|can't you see|
|adrenaline as medicine|
|pull me in|
|just one more time|
Shane Lamb was born in Ogden, Utah, where he lived until age 12. He then moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming, for a short while, before moving to Grand Forks, North Dakota, where he started playing guitar at age 13. “I knew right then, the first time I played guitar, what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” Shane says today. Next, he relocated to Rapid City, South Dakota in the eighth grade. Rapid City is where Shane started writing songs. He had already been filling notebooks with poetry and “word ideas” for years. “In the fifth grade, I won a city-wide poetry contest in which my teacher had entered. I was painfully embarrassed to walk up on the stage to get my award, and I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. I didn’t like all the attention at that time, and I still struggle with it today. Back then, I read the books and poetry my grandmother gave me and Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends over and over. I wrote a lot of words on scraps of paper while the other kids played.”
“The kids at school listened to Kiss and painted their faces, and I watched the news and spent hours and hours with the radio. At recess, I was either doing something I shouldn’t have been doing and getting into trouble, or hiding out in the bushes by myself and just observing the world. My neighbor, Mark, was the oldest son of the Halverson’s and played in a band. Even though he was out of high school, he let me hang out and listen to records or watch his band practice. I passed whole weeks in the summer at the Halverson’s house next door listening to Mark’s records in earmuff headphones while the floor shook as his band played rock ‘n’ roll in the basement… practicing for their gig that night which was located up the canyon at the Oaks. It started for me with The Stones, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, Neil Young, The Band, The Allman Brothers, B.B. King, and Johnny Cash. I daydreamed about the world I heard in the headphones, and I wondered about the mystery of songs and making records. I believed there was truth in there.”
After graduating high school, Shane went to Moorhead State University in Minnesota to study music. “I was beyond excited. I was going to be doing exactly what I wanted to do: playing guitar for hours and hours, playing in a band, and studying music,” he says. Shane was a guitar performance major, but the pull of his composition lessons grew stronger. “In my third year, I switched to composition. I loved playing guitar, I loved writing songs, recording, and performing with my band. Plus, I was teaching guitar and playing in a weekend band to make some money and gain more experience. But something had to give. I couldn’t keep doing all of it, so I chose composition. I was as interested in composers and studying their music as much as I was in The Beatles, Dylan, or Hendrix. I enjoyed both writing music for traditional instruments and writing songs, too. I wanted to go to graduate school and get my PhD. I was a pretty serious student. I wasn’t there to party or goof around. I was really focused on music and trying to make ends meet. I didn’t sleep much; I burned hard and long until I got walking pneumonia. Then I crashed,” recalls Shane.
“One day in a composition lesson, my professor said he needed more music from me—more output. And he said I had to stop writing songs and playing in bands if I wanted to go to grad school. He informed me that songs were not considered ‘serious music’ at that level. I was stunned and angry. I used my classical training to defend Dylan, The Beatles, Jimmy Page and The Rolling Stones. It became very clear what I needed to do,” acknowledges Shane. He finished his pieces the next year, completed summer school, performed his senior recital, graduated in August, and moved to Nashville, Tennessee by October. “I love that music, but I love Chuck Berry a little more. And I still believe Stravinsky, Copeland, and Bartok would have more in common, and a better conversation, with Keith Richards or Bob Dylan than a straight academic approach. They all have a common love and appreciation for rural music and folk melodies. It’s all the same source, really.”
Shane has called Nashville his home now for 13 years. “It is kind of funny that I ended up in Nashville, I guess. There is a great history here. I love rock ‘n’ roll, blues, soul, R&B, and older country. But I’m not much for the newer country music, and I wasn’t really exposed to bluegrass until I came here. Although country gets the obvious attention, there is a lot of different music here and a lot of great players and songwriters that don’t fall into that stereotypical Nashville thing.” After playing around town as a guitarist for some local artists, his first “break” came when he got the call to go out on the road with Lee Roy Parnell. “It’s funny,” Lamb says, “I met Lee Roy once and got the call a few months later to go on the road for some shows. The call came on a Friday around 6:00 p.m. saying to be at Lee Roy’s around 8:30 p.m. that night. I threw a bag together, went to Lee Roy’s, met the band on the bus, and waited till 12:30 a.m. for Lee Roy to get aboard. Then, we were off to Mississippi! It was all very up in the air. In Mississippi, I didn’t have a room and slept for about three hours on a pull-out couch full of food and change in a meeting room near the lobby. That is about how the next two years went,” remembers Shane.
