Click to return to Dave’s Music Database home page.

Released: October 1989

Rating: 4.436 (average of 7 ratings)

Genre: contemporary folk rock

Quotable: “A must have for anyone who loves acoustic music created in the grand tradition of Joni Mitchell and James Taylor.” – Kelly McCartney, All Music Guide

Album Tracks:

  1. Steady On
  2. Diamond in the Rough
  3. Shotgun Down the Avalanche
  4. Stranded
  5. Another Long One
  6. Cry Like an Angel
  7. Something to Believe In
  8. The Story
  9. Ricochet in Time
  10. The Dead of the Night

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only --
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated --


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 111
peak on U.K. album chart --

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Steady On (1/20/90) #30 AC, #23 MR

Notes: --



Steady On
Shawn Colvin
Shawn Colvin’s debut album, Steady On, established her quickly on the folk rock scene by snagging a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album. With notable guests such as Suzanne Vega and Bruce Hornsby, Colvin crafts music “in the grand tradition of Joni Mitchell and James Taylor, two legends Colvin now counts as contemporaries.” KM

“That Colvin has…[become] one of contemporary folk’s most endearing performers not only underscores the subject of her songs but suggests her true appeal – heartfelt, often confessional lyrics and well-crafted melodies that evoke a broad palette of emotions.” NH

“The opening strains of the wistful title track set the mood and ease you into Colvin’s head and heart, as you embark on this journey with her to discover countless souls and their heretofore untold truths.” KM

“Colvin’s tender, sometimes whisper-like performances are astonishing and haunting, provocative and seductive all at once,” KM such as “on delicate balladry like Shotgun Down the Avalanche.” NH “On a album full of great songs, …[it]still stands as one of her finest compositions, with its metaphoric imagery of riding an out-of-control emotional tide as one would cascade helplessly down a mountain of snow.” KM

“The requisite troubadour-on-the-road tune, Ricochet in Time, is made ever more poignant by Colvin’s sleepy vocal track, bringing home the weariness that is a very large part of being an artist on tour.” KM

“Then there are the songs that flow so effortlessly into one another that to remove even one would seemingly upset the entire balance of the cosmos as we know it. The sly Colvin adeptly plays with words, beats, phrasing, and rhymes, focusing not just on the meaning, but also the feel and rhythm of the lyrics to great effect. Having once claimed that she tends to write about the ‘positive side of the painful experience,’ this album proves her point, for even if you do listen amidst gray skies and drizzles, you will be soothed to the point of contentment.” KM

“Sonically, Steady On is a triumph, with its emotional intimacy captured with smooth precision.” KM It “is a must have for anyone who loves acoustic music.” KM

Review Source(s):

Related DMDB Link(s):

next album: Fat City (1992)

Last updated January 12, 2010.