Shane Lamb Press
“This album will not let you down” – Michael Morgan
“I highly recommend this album for those obsessed with Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, the Jayhawks, Wilco and Neil Young. This album will not let you down.”
“An easy top ten!” – Absolute Powerpop
“Damned if he didn’t come up with another roots-pop gem. There’s plenty to like here. Lamb’s gift for melody and angelic voice combine for great rootsy-pop. An easy top ten!”
“Rivals the heavyweights” – Vintage Guitar Magazine
“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.”
“Captured to best advantage.” – Ososki
Consistently themed, with a strong cohesive feel throughout, this traditional, derivative soft rock collection is obviously greatly inspired by the likes of mostly Tom Petty, then Bob Dylan and George Harrison, circa 1970’s. Soft acoustic pick-n-strum and cool electric slide guitars, a wavy, tickled tenacious B-3 organ and sometimes punchy low sax harmony accents, all set into a more or less standard but very fine rhythm section make the solid, fine and currently stylistically hip musical bed.
No one will accuse Mr. Lamb of an overly projected lead vocal. Not naturally loud or assertively strong, his sensitive, singer-songwriter style most often softly serenades, semi-strenuously pushing to pump it up where called for, sometimes inconsistently within the course of a given piece (more compression; more volume?). The title track, “disengage,” may showcase his breathy style to optimal advantage, with plenty of surrounding air in which to cleanly and clearly best hear his gentle pipes and poignantly poetic words. The intent and source place from which is born this personal expression feels to offer lots of loads of heart from an often tortured soul.
One way of categorizing songwriting styles is into these two groups: lyrics bend to melody, or melody bends to lyric. We have here a somewhat overt leaning to the latter. These songs emphasize the words, and not infrequently, the words are maintained at the slight expense of a graceful finesse blend, stuffing and stretching note flow as needed.
Given the basic songwriting, the production vision on this record is top-notch. The artist’s vision was accurately perceived, developed, encouraged and captured to best advantage.
Let’s take a brief word ride through each track:
Oh gimme that good 70’s Petty rock. free (not free-fallin’) could use more intro development—not too much, say just add 10-ish seconds of something more to warm up at the very start of it all. Nothing especially original here, but a respectably decent drifty-dreamy sing-a-long. Exceptional Pagey-esque guitar work on the outro.
Nice chord changes, dynamics, rhythm and slide guitars. The i would lyric nails it expressing the universal sentiment, “If I could… I would…” This deeply felt gentle longing softly shines clearly throughout.
Shane’s melancholically beautiful dream indeed does woo us to disengage in a freeing release kind of way, like “ahhh well – life goes on, my darlin’.” A plaintive spirit well-expressed in both composition and performance, the CD is aptly titled by this track.
A solid Pettyesque rocker that pushes us along with hope toward someday getting ‘to the point.’ Nothing particularly standout here, but like everything else in this release, well-performed and production-optimized.
Intro-wise, do not be deceived: This is not All Along the Watchtower. Again, this tune, to get you through, will not knock your socks off, yet it fits in fine, playing very well with all of its neighbors.
Lovely add-9, hip tremolo, cool chord intro temptingly wafts and sucks us right in, and continues throughout much of on my mind, along with equally lovely slide guitar. Sometimes the verse vocal tends to get a bit buried behind the lush instrumental. Nice staccato backup instrumental touch on the last chorus.
Buoyant and lilting, this is unquestionably the most uplifting and positive work on the album. Simply resting in being with someone you feel completely comfortable with has a lot going for it, and a while captures its expression nicely.
dreams deeply chirps open with some B-3 sass, then softly rocks on in a fairly predictable way. This is the most country-rock gee-tar twang piece here, using yet again what is likely the most popularly implemented chord progression of the last 15-years. Have you followed your dreams?
Dylan vocals lead the Lay-Lady-Lay 50’s vibe of take away. Heavy bass sax harmonies make an interestingly classic and unique punctuation in the chorus. Possibly somewhat over-the-top sing-song melody in spots.
Rockabilly groove carries the change in me, again strongly 50’s influenced. A shorty at just over 2-minutes, this could appear on a Steve Earle album if it were taken more into the edgy, gritty territory that is Earle’s forte.
