JEREMY GLADSTONE INTERVIEWS RICK SHAFFER

JitterbugShake_FrontJeremy Gladstone at Sleeping Bag Studios (Abbotsford, BC, Canada) interviews Rick Shaffer about his new album, his writing and recording process, his influences, and much more.

Read the interview HERE

Download a FREE mp3 of “SO TIRED” on SoundCloud

 

 

 

Rick Shaffer’s Epic Career Continues With More Raw Garage Blues Music

Staying in  the music game for a long time is a tremendous feat.  There are ups and downs that could defeat any person without a strong resolve to succeed.  Even when things go great there is always another corner to turn that could end it all.  This is the reason we have such high regard to Rick Shaffer.

The singer and guitarist began his musical journey in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s with the Philadelphia band The Reds®.  After a stint with A&M Records that saw some great success, including live performances with such luminaries as The Police, Joe Jackson, Blondie, and The Ramones, the band went independent to release a few more records.  It was a wild ride.  In 2010 Shaffer started a solo career with his debut record Necessary Illusion focusing on his garage and blues guitar style.  His early roots remained in the sound and caught the attention of new fans.

June 2015 Shaffer release his sixth solo venture Jitterbug Shake.  The ten track album sticks with the garage blues sound and also touches on his early R&B/rock n roll influences.  The opener “Got To Know” sets the vibe right away with an indie underground recording style that seems to max out each instrumental track.  “Going Strong” shows off a darker side that grinds along through guttural vocals accompanied with peppy harmonies.  The guitars push ahead with some impressive solo work thrown in.  The blues sound takes the lead on “Confidence Man” bringing back the sounds of influences like Bo Diddley and Slim Harpo.  This song would fit in well in any of the last six decades.  The record closes with “Last Of Me” that seems to blend all of these styles into one big bowl of awesomeness.  The grit of the song is felt down to the bone and I don’t think anyone could resist having their head bopping along to the mass of beautiful beats intertwined within.

  • Indie Band Guru

Download a FREE mp3 of “SO TIRED” on SoundCloudhttps://soundcloud.com/tarockmusic/so-tired-rick-shaffer

Photograph: “The Harmonica” ©2015 Theresa Marchione

“Some artists seem to operate as if they have some kind of dynamo inside them — Rick Shaffer is no exception . . .”

Some artists seem to operate as if they have some kind of dynamo inside them. Rick Shaffer —the guitarist from The Reds® who were active way back when — is no exception, with his energetic music that transcends any particular time.

On the one hand, it could be easily assumed that Jitterbug Shake is a classic album from the past, while on the other hand there is much about it that suggests it is in fact a modern record with one eye over its shoulder to the past. In a way, that is exactly what is going on, as Shaffer certainly has experience that stretches back to a time when music was breaking new ground, and yet here something about it still seems fresh and exciting.

‘Got To Know’ opens the album with real gusto, the roomy echo on the guitar creating a really classic vibe, while Shaffer’s snarling vocal adds bite to the track. ‘Sure Thing’ sways and swaggers like a drunken uncle at a wedding, all clattering bass notes and slurred words, and ‘Going Strong’ really draws on a classic punk sound with its ringing guitars and cheeky tambourine. In the main, Jitterbug Shake is an album that shows little sign of relenting or stepping away from its rambunctious sound – ‘So Tired’ thunders and rolls along with guitars that twang with a gloriously fifties feel, much like ‘Just A Little’ does, although on that particular track there is more of a sing-song feel, as though Shaffer has channeled memories of nursery rhymes into his writing. As such, the album manages to become a kind of audio time machine. At times, it’s as if we’ve been transported to Lou’s Diner from Back to the Future, where we can join in with the other hip teenagers as they tuck in to their milkshakes and put songs on the jukebox. ‘It’s True’ encapsulates this aesthetic perfectly, with vocals that veer towards a more aggressive Elvis Presley and guitars that are drenched in a vintage spring reverb, while ‘Confidence Man’ goes for more of a slower tempo as is slouches along with hints of Americana.JitterbugShake_Front

Throughout Jitterbug Shake, Rick Shaffer is certainly consistent, it’s an album that doesn’t try to reinvent anything, nor does it make the listener have to try too hard by coping with any strange or alternative methods – this is pure rock music perfectly designed for anyone who wants to have an experience where they are given a vintage feel, with some nostalgia thrown in at the same time. Shaffer’s wealth of experience as a rocker really shows, and these songs manage to let the listener know that they are in good hands, that the music has been carefully crafted, and that this has been made by someone who has been through several decades of music taking various twists and turns throughout the development of the genre. As a result, the sheer consistency might mean that for some, it’s just too much of the same thing throughout the album. But on closer inspection, each track manages to have its own distinct tone and feel, all the while staying true to a very specific aesthetic that runs all the way through like words through a stick of rock. And rock would certainly be the operative word here.

  • Chris Marsh • July 25, 2015

Download a FREE mp3 of “SO TIRED” on SoundCloudhttps://soundcloud.com/tarockmusic/so-tired-rick-shaffer

 

Jitterbug_BuyHERE