Shawna Russell was introduced onto the national music scene with the release of her debut CD, Goddess, in early 2008. But her reputation as a world-class talent had already caught the attention of many folks in the music industry. Prior to the release of the CD, Shawna made her national television debut on the popular show "Inside Music Row" and the Country Music Association named her as one of their "Who's New To Watch in 2008" artists.
With the release of Goddess, Shawna's star began to rise. Soon, top music critics weighed in. Chris Neal of Country Weekly gave Goddess a 3 ½ star review and Music Row's Robert K.Oermann gave Shawna and the title single a "DISCovery Award," his highest compliment to a new artist. Critical praise abounded, with rave reviews from CMA Close Up, Maverick, Nashville Music Guide, The Oklahoman, Music News Nashville, Country Stars Online and others.
In a short time, Shawna's label, Way Out West Records, of which she is a partner, introduced her with the single, "Goddess" and she began touring radio stations across the country. Impressively, she made her way into coveted performance and interview slots on KBEQ-Kansas City's highly-rated morning show with Mike Kennedy, Atlanta's powerhouse WUBL, and on Washington DC's "Voice of America" which broadcasts to an international audience. And, she signed to Buddy Lee Attractions for booking.
You might ask: How did an Oklahoma-based singer/songwriter and performer make such an impact with a small independent label release in such a short time? The quick answer: She earned it.
Shawna first sang in public at age 7. At 13, she and her dad, Keith, formed a full-fledged country band that played for clubs and Elks Lodges nearly every weekend. Four years later, she joined her uncle Tim's band, "Way Out West," which was already a successful regional band on the "A" club circuit across the Southwest. Shawna always carried her weight on-stage, building her remarkable chops on acoustic rhythm, electric slide and lead guitar.