had her committed to a psychiatric hospital. She was released when her insurance ran out. Shocked left Texas in 1983, traveled throughout the U.S., and became an activist in a squatters movement in New York. In 1984, she moved to Amsterdam.
In 1986, Shocked returned towards the U.S. and, while volunteering at the Kerrville Folk Festival, English producer Pete Lawrence was impressed by her campfire-side playing and recorded her on his Sony Walkman. The recordings surfaced inside a fall of that year as The Texas Campfire Tapes on Cooking Vinyl Records and became a surprise hit in England, occasionally topping the independent charts. The success led to her signing with Mercury Records in 1988. Short well-defined Shocked, produced by Pete Anderson in 1988, displayed even more talent, combining the informal, tradition-rooted folkiness of The Texas Campfire Tapes with a burgeoning postmodern feminist perspective and punk attitude. The recording very quick earned her respect among the choice community and critics. In an unexpected move, Shocked returned in 1989 with Captain Swing, a ’40s-style high band swing outing that surprised her practitioners initially but had no shortage of strong material. In 1992, she took something of a step back with Arkansas Traveler, a rootsy collection of songs dependent on the blackface minstrelsy that sprayed all forms of early American, homegrpersonal music. In 1993, Mercury finally became fed up with her confusing style jumping and refused to release her proposed gospel cd. She then left on a solo tour, selling her newly recorded, independently built (with Tony Berg) Kind Hearted Woman. not old in 1995, Shocked commenced legal action against Mercury Records to break her contract.
By 1996, Shocked was released through Mercury and embarked on the First Annual Underground Test Site Tour, with Fianchna O’Braonain. Another independent release, Artists put together Lousy Slaves, was sold at the productions. Kind Hearted Woman was picked up for commercial re-release by Private Music in 1996, and as a condition of her release from Mercury, her old label released a “best-of” compilation, Mercury Poise: 1988-1995, the same year. After laying low for various years, in 2002 Shocked re-emerged with a new recording, the gospel-influenced Deep Natural, and her personal record label, Mighty Sound. also to releasing new work through Shocked, Mighty Sound started a program of expanded reissues of her back catalog, which she gained operate of following her release via Mercury. In mid-2005, Shocked audaciously released a new trilogy of very various lps all on the same day, June 7: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Mexican Standoff, and bought No Strings. Mighty Sound also created the 3 recordings available as a set called Threesome. To Heaven U Ride, a collection of covers and originals recorded live from Shocked’s 2003 performance at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, appeared in 2007, followed by nature of My liveliness, an all-new place of originals in 2009.