Since then, Shane has worked as a guitarist and co-writer with many artists and songwriters around town. “I have been very fortunate with my time in Nashville. I’ve made great friends, and I have managed to make a living and pay my bills with guitar in hand. I have toured North America, and I have played all kinds of gigs.” Shane has shared the stage with the Yardbirds, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Delbert McLinton, Trisha Yearwood, T. Graham Brown, Lorrie Morgan, and numerous other artists and songwriters over the years. He has played guitar on recording sessions with some of Nashville's most respected and sought-after musicians, and he has done the same with folks that may never be heard or known. “I have played just about every type of music venue out there: bars, dives, clubs, VFW’s, coffeehouses, the Ryman, large arenas, theaters, fairs, rodeos, and living rooms.” A few years ago, Shane decided to focus mainly on writing his own music and making his own records with two-time Grammy winner and friend, Casey Wood. In 2009, Shane released Disengage. This record has drawn international attention and airplay, garnering Shane strong reviews and some pretty heady comparisons like:
“Though his music shares a genre populated by last-name folk-rock icons such as Dylan and Petty, Lamb’s music vibrates with a level of originality and personal authenticity that rivals the heavyweights. Lamb finds this place between sweet and sour, this musical balance, like a gossamer tightrope where his music lives. His arrangements are full, lush even, but never cloying. If you enjoy Tom Petty, Poco, The Byrds, or Nick Lowe, give a listen to Shane Lamb."- Vintage Guitar Magazine
"He’s being compared to some of the giants of his genre, like Bob Dylan and Neil Young, with whom he shares an uncannily similar vocal quality and penchant for penning poetic and meaningful lyrics. But folk rock singer/songwriter Shane Lamb also brings his own indelible, introspective rawness to the table, willingly taking the listener down his surprisingly sunny road, yet pointing out his weaknesses and scars along the way with unashamed honesty. Produced with panache by Casey Wood, and backed by great musicianship, Lamb’s performances are vulnerable, yet strong; his lyrics are revealing but also hint at mystery. His stories tell just enough, then leave us to fill in the blanks."-Janet Goodman, Music News Nashville.
"Lamb mixes pop, classic rock, and Americana, and comes through with one quality tune after another. Every year it seems that I come across a singer-songwriter who makes a great 'Ryan Adams' album. Of course I am speaking of the Ryan Adams of Gold and Heartbreaker, and this year it is Shane Lamb." -Absolutepowerpop
“This album embodies the kind of rock that embraces all the things great about American folk music: love, freedom and the hunger for something else. I highly recommend this album for those who are obsessed with Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, The Jayhawks, Wilco, and Neil Young. This album will not let you down."
"Much like Petty and his cautious optimism, even in the murky darkness, Lamb is ever looking for the light. With its overt soul elements, Memphis sounds also come to mind. And Lamb's pop songwriting further makes us think about classic rock inspirations. It's hard not to be encouraged by Lamb's utter determination. When he advises, 'You follow your dreams like tail lights in storm', you realize he's suggesting that dreaming is by no means a passive activity. Instead you need to stay tailgate close to your dreams, or they will get away from you and leave you lost. Such perseverance turns Disengage into a truly engaging effort."
"This is an album of solid roots rock that is easy to enjoy. A strong suite of songs with highs, lows and in-betweens. Great band. What's not to like?" Americana-UK
The release of Disengage was followed up just three months later with a burst of new songs and the tracking sessions of what would become Shane’s newest record Better Here, which is set for a Spring 2011 release (with the Nashville flooding, a summer tour, and a home repair in between). Disengage was also in consideration for three Grammy nominations. “Getting a nomination would have been unbelievable. We got close. I would have loved to have seen Casey nominated for all his work on this record. It was about as indie as it gets; just us with the songs,” Shane says.
“I’m really excited and grateful to be making music- it is all I have ever wanted to do. I enjoy the whole process: the writing, recording, and playing live. It is an amazing thing to write a song and bring it to a session with some great players and friends and see what happens. I would be thrilled just to be in a room with these great musicians, watching them do their magic. But to have them playing on songs I have written, it still gives me the ‘chill bumps’ as Emily Dickinson would say. There are a lot of awards, credits, and mojo that comes with the folks I have been able to work with on these records. I feel really fortunate.”
“I still daydream about the world in the headphones; I still write on scraps of paper, and I still believe there is truth in there— it’s still stacks of books and poetry. Although the mystery of making records and writing songs is a little less mysterious now, I am still enthralled and excited by the whole process. And after all those hours of listening to him as a nine-year-old boy, I did get to meet Johnny Cash. That alone was worth the ride!”