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
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Photograph: “The Harmonica” ©2015 Theresa Marchione