Dreaming again as we dream tonight. Vocally and melodically, this has sort of a kinder, gentler Smashing Pumpkins feel. Soft swaying in waltz time, heavy strings pump in to lush it up toward the end of 6-minutes plus, though as is most often the case, Mr. B-3 has the final word.
This finale piece, until you, brings back strong Mr. Petty song-stylin’, especially from a syncopation perspective, just less rockin’. Lyrically, there is much beneficial self-analytic therapy here. Always, always let forgiveness rule.
“Interested for the entire length of the record” – Matheson Kamin
It seems that, more and more, the singer/songwriter is becoming a lost art in the music industry. As most writers want to write songs in a certain musical vein, the ability to write songs in various styles is all but disappearing in the music world. So when someone like Shane Lamb comes along with his new CD of “Disengage,” it reminds us all that there are still writers who want to create an album of music and not just put together songs that fill a certain style.
With “Disengage,” Shane Lamb has created an album of music that allows the listener to hear the many different facets of the singer/songwriter. Throughout the twelve tracks of the new CD, the songwriter’s different feelings and emotions become apparent. And the musical ability of the musician side to him also shines through, as the musical approach also changes from track to track.
The emotional side to Lamb becomes clear in songs like “Dream Tonight”. “Dream Tonight” makes the listener aware of some of the desires that run through Lamb’s mind. In fact, the ideas of wishing and dreaming are recurring themes throughout the album.
For this album, Shane Lamb tapped into many of the things that were going on in his life during the time that the album was being created. Because of that creative decision, Lamb’s “Disengage” release has a very intimate feel to it.
While the lyrics of the songs on “disengage” were influenced by Lamb’s day-to-day life, the music for those songs had a different origin. Sometimes, the area you call home can greatly influence your writing or playing style. With Shane Lamb calling the city of Nashville home, he is naturally surrounded by some of the country’s most talented musicians. And with the ability to meet and befriend some of these musicians, Lamb was able to put together a group of players that were more than capable of helping him in the process of putting together his album with an ever-changing feel to it. Among the players on the release is Casey Wood on drums, Tim Marks on bass, Eric Holt on electric piano, plus several others.
Shane Lamb’s ability to write songs of various topics plus the musical ability of Lamb and the musicians who appear on the release give the release that feeling of variety that you seldom get from today’s releases. And while some singer/songwriters will branch out into many different musical genres on one release, Shane Lamb is content with staying within the rock genre of music. And though Lamb has chosen that path of staying within one genre, he keeps his album of “Disengage” interesting by changing the pace of the music throughout the twelve songs that make up the album. From the opening track of “Free” which has a easy rock beat, to the harder track of “Dreams,” to the rock ballad of “Until You,” that finishes out the CD, the songs on “Disengage” keep the listener interested for the entire length of the CD.
“A truly engaging effort!” – Dan MacIntosh, Ariepublicity
“Much like Petty and his cautious optimism, even in the murky darkness, Lamb is ever looking for the light. With it’s 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 perserverence turns ‘disengage’ into a truly engaging effort.” -Dan MacIntosh, Ariepublicity
“For me, Lamb’s music is so engaging.” – Scott Homewood, the Rock n Roll Report
There was a time about a decade or so ago when radio (and the public) seemed ready to embrace the roots rock being performed by Whiskeytown, Old ’97’s, The Jayhawks and other bands of that ilk. Like all music that becomes accepted by the masses, only a watered-down version would have ever become really popular but even a dumbed down version of some great alt.country-style roots rock would have been preferable to a lot of the dance pop and kiddie-rock pabulum which became big instead. N’Stink anyone? So, as the sweet and tangy roots rock flavor began to permate the music of the day, these more palatable, radio-friendly roots rock artists and bands started lining up: The Wallflowers, Freedy Johnston, and Counting Crows (among others). Though, as I said, a more listener-friendly version of roots rock, there were plenty of great songs to be had by these artists and an additional smattering of like-minded folks.
Unfortunately, the alt.country/roots rock movement never really took hold and as fast as the bands were signed, they were dropped just that quickly. Only the Counting Crows remain out of that group of artists, and they’ve morphed their sound to such a degree as to not really resemble what they used to be anyway.
