RockWired Voters Name Rick Shaffer November ARTIST OF THE MONTH

rockwiredartist-ofthemonthThe polls closed for RockWired’s November 2016 ARTIST OF THE MONTH campaign. Voters made their vote count and Rick Shaffer is RockWired’s 72nd ARTIST OF THE MONTH.

Back in 2011, guitarist Rick Shaffer perked our ears at RockWired with the release of his solo album “HIDDEN CHARMS” and it’s reliance on the very fuzzy, distorted guitar sounds that made Link Wray legendary, the swagger that made The Stones the big deal that they’ve been for fifty some odd years, and Shaffer’s purring vocals that recall Stooges-era Iggy Pop, and Velvet Underground-era Lou Reed. Trust us when we say that no charms were hidden on that album. It was all audible and the perfect antidote to much of the over-production that had come to typify a lot of rock music that year.

Hell, over-production still typifies much of the rock n roll that’s out there now and thank God for Shaffer’s album “OUTSIDE OF TIME.” Shaffer’s gritty rock ‘n roll approach is put to good use on material that speaks to life’s highs and lows (mostly lows) such as the stomping first single “Going Down Slow” accompanied by a mesmerizing music video.

∎October 31, 2016 — Brian Lush —




“Going Down Slow” Gets Music Blogged

musicbloggedRick Shaffer is an artist with a truly distinctive approach to his vision and sound. This talented musician cleverly combines alternative music and country rock in order to create songs that hit the spot emotionally and technically.

The songs on Rick’s recently released album Outside Of Time demonstrate high quality musicianship and timeless song-writing wits, reminding me of the sound of seminal influencers including the likes of Neil Young, The Cramps or The Blasters, just to mention but a few.

The album’s lead single “Going Down Slow” does a great job of driving the album with a set of stunning rhythms and melodies. The song effortlessly goes between blues, rock and country. The aesthetics of the song have a truly 60s flavor, but the arrangement and the production value have a punch that is all modern and up-to-speed with the needs and want of today’s audience.

Rick is a charismatic performer whose style is refreshingly direct, iconic and versatile. Behind its thought-provoking enigmatic title, this album hides a refreshingly down-to-earth approach that goes back to the roots of Rick’s passion.

Ben Corke – Music Blogged

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“Rick Shaffer is back with more of his signature proto punk . . .”

CrossradarRick Shaffer is back with more of his signature proto punk, just as bristling and energetic as ever.

‘Killer Time’ kicks things off with swaggering vocals that race alongside the furious guitars which splutter along and give way to a solo that is curiously slurred and tight at the same time. ‘Going Down Slow’ paints the picture of devil-may-care driving down the road late at night, with flashes of British rock thrown into the mix. Rick Shaffer’s work continues to be exciting and engaging, on the one had looking back to the influences of early punk rock, while on the other always looking for new ways to communicate that punk aesthetic. ‘Your Charm’ takes a classic riff and redevelops it for its own purposes, like taking some old clothes and deconstructing them to be recreated in a new way. It’s all still the same fabric, but it’s sometimes time to be used differently. As a result, the tracks found on Outside Of Time have a feeling of familiarity while also offering the excitement that comes from engaging with new tunes.

Shaffer certainly sticks to a consistent model, and anyone who knows of his work is unlikely to be disappointed with this new selection of upbeat, swaggering tunes.

• Chris Marsh • August 24, 2016

The Ministry Of Truth Reviews “Outside Of Time”

Chairman RalphAnd so, the clock rewinds, the minute hand takes a moment to reset itself, the second hand waits for an encore cue, and we renew our acquaintance once more with Rick Shaffer, former guitarist of those amped up ’80-s Philadelphia New Wave ravers, The Reds, who’s lately racked up an impressive streak of solo albums that shows no signs of letting up.

That’s certainly the case for his latest effort, Outside Of Time (Tarock Music), which maintains the standards that we’ve come to expect from him: high energy, stripped down garage-psych and punk, infused with flecks of old school R&B, and a little hill country blues, too, while he’s at it.  As usual, Shaffer carries the load (guitar, percussion, lead vocals), with a little bit of strategic assistance from Teddy Rixon (bass) and Russ Mitchell (drums, percussion).

If you’ve followed Shaffer’s work this far, you’ll know his albums start off with a houseshaking opening track, and “Killer Time” is no exception.  The track builds around a fuzz-laced riff, and a drum/tambourine track that just propels it right along, as Shaffer asks someone — a business partner, friend, or lover, we don’t know — to just drop the pretense, and deal with life’s hard truths, for a change (“Why are you waiting for things you can’t see?).  Then, in the middle, the song explodes into a truly paint-peeling, overdriven lead solo that provides an apt counterpart to its theme (a favored subject of previous Shaffer efforts).

