Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Diggin' Through The Archives

I have several pieces that I've written in the past that I would like to share with you. Some of these have been published--others have not.

Here's a bio I wrote for Goofin' Records when they released Shaun Young's "Wiggle Walk".

(Austin, Texas)--Shaun Young is best known for his work with the highly acclaimed rockabilly trio, High Noon. But when guitarist Sean Mencher decided to move away from Austin in 1996, Shaun was left wondering what he would do next. He didn’t have to wonder long when brothers Bobby and Billy Horton moved from Beaumont, Texas, to the capital of the lone star state. “Bobby, Billy and I have played together almost as much as I’ve played with Sean and Kevin (Smith) in High Noon,” says Shaun. “It gets to be like riding a bike with those two.”

The original band name was Shaun Young and the Texas Trio—and included the Horton Brothers along with drummer Alberto Telo. This configuration of the band played around locally until Alberto had to move back to Italy in the early part of 1997. Over the next couple of years they continued to play shows occasionally but didn’t really hit their stride until 1999. That was the year that drummer Buck Johnson, teenage piano prodigy T Jarrod Bonta, and guitarist Dave LeRoy Biller came on board. T and LeRoy play with the band whenever they’re available. (T oft times subbing for LeRoy if he can’t make it.) “I’m really the luckiest guy in the world to work with these players,” notes Shaun. “Every one is a world class musician and make my job as a singer and front man too easy. Plus they are all great people and I’m proud to count them among my closest friends.” The diversity of these musicians allows them to easily transition from traditional rockabilly to a country shuffle. And it’s this band that can be found backing Shaun on his latest recording, Wiggle Walk (Goofin’ Records).

“Making Wiggle Walk was one of the best times I’ve had in the studio,” claims Shaun. The recording took place over several laid back sessions at Fort Horton Studios. “Bobby and I got together and had basic arrangements of most of the tunes but a lot of them weren’t worked out completely. It made the session feel very creative.”

An example of that creative process can be found on “I’ve Found What I’m Looking For”. As Shaun explains, “Billy called me the day of one of the sessions starting later that same night. He says ‘man, I think we need a ballad for this album.’ I said ‘yeah, you’re right. Let me see what I can come up with.’” After hanging up the phone, Shaun wrote the song and it was recorded at the session that evening!

Shaun calls upright bassist/producer Billy Horton the “perfect sounding board for ideas because he’s so brutally honest. Basically, he’ll tell you what works or sounds good—and what doesn’t—and will suggest what would work better musically.” He adds “that’s why he is such a great producer and engineer in the studio.”

Shaun Young and his band can be found around Austin, Texas, playing at their favorite bars and honky tonks such as the Continental Club and Ginny’s Little Longhorn. They have also played at the Rockin’ 50’s Fest in Green Bay, WI, and the High Rockabilly Festival in Calafell, Spain.

Wiggle Walk is the follow up to 1996’s Red Hot Daddy (also on Goofin’ Records).

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