And so the fickle music business goes, to paraphrase the marvelous Nick Lowe. But something tells me Shane Lamb was listening and continued to listen to all of those bands before they were famous, during their fame, and probably continues to listen to them and their musical brethren still. I say such wild things because after listening to Lamb’s debut album, you get the feeling he has been steeped in the roots rock sound for a long time. Many artists can mimic, and even more can chase a fad. Truth be told, a lot of alt.country players paid their sues in punk and metal bands when those fads were big, switched to alt.country to try to ride that wave and split the genre as soon as they realized it wasn’t going to lead to millions of dollars and tons of groupies. I could name these musical chameleons, but this is Lamb’s time to shine – and shine he does.
As a vocalist, Lamb has a reedy tenor ala Johnston which serves his homespun tales well, even the rockers. After all, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Neil Young all have similar vocal sounds and I reckon those boys have made a mark or two on the music business.
Songwriting wise, Lamb is a blend between Petty and Dylan – not too sparse, not too wordy but able to make his points amid very heartfelt statements and slice-of-life lyrics bolstered melodies that stick to your ears like mom’s ribs stick to your tummy. Lamb has also been smart enough to gather a band full of vets that are able to bring his songs to life in a way that sounds as classic as a mid-’80’s Petty song yet new at the same time. In other words, pretty good stuff with a radio-friendly sound. Now if only radio was actually friendly these days…..
The album starts out of the gate with a mid-tempo rocker entitled Free. It’s a good beginning for the album as the song has a decent hook and immediately reminds one of a Johnston cut due to Lamb’s tenor vocals and way with a phrase. A killer guitar solo by studio vet Pat Buchanan makes the song complete. Great cut and something which should be all over radio as it sits comfortably between Johnston and The Wallflowers in mood. The coda also has some wonderful guitar playing, presumably also by Buchanan. The next song is I Would and it is a slower, more contemplative song featuring great slide guitar runs by Buchanan and just the right amount of organ by Tuttle. The title cut is next and is an even slower song – two more like this and the whole album might just stop. Yes, I am bveing facetious but I wouldn’t mind hearing a little more rock from Lamb. The song eventually revs up to a gentle chug but I guess as it’s about the break-up of a long relationship, the song should be slow and moody.
The fourth song, Someday, seems to be the rocker for which I have been patiently waiting. The controlled frenzy of Lamb and his backing band sounds somewhat like a floorboarded Ferrari: dangerous and wild yet smooth and effortless. Great song with some excellent guitar work by Buchanan that shows he can fire up the heebie-jeebies when he wants. To Get You Through is the next cut and it’s a gripping mid-tempo rocker with a lot of grit and a great hook. Again, sounds like a mix between Freedy Johnston and The Wallflowers with reedy vocals and plenty of great guitar work going on and perfectly played organ work. Excellent roots rocker. The sixth song “On My Mind” is a slow dreamy ballad, one that country radio or Triple-A should eat up. Again Lamb’s vocals sound a lot like Johnston’s work but that’s certainly no quibble as I am a huge fan of Johnston and now, of Lamb’s. Deftly finger-picked guitar opens up the seventh song, A While, setting the mood for a contemplative ballad highlighted as usual by Lamb’s great
WOW! – koolkatmusik
“WOW! Shane Lamb’s debut is truly one of the best alt. country/pop releleases we’ve heard this year!” KoolKatMusik
“Will not let you down!” – Michael Morgan
"Shane’s influences (Neil Young, Ryan Adams, Bob Dylan and Tom Petty) are not worn on his sleeve, but in his heart. Indeed this is where artistry should be sheltered. The alt-rock sounds reminded me of the record ‘Tomorrow the Green Grass’ by the Jayhawks. ‘Free’, with it’s uplifting melody and rolling lyrics remind me of Neil Young’s folk rock a la ‘After the Goldrush’ but with a contemporaryy sound. It’s the haunting beauty and the uneasy directness of the title track ‘disengage’ that makes this good album a great one. 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." -Michael Morgan, Review You
“One quality tine after another” – absolutepowerpop
“Every year it seems like I come across a singer-songwriter who makes a great ‘Ryan Adams album’. Of course I’m speaking of the Ryan Adams of Gold and Heartbreaker. And this year it’s Shane Lamb. Hailing from Nashville (where else?), Lamb mixes pop, classic rock and Americana, and comes through with one quality tune after another. “Free” grabs you right off the bat, with its memorable chorus, horns-and-organ backing, and some fine guitar work from Pat Buchanan, a name which may be familiar to many of you (no, not that Pat Buchanan). “I Would” is the kind of languid, midtempo number that you’d expect on a disc like this, and “To Get You Through” has a Jayhawks-style drive to it. Also don’t miss the Springsteenesque “The Change in Me”, a 2:10 slice of upbeat roots rock (complete with sax) that falls somewhere between “Working on the Highway” and “Stand on It”.
