Shana’s back making music 

When local blues belter Shana Morrison decides to go off the proverbial grid, she does it in grand style. For two years, the Mill Valley native put music on the back burner while she helped launch a hot Internet startup in Palo Alto. When she returned to music, and her home, a few months ago, she was off on another tangent, working with her Nashville co-writer/producer friend Kim McLean on “Joyride,”her new alt-country-tinged set on her own Belfast Violet imprint. Jim Lauderdale even dropped by the sessions for a twangy duet on “He Won’t Send Roses.” The CD release party is tonight at Café Du Nord.

So what did you do at this startup? I was in administration. I was the operations manager for the office. It’s an aptitude counsel, and it pre-qualifies people for tech jobs. Companies like Yahoo and Google have so many applications coming in, so we screened them through our Web site. When we started, there were five of us — a CEO, a marketing guy, two programmers and me, so I was the everything-else person. But by the time I left last year, there were 33 employees.

Why spend two years there? The idea was the equity. I have equity in the company, so if they end up selling or they go public, I get rich too. And after 15 years of working professionally, I’ve had quite a few day jobs. It’s great to take my mind off music for a while, and then when I want to come back I’m refreshed and reinvigorated, and it’s fun and exciting again.

Day jobs are just good common sense. And you even teach Pilates on the side, right? Yes. And it’s really fun when you have money in the bank, money to spend. Somebody will say, “Hey, you want to go to San Diego for the weekend?’ And you’re like, “Sure! I’ve got money,” instead of “Sorry, I don’t have any gigs this month and I’m behind on my bills.” But in the end I like learning things, and I like a challenge, so I keep coming back to music because it comes so naturally to me.

Have you written any songs about your 9-to-5 experience? Uhhh ... no. It’s not inspiring in that way for me. But maybe I should write a song about my boss! But I do just keep writing songs. And this album is more Americana, because I’m going back to dobro, slide and pedal steel. I’m going more rootsy, not so, um, balls to the wall as my last blues record!

Shana Morrison

Café Du Nord, 2174 Market St., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. today
Tickets: $15
Contact: (415) 861-5016;,

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Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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