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Digging the Acoustic Life w/Brandon Shaw


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While the rest of the iPod generation stuffs its emo ears with packaged pop-punk, singer-songwriter Brandon Shaw emerges as a fresh alternative with his back-to-the-basics debut Downfall Road. Steering away from sound effects and overproduction, the record is rock ‘n’ roll stripped to its core: it’s just Shaw and his guitar, which carries his lyrics through the album with charisma and conviction. Shaw, who hails from Northridge, Calif., models his simple formula after legends like Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan, whose song “Hurricane” is the thematic foundation for the reflective “Sunday In July.” Chuckling as he sings, “No room to grow / with the same three chords,” Shaw describes a life of repetition on the allegorical straightaway, “Downfall Road.” The cynical “Strangers” and the love-tinged “Burdette” accompany the title track on the single, which was released shortly after the full-length in 2007. Shaw is wise beyond his fifteen years, as heard on the anti-substance “Age Is Rage” or on the trend-weary “Lost to Rock ‘n’ Roll.” In fact, Shaw’s age is the last thing that’s going to keep him from success. “Putting out an album on iTunes and playing numerous shows and dates is me saying to the public, ‘kids can be successful at such a young age,’” says Shaw. “Getting on stage each night is me saying to my peers, ‘if you want to play basketball, play basketball, if you want to act, act.’ If you have a dream, go for it: not ‘when I’m older I want to be,’ but ‘now I want to be.’” "It is sometimes tough to call clubs up late at night with my usual, "hey I'm Brandon Shaw, no band, just me, what dates do you have available?" But as Downfall Road proves, thats all he needs.-Jeff Goodman

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