Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
When people learn that singer/songwriter Shana Morrison is Van Morrison's adult daughter, the first thing they want to know is how much she has been influenced by her father. Van Morrison's writing has influenced his daughter's work, but not tremendously; Shana's gritty, bluesy, approach to pop/rock and roots rock actually owes a lot more to female singer/songwriters like Bonnie Raitt and Melissa Etheridge. When Shana's recordings are playing, one doesn't think of "Brown-Eyed Girl" or "Moondance" (two of her father's big hits). One is more likely to think of Sheryl Crow, Joan Osborne, Patti Rothberg, and some of the other female singer/songwriters who emerged in the '90s. Nonetheless, Van Morrison did a lot to encourage his daughter's interest in music. Growing up in the same house as the man who gave us "Jackie Wilson Said (I'm in Heaven When You Smile)," Shana was inevitably exposed to a great deal of music: rock, R&B, blues, jazz, and folk, as well as Irish/Celtic music. Unlike her father, she wasn't born in Belfast, Ireland; she was born in Kingston, NY, on April 7, 1970, and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. However, Morrison acquired an extensive knowledge of Celtic music thanks to her Irish relatives. When the singer/songwriter reached adulthood, she wasn't necessarily planning to follow in her father's footsteps; realizing that only a very small fraction of the people who pursued careers in music would earn a good living at it (let alone enjoy her father's success), Morrison studied business administration as a graduate student and wanted something outside of music to fall back on. Nonetheless, Morrison did, in fact, end up devoting all of her time to music. After graduating from college in 1993, Morrison went on the road with her father's Rhythm and Soul Revue as a featured artist. She did a lot of songwriting then and after that tour ended in 1994, she formed her own band Caledonia. Not to be confused with an excellent but little-known New York goth rock outfit that also went by Caledonia in the '90s, Morrison's band was named after one of her dad's songs. She soon acquired a small local following in the Bay Area and in 1997, she recorded her debut album, which was also called Caledonia. Her album was originally released on her own label, Belfast Violet, but in 1999, the CD was reissued by the Brisbane, CA-based Monster Music. It was also in 1999 that Morrison collaborated with Northern California bluesman Roy Rogers (not to be confused with the famous Cincinnati-born cowboy vocalist) on the album Everybody's Angel. In 2001, she signed with Vanguard and recorded 7 Wishes, which was produced by guitarist Steve Buckingham. Vanguard released 7 Wishes in April 2002; "Smoke in Bed" became the album's lead single.