Chuck Shaw will be holding an album release party for his newly released self-titled album on Feb. 8 at Railyard Bar & Grill. Photo by Nicola Gell
Chuck Shaw album release
Rising traditional country musician Chuck Shaw will be holding a show and album release party on Friday Feb. 8 at 8 p.m. at Railyard Bar & Grill for his new self-titled debut album.
Like America, Shaw began his adventure in the East. From there both stories, of nation and artist, sweep westward, drawing from new surroundings, absorbing what each station on their way has to offer.
America's journey is still underway. But in a sense, Chuck Shaw has found what he was looking for: a place where he can put down roots and nurture his unique artistry.
For Shaw, that place is, as someone once crooned, "deep in the heart of Texas" – San Marcos, Texas, to be exact. He's been here for just a few years but that's time enough for him to know he has come home. With his love for old-school country music, his ability to write songs nourished by that tradition and sing them with rare expression, this is where he has always belonged.
"Even when I was in high school back in New Jersey, I knew I was probably going to end up in Texas," he reflects."And later, when I was in Colorado and Wyoming, friends kept telling me, 'You need to move to Texas. You sound like you belong there. That's where the real stuff is."'
The "real stuff" is country music that's about substance, not style. It's more Cash than Carrie.
All you need to do is listen to his self-titled debut album to know it's true. It's in the raunch, grit and swagger of "Dirty Woman Creek," the neon glow and greasy groove of "Ain't No Bad Time," the morningafter cobwebs and cold daylight that color "Hope I Can Get Through Today."
This is Lone Star country - but the deeper you listen, the more hints you hear of the path he took to reach that destination. In his first single, "Burn That Oil," the harmonica riff and nostalgic reminiscence might bring Springsteen to mind. Shaw wouldn't deny it, being born and raised in New Jersey. But even in his formative years, with his friends immersed mainly in rap, Shaw felt the call of country, first from groups like The Eagles and Creedence Clearwater Revival.
"A lot of the rock I grew up with had country roots," he said. "Then one day in high school, after I'd gotten my heart broken, I bought the John Fogerty album 'Blue Ridge Rangers,' where he covered a bunch of country songs including 'She Thinks I Still Care.' That song really spoke to me. And through the album as a whole, I discovered George Jones, Hank Williams, Merle Haggard and all the others who would influence me so much."
Shaw moved to San Marcos in late 2016. Since then, he went from finding a place to live in a town filled with strangers to building up friends and followers through open mic nights and playing gigs throughout the state.
His persistence has paid off and put him square in the spotlight as one of traditional country's most promising new talents.