Released in 2016 on Tranimal Records
Artist website: shawnavirago.com
“Gender Armageddon” Music Video: https://youtu.be/8kz0vo0exmY
Shawna Virago is a San Francisco folk-punk singer/songwriter and author (read one of her great short stories here) that has been actively participating in events centering around queer, underground artists for 20+ years. Having come out as trans-femme in the pre-internet age when people “didn’t give a shit about us”, she has a natural affinity for punks, rebels, and outcasts that shines through in her music.
She recorded her latest full length, Heaven Sent Delinquent, at San Francisco’s famed Tiny Telephone Studios armed with only an acoustic guitar, harmonica, and her sultry, resonant vocals. Her raw, direct storytelling recalls raunchy escapades with ex-lovers, nostalgic adventures of hitchhiking and robbery, and not-so-fond memories of gambling-addicted boyfriends and escaping hometown judgement. Although the music is very vocal/lyric-driven, impressive guitar licks and intricate picking patterns often stand out and really add some flare to the songs.
A few of the highlight tracks deal with religious themes, like “Holy Rollers” and it’s sharp lines about religious hypocrisy (“Now Jesus fills them up, But Jim Beam fills their cup”, “They’re known as Holy Rollers, Who feel the sin but no salvation”, “They believe the Lord above, Will pull them out of darkness, but why He won’t get the lights back on is his own business, They were taught life’s a journey, but they always miss the scenery”). Shawna on the other hand, a “Heaven Sent Delinquent”, sees how the hyper-religious are missing the point and is determined to blaze her own path to salvation by stealing a car and smashing “through the gates of Heaven” as “the whole damn place was ready to burn in a Gender Armageddon” (From “Gender Armadeddon”).
(This review was commissioned by an independent promotion company)