"Tiffany Shea is musical sushi: raw, delectable, modern, and entertaining."
Go!Triad (winston-Salem, North Carolina)
"Tiffany Shea is hardly a gentle balladeer with a wounded heart. She sings with raw passion and throws down energetic shows of original alt-pop-rock. Shea is a cool jewel with an attitude..."
Fort Worth Star Telegram (Fort Worth, Texas)
"I watched as kids in their teens stood just inches from the stage hanging on to her every word...they were caught in a trance that she wove with her vibrant voice, animated facial expressions and intermittent sincere dialogue."
Live Show Review, North Carolina - www.strutteronthetown.com
"She's got a tight band and a strong voice on her own often angst-filled songs which lose neither power nor promise in translation."
Buddy Magazine (Texas)
"Her songs deliver universal themes in a pop-flavored package"
Dallas Morning News (Dallas, TX)
"Tiffany Shea puts the rock where it needs to go."
Creative Loafing (Atlanta, GA)
"The Tiffany Shea Band is like the little engine that could."
The Weekender (Boston, MA)
"She's a hoot. Shea played more than three hours of original music at her CD Release party, then she attended the Grammy Awards by creating a fake employee identification card, wearing a fake uniform, sneaking inside the convention center, then changing into a dress, and using another faked all-access pass. That kind of chutzpah, combined with obvious talent and stage presence, makes Shea a favorite of yours and ours."
FW Weekly (Fort Worth, Texas)
by John Price- Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Tiffany Shea probably wrote her first song inside her mother’s womb, and seconds after birth booked her first show. I’m pretty sure that she got her first standing ovation from the visitors looking at her in the hospital.
Tiffany Shea is more than your flavor of the week artist. In an industry of manufactured performers, she is definitely a breath of fresh air. She has the personality to win over the most unruly crowd and the spunk and determination to make all of her dreams come true....and we will be there to say 'we knew her when.'
Tiffany stormed through our area in 2004 with her band, who was touring nationally at the time. She is returning this fall for the 1st time.
Tell me about that tour:
"That was a really cool year-- because for an artist, seeing that the audience is really listening, absorbing each song like a refreshing drink of water is completely rewarding. That’s what those shows were like; the musicianship of my band was amazing and we were excited about our record & totally polished; it was our first national tour, and the crowd loved it—so it was just an all-around awesome experience," said Tiffany in a phone interview we recently conducted.
When an artist strips their music down and goes acoustic, it really exposes them to the audience. Not all artists can pull it off because it makes them so vulnerable. This is when true talent shines; and oh my goodness, does Tiffany shine! She absolutely beams on stage. She has such a charismatic personality that even before she sings, you can’t help but be intrigued. Everything from her smile to her infectious laugh just grabs you. Her 2009 solo tour set is full of many power numbers from her wildly successful album “Phoenix,” and a lot of songs she has written since, that have not yet been recorded. You might be lucky enough for her to close the show with a moving cover of Trent Reznor's “Hurt,” which always gives me goose bumps... and I’ve seen it move others to tears on more than one occasion. She was inspired to cover the song after seeing the powerful video rendition of the song by Johnny Cash.
Tiffany is not a stranger to the music scene. She has been performing since 1997, first solo and then exploded onto the DFW scene with her band debut at the Hard Rock Cafe (Dallas) in that November. She has released an amazing 13, yes 13, albums in that amount of time, and is planning the release of her 14th album this year. I think the only artist to put out more CDs on that time frame would be Tupac, but he doesn’t count since he’s not touring anymore.
She was born into a musical family; her dad a drummer and her mom a piano teacher and church musician. Tiffany began singing in church when she was young and later got involved in Community Theater.
How did you decide to start a rock band?
"When I was 19 years old, I went to see Sister 7, a powerful passion/funk/rock/soul band out of Austin, Texas. From the minute that I saw them perform, I KNEW that was what I wanted to do with my life. It’s interesting-- Patrice Pike was the lead singer of that band. Now she and I are touring together this summer. Patrice was a finalist on the CBS show “Rock Star: Supernova” with Tommy Lee a couple of years ago-- (and I was a semi-finalist!), then she was inducted into the Texas Music Hall of Fame this year. She totally rocks, and I think when you watch her perform, you’ll see and hear the kind of influence her music has had on what I do. I love the full circle that all these years later, we're co-headlining a tour."