This up-tempo approach and unapologetic mindset prevails on tracks like “One By One” (“Ask me once, but please don’t ask again, where I’m going, and mostly, where I’ve been”), and “Blowing My Mind” (“I ain’t changing, I ain’t changing my mind now”), on which Shaffer laces his lyrics with dark flecks of guitar fills. Like I’ve said before, and feel obliged to say again — if the Rolling Stones are serious about reclaiming their mojo, here’s where that mission should start.

“Going Down Slow,” on the other hand, is a shot of grungy blues energy that nods to simpler pleasures: in this case, cruising the cityscape, and listening to music, without worrying about where you’re going, what you need to do next, or whether you’ve got to be on time (“Going down, going down slow/don’t tell the things that I already know”).  It’s a fitting subject, considering the site of the album’s recording (Del Tone Studios, Detroit, MI).  The blues elements return in full force on the closing track, the aptly-titled “Hellbound Trip,” which will definitely give a glimpse of a hellhound’s pursuit.

Other highlights include “Show Me,” a shimmering, moody piece of psych-pop that (honestly) recalls the world-weary, “shrug my shoulders” resignation of the Music Machine’s twilight years.  As on the other songs, Shaffer leaves the listener to determine just who he’s taking to task here, though it’s definitely someone that he’s happy not to see anymore (“How many times/must I try to explain/Trouble coming down like a pouring rain”).

Other tracks show Shaffer in a more pop-oriented mood.  The biggest surprise here, and a hint at a direction to explore on future albums, if Shaffer chooses.  Notable snapshots include “Blowing My Mind,” “Your Charm,” whose guitar hook nods to T. Rex’s breakthrough (“Get It On”), and “Changing Anything,” which boasts an earnestly singalong chorus amid its underdog determination (“This ain’t changing anything, no this ain’t changing anything/No this ain’t changing anything I know”).

 In less adept hands, the sonic collisions that often occur here — the layered vocals, persistent leads, and strategically deployed guitar and percussion fills — would sound soggy and deadly. On Outside Of Time, they sound just right.  Ladies and gentlemen, may we present — Mr. Rick Shaffer, Philly guitar slinger, who’s bearing down on you with everything he knows — the one-man last gang in town, who hasn’t chased the trends.  With works of this caliber, he won’t feel the need.

Ralph Heibutzki

Chairman Ralph’s Ministry Of Truth       

Tarock Music Releases Rick Shaffer Video ∎ GOING DOWN SLOW

RICK SHAFFER GOING DOWN SLOW (final).mp4 - Google DriveRick Shaffer and director, David N. Donihue struck up a friendship when filming the video, “One More Heartache,” for Shaffer’s 2012 album, Idiot Flats.  When Shaffer told Donihue he wrote “Going Down Slow” in Detroit while recording his latest album, Outside Of Time, because he was struck by how the economy caused crime in the Motor City to skyrocket out of control.  He was especially moved after meeting so many good people that were in desperate straits as a direct result of the nose diving economy, and a seemingly uncaring Government.  Shaffer wanted to evoke a story line that would convey the desolation of Detroit, so he enlisted Donihue to create the visual scenario for his lyrics.

Donihue, a fan of Shaffer’s timeless sound, readily agreed.  His vision materialized into a story line that follows Jack Clyde, a young, handsome, yet hard edged, man living in the turmoil of the wavering American economy.  When Jack impregnates his girlfriend just as the slumping job market leaves him with no prospects, he hastily decides to rob a liquor store.  When Jack’s actions leaves the mother of his child alone in the world, it becomes her turn to launch her own plan.

CREDITS: Director: David N. Donihue | Producer: Noubar Antonyan — | The Criminal: Arman Oganesyan | The Heroine: Kristin Vannieuwenhoven | The Prisoner: Noubar Antonyan | Still Photography: Theresa Marchione | ©2016



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Listen to full tracks by RICK SHAFFER

Rick Shaffer | Altered Portrait

Listen to full tracks by RICK SHAFFER.

Stoli Declares Rick Shaffer’s Album ‘Misadventure’ A Classic


‘Misadventure’ marks the fifth solo album by Rick Shaffer and it’s twelve songs I cannot put down. Rick has been on Skoped Out before, so I was honored to have him again, the man is a legend. Join us as Rick Shaffer speaks about the new album, possible reunion by The Reds, end times, and so much more!

Stoli: Where are we talking from today, and how was your summer?

