By ROB DUGUAY

The holiday season and Christmas music go hand in hand, like presents and wrapping paper or pine trees and ornaments.

Classics such as “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “Let It Snow!” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” can be heard in department stores, restaurants, ice rinks and town squares all over the world. It’s an experience that signifies a time of year where exchanging gifts and spending time with loved ones are of utmost importance.

To celebrate the season while doing her own rendition of the songs previously mentioned, among others, www.shannoncorey.bandcamp.com released the album “I Wish I Had A River” on Dec. 10. The record has the Cranston native taking her jazz talents and incorporating them into yuletide standards.

Corey ended up making the album due to not being able to continue an annual holiday concert that she and a few local musicians started last year. She wanted to be able to share the music she and the band performed during the show, so she figured the best way to do so would be to make a record.

“I had been in Poland singing jazz music for a year and a half, and when I came home, I found some local musicians to keep my music going,” she says on how the making of “I Wish I Had A River” came about. “We put on a really spectacular holiday jazz show last December to an audience of over 100 people at The Music Mansion in Providence with the hopes of continuing it as a tradition. When COVID-19 hit and we couldn’t stage the holiday show, I decided to hop into the studio and record all of our songs together as a band so I could still share the music with everyone. We recorded five songs at PBS Studio in Westwood, Massachusetts, with Peter Kontrimas, and then my husband, Mike Maven, and I went to New York City for a month for a change of scenery. While we were there I realized I wanted to add two more tunes, so I had Mark Shilansky, a Boston-based pianist who teaches at the Berklee College of Music, send me a very cool arrangement of ‘Merry Christmas Darling.’ I love this song so much. I literally said to him, ‘Send me any version you like and I'll sing on it.’”

Corey adds: “Lastly, I had this idea of just a simple version of ‘I'll Be Home For Christmas’ to close out the record. We recorded the vocals in a closet in New York City full of towels with all of our recording equipment, so we just went for it. I chose the song because we’re all going to be separated and distanced from our loved ones this year, so why not remind everyone that we will be home in spirit and love, and even in our dreams, if not actually in person. That part is still important and is still true no matter how far away we all are.”

The history behind the song resonated with her due to the meaning of being away from loved ones during an important time of year. It’s also amazing how the lyrics in the Bing Crosby classic are as relevant today as they were when the song was written in 1943.

“It was originally a sentiment from World War II and still, after all these years, the song lyrics still hold true,” Corey says about the significance of “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.” “It’s a wonderful testament to incredible songwriting by Kim Gannon, Walter Kent and Buck Ram. I wanted to honor the song and our new circumstances with a simple, a cappella version. Hopefully people love it and can share in the beauty of the season through the song despite the hardships we’ve faced in 2020. Music really can bring us all together.”

We all know that Christmas music can become boring and repetitive, especially if we hear the same versions over and over again for weeks on end. Corey puts a fresh take on timeless songs in fantastic fashion, and her new album is bound to leave a positive impression on the listener.

Purchase and stream a few tracks off of “I Wish I Had A River” via Corey’s Bandcamp page at www.shannoncorey.bandcamp.com.

 

Shannon Corey is the WINNER at Boston's Lizard Lounge Open Mic Challenge!! ...Pat’s pick for the 324th open mic was “Overdue” so to speak. This lady has been in our room plenty. She’s absolutely amazing and a consummate pro, always working on the craft, always inspiring co-writes, multi-act shows and rehearsing fresh material constantly. Whenever she’s at our Monday night show it always seems to be “one of those” nights, where the talent is spectacular up and down. She’s the type of person that makes you step up your game because she’s in the room. ??That being said, she had not won our contest yet. She’s consistently been in our final three but I think she’s such a ringer that many a judge, including myself on one particular night have gone with another artists, assuming that this lady wins every time she walks in the room. It’s borderline unfair to have a contest with her in it.That being said, it sincerely warmed my heart when our judge Pat McCann, one of the most talented members of our community picked Shannon Corey, another one of the most talented persons in town to be the 324th LLOMC winner. Bang... zoom... done. Thanks everyone!!!” - Tom Bianchi

— Lizard Lounge Open Mic Challenge

PHILLY HAPPENING FEATURE PhillyHappening.com posted a feature promoting my WORLD CAFE LIVE show in Philadelphia which stirred a bunch of great comments and responses!”

