By Linda Freeman, TIW Music

Lately, I’ve been fascinated by Americana and pop music that has spare arrangements and spotlights the vocal and lyrics. One of my favorite singers in this niche is Priscilla Ahn, whose 2008 single, “Dream,” is a perfect example (Ahn’s recent release goes in a more electropop direction). I like the fact that Lorde’s album, “Pure Heroin,” is also spare and raw. Shannon Grissom is also a singer/songwriter whose music needs no frills. Her lush alto voice, reminiscent of Joan Osborne and Norah Jones, and her observant lyrics are the focal point of her songs. Although I debated whether to use this description, I’ve gotta say that Grissom’s voice is damn sexy. The first song that Grissom wrote, “I Was Made To Cover You,” to advertise her handmade golf head covers, makes me want to buy some despite the fact that I’ve never played golf.

Grissom hails from Hollister, California, and started writing songs less than 6 years ago. She’s also an accomplished painter, but has gradually transitioned from that to music. In 2010, she released her first album, “Hot Coffee Red Lipstick,” and collaborated with Jason Shepherd on “Virtually Possible,” released two years later. Since then, Grissom has continued to write and perform music and is a member of the West Coast Songwriters Association.

Of Grissom’s songs on Reverbnation, my favorites (with the exception of “Good Enough,” which is more than good enough, are from the “Hot Coffee Red Lipstick” album: They benefit from having the subtle backup of bass, guitar, and percussion. The title track is a standout, with a sweet drum and bass groove underlining Grissom’s message that first impressions can be dead wrong, and that sex appeal has no expiration date. “Wild and Free” is another memorable track, featuring a slow-jam percussive and bass accompaniment and Grissom shape shifting her voice into a low beckoning cry for a return to her roots. Grissom is an artist who has not only found her musical roots but is relishing every minute of it.HotCoffeeRedLipstickCrop-531x550.jpg