Guitarist Shane Dwight made his national recording debut in June with the release of, not one, but two albums of original blues-rock tunes. But Shane's passion for singing, songwriting and playing guitar doesn't end with the blues.
With the simultaneous release of two new albums and a tour schedule boasting more than 200 shows this year alone, Shane Dwight admits he doesn't have a lot of time to chat. But, ask him about his favorite subject, playing guitar, and he will give you all the time in the world.
Shane says his introduction to music began at home in a small town just south of San Jose, California.
"Early on, my family just loved a bunch of music," he explains. "My dad really listened to a lot of blues and old, early country, Hank Williams. My grandfather loved a lot of really old ragtime and country, and I listened to a lot of that when I was a kid. My grandmother was in love with Elvis. She always played Elvis Presley, and he [my grandfather] would always play Johnny Cash. My dad was always playing Hank [Williams], Jr, and Hank, [Williams] Sr. My Mom was always playing Bob Seger, and my sister was always playing everything from Ozzie Osborne to Prince, and everyone had their own music that they liked. So I just grew up with records and CDs of all kinds of different styles of music."
Shane's own songwriting style hinges on one of the most basic rules of composing: Keep it simple.
"If it's a good song that gets to the point, I'll love it. I don't really care if it's some expert virtuoso doing it as long as it gets to the heart of the matter," Shane admits.
Naturally, Shane's greatest musical influences are guitarists, who he says straddle both rock and blues.
"As far as the top guitar players, I'd say David Gilmour for guitar sound, Albert King, Stevie Ray [Vaughan], Jimi Hendrix, Albert Collins, Robert Lockwood, Junior and cats [musicians] like that, that backed up all those great blues artists and were great blues artists themselves," he says. "Just the sounds they got on those instruments were so distinct."
Shane recently moved from Northern California to Nashville, Tennessee. He says living in "Music City" makes it possible to tour the eastern half of the U.S. more often, while keeping his core band intact.
"I try to keep a band together. I try to keep a group of guys working together as long as you can, because then it gets really special," Shane says. "There's nothing like being able to just turn your head and the whole band knows what you're about to do."
Shane Dwight's new studio album is titled Gimme Back My Money, while his second release, Shane Dwight Plays The Blues, features five tracks recorded live in California and Oregon.
* Follow Shane Dwight on Twitter: http://twitter.com/shanedwight