Philly Happening.com

NYC BLOG "SHORT AND SWEET NYC" REVIEW of OVERDUE Shannon Corey's lushly toned vocals together with the openness of perceptively strong lyrics makes Overdue masterful and fresh. Layered in a wicked vibrancy of bright pop piano adds nicely to lyrics dealing with the tussle of modern romance and all the drama and joy that comes with it. It's a pleasure to hear Corey sort it all out on Let Me Out. The tune lights up like a neon city song of a lonely girl frustrated by an underwhelming, slowly ending relationship. The build of piano and smashes of drum add to the emotional turns of constant hope and residual failure. Within the simply structured yet thriving soundscape of the rest of her band, there's a bit of a riotous and slightly punk nature. Sunday Morning” - Chanda Jones

Short and Sweet NYC dot com

HIGH TIMES ALBUM REVIEW OF OVERDUE New York City-based songstress Shannon Corey’s latest release, Overdue, is the follow-up to her 2007 debut, Unsaid. While Corey is a classically trained pianist, she’s spent years honing her clean, crisp sound in a host of NYC’s sultry nightclubs. This album is the marriage of these styles - delicate and reserved yet sensuous and vibrant. One has the feeling of being torn between a dark and smoky lounge and a sunlit cloister. Corey’s lovely voice and deft piano will keep you transfixed throughout Overdue. However, it is the singer-songwriter’s endlessly impressive ability to fully inhabit the lyrical landscapes she creates that makes the EP so compelling. Her subjects – vulnerable, powerful, reflective and resolute – are fully formed and presented with an alluring authenticity. And so, while some of the album’s themes travel well-worn paths, when Corey sings something like “I don’t know why we’re constantly fighting, I don’t know why,” you believe her. What’s more, you suddenly want to find out why nearly as much as she does. In this manner, Corey imbues these ideas with a fresh resonance. The title song, “Overdue,” seamlessly transitions from pulsating vivacity to hushed intimacies to a big, rich sound supporting soaring vocals. “Sunday Morning” offers a glimpse into an introspective isolation punctuated by subtle strings and album standout, “Let Me Out,” rises and falls with tumultuous contemplation. While Overdue is no doubt a strong sophomore effort – and highly recommended – its five tracks are but a brief sampling of what Shannon Corey has in store. Those in the New York area can catch Shannon Corey at Sullivan Hall Thursday, April 15th.” - Mike Hughes

High Times Magazine Review

MUZIKREVIEWS.COM REVIEW OF UNSAID The music industry is littered with female singer-songwriters, but Shannon Corey is far more talented than her more well-known coworkers such as Sara Barellies and Vanessa Carlton. Corey's album Unsaid is a beautiful collection of melodies and lyrics that blend together to put her on the level of classic singers like Fiona Apple, who she lists as an influence along with Ben Folds. Corey has been playing piano since the age of three, and it shows. Her songs are well-written, but don't seem to be lacking anything, even though most of them consist of her playing the keys; drummers and guitars come in every now and then, but the songs are so focused on Corey's playing that you hardly notice. Corey's lyrics are simple, yet eloquent. “What face should I paint?” she asks in “Fate”, followed by “Is it wrong to always want to be right?/Or should I give up this fight?”. Some of her lyrics could be cheesy, but because of the beautiful way she sings, it doesn't really matter. Her voice seems effortless, as though she's not even really trying at all, or like she could sing twice as high or low as she is but chooses not to. The entire CD could come off arrogant, but because of Corey's delicious DIY attitude (the CD is packaged adorably in a brown paper lunch bag), she comes off humble and meek. Corey is beautiful, talented, and deserves more than most of the females out there making music. Her music is refreshing, even in a world full of women who try to be like her. ©MuzikReviews.com” - Abbey K. Davis

