Tell us about yourself and your music
I am an independent artist from Northern California. I have been involved in the music business for over 35 years.
I am a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist. I am also a writer, arranger, engineer, and producer, and I own a recording studio
called Bad Dogs Studio. I have toured much of the US and have open for such artists as Tower Of Power, Eddie Money, Triumph, Red Rider, The Tubes, Dave Mason, Toto and many more. Music is my life and it has always carried me through the good times as well as bad times like an old friend.
Talk to us more about your latest release
My latest CD is titled “Running From Crazy” which launched in March of 2019. These songs were written from the heart and are well-told stories of love, loss, and the struggles we all experience in our lives but don’t often open up about! If the truth is told, everyone is running from something in their lives and these songs are about just that!
What inspired you to write this release?
A great artist once said life has a funny way of sneaking up on just when you think everything is ok, and these songs were written precisely about that very subject. Living, loving, crying, laughing and dying. It’s all there!
Describe the writing and recording process
These songs lived in my head and my heart for a very long time. I began by recording demos of all the song with just a vocal and acoustic guitar. I then recorded the first 5 songs at a friend’s studio in the town I live in. His name is Loo Wood and he is a great musician, producer and friend. Once my studio was completed, I then started recording the additional 8 songs on Running From Crazy. As I began the recording process, the songs began to come alive and there were many wonderful surprises along the way! Some of the songs stayed true to the original demos while others took on an entirely new life. It was extremely therapeutic to bring these songs to life and get them out of my head once and for all!
Any plans to release a video?
Any plans to hit the road?
Yes, I am currently rehearsing with my band preparing for a CD release party. We will then be doing a few music festivals and winery gigs to promote the music in 2020.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
I have been influenced by so many great artists and each and every one of them plays a small role in every song I write and perform.
It’s so hard to define my music exactly. Pop, Rock, Singer-Songwriter, Americana? The truth is I simply allow the fans to decide how my music makes them feel and how they want to categorize my music. If it touches their soul in some small way then I have done my job as a songwriter and performer.
Who have you been listening to lately?
It has honestly been all over the map lately. All I know is I never want to hear, play or perform another song that doesn’t make me feel something! If it makes my heart cry, my soul feel alive, and my body move, I am all over it!
Who are your biggest influences?
Steve Perry, Toto, Matchbox 20, The Counting Crows, Tower Of Power, Duran Duran, Keith Urban, Chicago and far too many more to list.
Tell us about your passions
Besides music, I would say human rights, animal rights, global peace, trust, hope, finding new exciting leaders to change the world, equality for all, determining how to put an end to the homeless epidemic, and finding a cure for cancer! I like small tasks!
What else is happening next in your world?
I am a busy person most of the time. Sitting still drives me crazy and I am definitely running from that! (smiles) as an independent artist knows, promoting yourself and your music is a full-time job!
Thanks for an awesome interview, Shannon Ell