Tiffany’s sound, both vocally and musically, is very unique. Imagine taking the powerful melodic rock of Pat Benatar, then adding the over-the-top personality of Cyndi Lauper, then adding a touch of the ghostly Tori Amos sound and sprinkling in some Ani DiFranco attitude. Put them all in a blender and process them, and you'll have a glimpse of what this woman is capable of.
If someone were deaf and you had to paint a canvas to describe your sound to them, how would you do it?
"Wow, that’s an amazing question. Well, you know I love to paint. I think all of my art is an extension of who I am. I think the canvas would have lots of bold colors and it would be multimedia with tons of textures so that they could touch it and feel all the different movement and energies. It would be abstract, while still evoking a feeling that’s understandable as both fluid and intense at the same time. My songs are raw, human emotion. I think I capture that in my music and art, where it’s not so cryptic or so black and white that it’s boring."
I can say for certain, that ‘boring’ is one word that has never been used to describe this young lady.
The music industry has been in such turmoil the last few years and yet Tiffany is determined to keep marching on just as she has done for over ten years now.
So with all the ups and downs, what keeps you going?
"I have been doing this since 1997, and if I'm gonna be really honest, I haven't always kept going...but I try to walk, then just can't seem to stay away! I have been on my own for all but two of my CD releases, which were on independent labels. In the summer of 2005, I had a major career let-down and just crashed mentally and emotionally really hard. I was totally burnt out, man. I mean, I had been doing all of this by myself-- booking my own shows internationallyplaying about 250 dates a year, while doing my own graphic design for my merch & promotional stuff, writing and producing all of the music & arrangements, producing the live show, funding my albums and travel through selling paintings and touring my ass off, and after a decade of keeping that schedule, it just got to be too much... and then I took a hit that knocked me out. I decided to 'quit music' to try and figure out what else I wanted to do. I tried working in an office and quickly found out that wasn’t gonna work for me. I went to audio engineering school and I constantly found myself wanting to be on the 'other' side of the glass. I went to art school and was constantly creating visual art... about music. No matter how much I wanted to quit the business, songs kept coming into my head and I had to get them out by recording them fully produced. I figured out that music is not what I do, it’s woven into the micro-fibers of my being. It’s a gift-- from somewhere or some ‘One’ else-- and therefore I feel that I have to be diligent with it."
Her 2003 release “Phoenix” garnered her praise, press, television and air-play from all over 2 continents, and adorned her with numerous music awards.
What do you think it was about that particular CD that registered with people so much more than your previous releases?
"It was the first album that really truly captured the sound inside of me. My band guys were (and are) phenomenal, and we also worked with a wonderful co-producer/engineer, Steve Browne in Dallas, who really understood and connected with my vision, and understood 'tiffany-speak,' which also made a big difference. If I said something needed to sound like a space ship malfunctioning while in a whirlpool at the bottom of the ocean, he could just translate it perfectly and make it happen with audio (laugh). Essentially, we all really loved this body of work, really took our time to make sure we did it justice. The power of the message on 'Phoenix' really does shine. It just illuminates with love, pain and hope... and everyone can connect with those things."
On a personal note, do you have any guilty pleasures that you can share with your fans.? Well, as long as they are printable!!
Ha! If they’re NOT printable, I think I will keep those to myself!! I guess my one big one right now -- which is totally dorky -- would be watching re-runs of "Golden Girls" on late night television....I sure am glad you didn’t ask me that question a few years ago!
One more question as a more fun one for your fans. I always ask this of everyone I interview, even though it's been worn out over the years: If you were trapped on a desert island and could only have one store-bought CD, what would you want to have with you?
Oh that’s easy; it would have to be U2 ‘Joshua Tree’, without a doubt. If I get five, though, I would have to add Sting: Greatest Hits, Tori Amos: Chior Girl Hotel, Annie Lennox: Bare, and Carl Orff: Carmina Burana.
Tiffany Shea is a little dynamo whose shows are always magical evenings stocked full of personal and powerful music. She is a dynamic performer who commands the stage without ego, and connects with her audience in the most intimate ways she can share. It is because of those things, and so many other fantastic qualities, that she has chiseled out a special place in our hearts. I encourage everyone to see her play when she stops through your town... I can't guarentee much, but I will guarentee with certainty that you won't be disappointed.