MuzikReviews.com

SHANNON COREY - THE SUGAR SWEET PRINCESS OF NEW YORK Hailing from New York, U.S.A, Shannon Corey combines sugar sweet vocals with deeply personal lyrics and has created one the most emotional EP's of 2009. We begin with title track "Overdue". A song with some of the most heartbreaking vocals of this year. The first half of the song begins with a staccato piano riff which will attach itself to your memory and refuse to let go. Lyrically we are fooled into thinking that it is standard love song (albeit a high quality one). The chorus tells us of the deep love the narrator has for her lover. Then at about 2:37 the song completely changes and Shannon Corey's gifted voice then reveals a different meaning to the song - her lover has left her and she is simply reminiscing about the times they spent together. The lyrics will render deep with heartbroken listeners. "Let Me Out" features some of the best piano work this reviewer has heard. Shannon Corey's vocals are even better on this song. Lyrically it describes the end of a relationship and they delivered with such emotion, it may just bring a tear to your eye. "Sunday Morning" is a 'slower' track. The majority of the song is a stripped down affair featuring just Shannon Corey's piano and vocals. Lyrically it describes the ideal Sunday morning for the narrator – laying in bed with your partner and simply enjoying being in love. Of course Shannon Corey's vocals are excellent and the piano is played with the right subtlety as to not overpower the vocals. The final track on the EP "Guitar Song" is the weakest. The music is repetitive and bland and the lyrics are nonsensical. However Shannon Corey's vocals are quite beautiful. It's just the rest of the track provides a disappointing end to an otherwise excellent EP. This EP was well on its way to a 10/10 before the finale left a sour taste in this reviewer's mouth. However it was easy to wash away that taste by listening to the rest of the songs which are excellent. To conclude I highly recommend buying the EP as soon as possible because put simply it's absolutely brilliant.” - Tony Deans

The Cheers Music

ARTIST TO WATCH: SHANNON COREY One of the cool things about my line of work is the wide variety of artists and music I’m exposed to. I briefly met Shannon Corey during a photo shoot last summer. Afterward I started to check out her songs and videos posted online. The music from her debut album, unsaid, was very impressive. Corey has a great sense of meter and phrasing with a unique voice and songs that are instantly catchy and charming. It’s no surprise that her new EP, Overdue, released on September 10, exhibits the same characteristics, but Corey’s skills have not remained static. There’s a discernible maturity in how she now approaches her songwriting and vocal performance. She’s really become quite good at not just simply knowing which notes to sing, but knowing how to sing them to accentuate the meaning and emotion of the music. Hopefully Shannon Corey will be an artist we can watch for a long time to come.” - Kristen Pierson

Type 3 Media

WILDY'S WORLD ONLINE REVIEW Shannon Corey - Overdue 2009, Inner Voice, LLC Born in New York City and raised in Providence, Rhode Island, Shannon Corey was introduced to music at a young age. Classical piano lessons started at three years and continued into high school when Corey began writing her own material. Corey pursued a degree in musical theater in New York City before tossing herself into the local music scene there. In 2007 she released her debut album, unsaid. That material got her noticed by the right folks, as some of her songs were recently featured on an episode of MTV's The Real World: Cancun. Corey spent two years on the road promoting unsaid, but now returns with a brand new EP entitled Overdue. Overdue finds Corey writing from a deeper well than just two years ago, and her voice has evolved in that time. The result is a collection of five complex and emotive Piano-Rock tunes. Corey opens up with Overdue, a song about avoiding the obvious in a relationship that's stalled out. The narrator here recognizes the problems that exist but is avoiding them. Corey's musical theater background shows through some here, particularly in the quieter moments of the song. Let Me Out is built on a piano part that's strongly influenced by Tori Amos. Let Me Out picks up where Overdue left off lyrically, dealing with another relationship where distance has come between the pair. Sunday Morning is a romantic tune about one of those perfect moments that couples share at times. This is a non-traditional mix-tape tune and is very well written. Corey goes from 88 strings to 6 for The Guitar Song, a mournful tune at the realization that a relationship isn't working out. If any of you have ever heard or seen the musical The Last 5 Years, you'll be able to imagine Sherrie Renee Scott singing this tune in her role there. Corey closes out with a radio edit of Overdue that cuts out about 45 seconds of the original. Shannon Corey has a full, rich alto voice that's highly emotive and warm. Her compositional style is complex, playing with time signatures and chord constructions within the realm of Pop/Rock tunes that walk a fine line between esoteric and Pop oriented. Shannon Corey is a great listen and very much worthy of your time and attention. If there's anything Overdue here it's accolades. Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)” - Wildy Haskell