Shane Lamb-Better Here. Nashville’s Shane Lamb is back with the followup to his excellent 2009 release Disengage, and damned if he didn’t come up with another roots-pop gem.
There’s plenty to like here, starting with the opener “Adrenaline as Medicine”, which has a strong Tom Petty vibe. Speaking of Petty, the outstanding title track is reminiscent of “Yer So Bad”. “Can’t You See” is a driving, pulsing rocker that’s still melodic, and “It’s True” has a Jayhawks-like pop sheen to it. But the real highlight here is the midtempo “I See Now”, in which Lamb’s gift for melody and angelic voice combine for a great rootsy pop tune. An easy top ten of 2011 to date.
“He’s being compared to some of the giants of his genre, like Bob Dylan and Neil Young…” – Music news Nashville, Janet Goodman
He’s being compared to some of the giants of his genre, like Bob Dylan and Neil Young. But folk rock singer/songwriter Shane Lamb also brings his own indelible, introspective rawness to the table and willingly takes the listener down his surprisingly sunny road, yet pointing out his weaknesses and scars along the way with unabashed honesty. Lamb’s performances are vulnerable, yet strong; his lyrics revealing but hinting at mystery. His stories tell just enough, then leaving us to fill in the blanks.
“I’m searching for resolution to this drive I have inside/Always has me wired and movin’/Yeah, it keeps me up late most nights, you know.” These are the opening lines of folk rocker Shane Lamb’s new CD “Better Here,” giving listeners a peek into the state of mind of this songwriter.
Compelled to write and ready to record in mid- 2010, but frustratingly delayed by the historic floods plus a tour, the artist saw this ten-self-penned song project through, where it can now be a proud sophomore sibling to his well-received 2009 debut “Disengage.”
Produced by the Grammy-winning Casey Wood, and recorded live in the studio in Nashville, “Better Here” is a reflection of all things honored and honed in Lamb’s creative life: clean and stellar guitar work, thoughtful and introspective lyrics, and neo-80s, Petty-esque melodic choruses.
This sought-after sessions player, who has toured with guitar great Lee Roy Parnell, has kicked it up a notch on his electric solos and turn arounds, making his solid display a highlight of the album. His past effort was laden with saxophone, but this time Hammond m3 and Wurlitzer pick up the sonic paintbrush to color the tracks with washes of soul.
Humming country rock ballad, “Just One More Time,” is given a dreamy feel with lots of pedal steel and Lamb’s soft and sleepy delivery, where he shows his unexpected upper register. An arrangement of haunting, overlapping layers of steel, slide and organ help the artist glide through “Nothing Left To Say,” and his unpretentious, whispery vocals fit well with harmonies, and they muster clarity and strength when needed.
Lamb has a knack for describing mature relationships against a lyrical landscape of burnt prairies and winter-bare branches without any bitterness. In “I See Now,” he tells us, “Once was regret that came with your name/Now there’s a peace that comes today/And I see now, I couldn’t slow down/Long enough for our love to take hold.” His words are honest without being heavy, all the while ripping guitars optimistically leave us open to all possibilities.
TOP PICK – babysue.com
‘Better Here’ is chock full of warm, hummable, cool guitar-driven mid-tempo pop/rock cuts…and they all sound like hits. Produced, recorded, and mixed by Casey Wood (who has already won two Grammy awards), the album has a nice warm and inviting sound.
Lamb’s cool heartfelt vocals are caressed in layers of killer guitars. His music is anything but contrived and samey. Instead of making canned pop for cash, Shane writes and records catchy pop music that is genuine, credible, and real. The more we hear this album the more permanent its effects are. Killer tracks include “Adrenaline As Medicine,” “Just One More Time,” “I See Now,” and “Pull Me In.” TOP PICK.
“A true performer.” – Music News Nashville
“Shane is a true performer. Someone who sings and plays how he feels in every part of his music.”
“What’s not to like?” – Americana-UK
“This is an album of solid roots rock that is easy to enjoy. A strong suite of songs with highs, lows and inbetweens.. Great band. What’s not to like?” – Americana-UK