Friday, March 11, 2011

Veteran Rocker Tommy Shaw Releasing Bluegrass Album March 22

Tommy Shaw, the famous guitarist of legendary rock band Styx, is set to release his debut bluegrass album, The Great Divide on March 22nd, 2011, through Pazzo Music/Fontana Distribution. The album features an impressive roster of guest musicians, including Alison Krauss, Dwight Yoakam, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Rob Ickes, Stuart Duncan, Byron House, Gary Burr and many more.

Shaw has written or co-written every song on the album in addition to playing acoustic guitar, dobro/resonator and mandolin.

A perennial part of the rock scene since the mid-70s as a member of Styx, Damn Yankees and Shaw/Blades.
The album description according to Shaw:
"In 2003, my friend Brad Davis asked me to sing a high harmony on a bluegrass song he’d written and was recording for a solo album. I had fun cutting that track and when he realized this was right in my wheelhouse he suggested we get together and try our hand at writing some bluegrass. Having grown up in Alabama in I’d been exposed to all kinds of popular music, including Saturday night radio broadcasts of The Grand Ole Opry, which came in clearly because of WSM’s 50,000 watt signal up the road in Nashville. Songs like The Carter Family’s “Wildwood Flower” were standards in my hometown no matter what type of band you were playing in because sooner or later you’d get a request for it, so you needed to know how to play it.

Brad and I got together every few months to write and record demos of new bluegrass songs. When we had three songs completed and recorded I said, “We have a story now and can start playing these for people.” We were thrilled but nobody else knew about it for months other than our closest friends.

In late 2009 we saw an opening and committed to begin writing the rest of the songs we needed to make an album. After the new year Brad began spending three, four and five days at a time at my studio in Los Angeles and over the next several months we amassed a list of 19 songs in various stages of completion."

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