Wildy's World online blog

FEMALE ARTIST EXAMINES SELF THROUGH LYRICISM Posted on 08 September 2009 It’s an impressive feat for a seemingly timid woman with an electric piano to win the attention of a bar full of college students on a Friday night. The headliner for the College Union Board’s (CUB’s) female Singer/Songwriter Night at the Rathskeller pulled it off with a smile. In spite of the sleepless night before her performance she spent waiting on the delivery of her newest EP, “Overdue,” singer/songwriter Shannon Corey embraced Friday night’s Rat crowd with a bright burst of energy and excitement. Her 90-minute set rang with lyrical sincerity and all the sounds of a thoughtful mind at work. Shannon Corey performed a number of covers and originals last Friday at the the Female Singer/Songwriter night in the Rat. (Brittany Oldewurtel / Staff Photographer) Corey attended to an eager audience with her catalog of intelligent original works and a cross-section of rock and pop covers. “Winter,” a song featured on MTV’s “The Real World,” projected a pictorial message of sympathy and understanding. Her lyrics, set in the form of a thought-provoking parallel, depicted the inner struggles of a friend in the context of shifting seasons. Her playful nature onstage, however, belied the more serious attitude of some of her songs. Corey prefaced one of her best compositions with an anecdote about dressing her little brother like a girl. But the songwriter dressed “I Miss Home,” in funny-turned-serious lyricism, Through her arching piano progressions, Corey meditated on her decision to leave her childhood home in Rhode Island for the artistic gateways of New York City. Corey, a classical pianist since she was 3 years old, powered her lyrics with smart and shining keyboard structures. Her high-flying persona blended a musical theater background with a variety of influences in popular music. She performed an array of cover songs including a flawless rendition of Ingrid Michaelson’s sharp-swinging “Breakable,” and well-done, stripped-down versions of songs by Cold War Kids, Foo Fighters and Kings of Leon. For the rock covers, friend and album artist Sean Carmichael accompanied Corey on acoustic guitar. Later, Corey gave The Police’s “Message in a Bottle” a creative twist. The “S.O.S” refrain sounded more like a transmission of confidence than a song of desperation. Both her covers and originals were intimate but comprehensive and demonstrated the transformative power of attitude and technical creativity...” - Matt Huston

The Signal of TCNJ

KEYBOARD MAGAZINE UNSIGNED ARTIST OF THE MONTH Part Ben Folds, Sara Bareilles, and Fiona Apple, New York piano-woman Shannon Corey brings smoky vocals and strong piano chops to 'unsaid'. "I Miss Home" is warmly nostalgic, while "Fate" rides on an energetic arrangement of piano and strings. Assured and nuanced, Shannon's keyboard work speaks of both classical study and a great sensitivity to what any given songs needs rather than how many notes it can hold before exploding. And though the song isn't featured on 'unsaid', you must visit Shannon's webpage to listen to her cover of the Police's "Message in a Bottle." A deft and thoughtful reworking, Shannon makes the classic her own with nothing but elegant vocals and piano, a storm cloud atmosphere, and a subtle, wistful sexiness.” - Michael Gallant

KEYBOARD MAGAZINE