  • Rick Shaffer: Right now I’m in the Motor City, a/k/a Detroit, at the Del Tone recording studio. My summer has been busy working on instrumental Garage and Delta style tracks for film projects.

Stoli: I am simply blown away by your musical work ethic. What keeps you driven and so motivated to keep making music your fans love?

  • RS: Thank you, I think it’s love of the sounds, and realizing there is only so much time to grab those sounds from my head. By working, usually every day, I keep building on my ideas, sounds and grooves. For me, there is never a Plan B.

Stoli: We are all so excited about your 5th solo album, ‘Misadventure.’ Offer us some insight into when you decided to embark on this project, and what inspired you.

  • RS: Misadventure is more garage rock than a delta sounding affair, because overall it’s a harder, faster, louder sound, yet still contains what I call a blues narrative lyrically, and vocally. My projects are inspired by what’s going on personally at the time, and what kind of soundscape in the structure of the songs and production I will develop. I think The Pretty Things early albums, Early Stones, The Shadows of Knight, and the Marc Bolan T- Rex sound / production all contributed ideas / influence to this album. Marc Bolan may sound strange to some, but his music has an early rock and roll feel, but is dense in its production at times, and don’t forget Bolan was a huge Eddie Cochran fan. Also, I wanted to employ the early atmospheric production styles of British producer Joe Meek, and American producer Phil Specter, in their background vocals and percussion techniques.

Stoli: Now I am so curious about the title ‘Misadventure.’ Please offer us background on the title, and also the album art?

  • RS: The title reflects the narrative of the songs, like bad fortune, mishap, and accidental death not due to crime or negligence. Misadventure is a term the British use for causes of death involving very grey circumstances, like the deaths of Brian Jones and Amy Winehouse. And, the CD artwork is by American artist, Jill Emery, who’s work I absolutely love. Jill is also a musician, and she played bass with Hole, Mazzy Star, Super Heroines, The Decadent, and Shadow Project.

Stoli: What musicians did you bring in to help you with the album, and how much guidance can they offer?

  • RS: The cast of musicians still includes the mainstay of Boo Boo Spencer (bass drum and spoons / percussion), Les Chisholm (drums / percussion), and the Detroit crew of Anna Burne (drums / percussion), Del Robinson (drums / percussion), and Teddy “Boy” Rixon (bass). They were all essential, and I greatly appreciate their involvement. My main goal is for me to not overplay, and that leaves room for the percussion elements on the tracks, and the reason for so many drum / percussion players.

Stoli: Being we are in the digital age of music where can we buy the album online and or stream the music?

Stoli: I love the single & video for “Some Say.” What is that song about and how does the video portray the message of the song?

  • RS: Thanks, the song and video message is that you make your own choices, and only you are responsible for those choices / actions, and it’s easier to change the past in your mind, than making the changes in the present. The video is executed very well by director Christopher Kelley (Table Sixteen Productions) through his layering, the emotional interaction between the artist and her lover, and the rhythm that takes you back and forth, then ends at the beginning when the lyric tells us, “We haven’t learned.”

Stoli: Of the 12 songs on the album which one is most personal, and why?

  • RS: It would have to be track 3, Turn It Up, with the thick density of the guitars, hypnotic groove, and the narrative of the lyrics. The message is we’re all ultimately doomed in this life, so find what you love, then do it until it kills you. The repetitive chorus lyrics, “It keeps on raining in my head so loud,” for me reinforces the drive to keep going, creating, and recording music.

Stoli: So I have to ask, will The Reds® ever do a reunion album?

  • RS: I honestly don’t know. Bruce Cohen and I have been so busy with solo projects, and the time just keeps slipping away. I love working with Bruce, and hope we can do something in the future, but nothing is in the works.

Stoli: The world is crazy now with Ebola, ISIS, riots, war, etc. Are we headed for end times and are you at all concerned?

  • RS: Yes, I’m concerned. I try to live with what I can control and know the political / corporate “game” has been fixed for a long time, right under everyone’s noses. It’s like trying to win at cards, but you keep getting dealt a losing hand, yet you continue to play anyway.

Stoli: What is coming up for Rick Shaffer, and where can we follow you online?

  • RS: I’ll be composing and recording more instrumentals for film in a West Virginia studio that has an old 4-track Ampex 440 machine. And, I’m currently writing new material, for a new solo album taking shape in the style and groove of Slim Harpo and Jimmy Reed. My record label website is, where you can click on tabs and sub-tabs at the top of the page for links to just about everything, like Twitter, including a “Rick Shaffer on Facebook” tab that goes right to me.

Buy options for MISADVENTURE are > HERE

Read the MISADVENTURE album liner notes, and download a FREE mp3 of ‘SOME SAY” > HERE