Effortlessly balancing the tightrope between Pop, Country, Americana, and Indie Rock, Shane Gamble’s music comes across like a freight train heading full steam on the road less travelled. Propelled by a steady and assured rhythm section, layered guitars, and beautiful vocal harmonies, Shane rhapsodizes about love, loss, and emotional redemption.
In 2013 Shane is riding high on the success of his Top 10 single, “Turn My Way.” The groundbreaking SiriusXM country music channel, “The Highway” has enabled Shane to crash the party as an independent artist gaining new fans around the globe and serious buzz within the star making music industry crowd.
The Maryland native is working intently in his home-studio on a mix for “Blue Sky”, a track off his eponymous album. It sounds warm and immediate; it’s a song that could potentially explode on the radio – lead by a reverb saturated acoustic guitar. “I’ll listen to a section over and over again,” he notes. “I want the chorus to explode, but not hurt the ears. I want it to be warm and loud.” He fiddles with a few more studio settings, closes his eyes and listens. After a moment he suggests that he might be getting closer, but he’s not there yet.
On a moonless Thursday night Gamble is performing a solo show in Annapolis, MD. You take one look at him - short hair combed to one side (just long enough to give off a sense of attitude), a worn denim shirt and leather boots, acoustic guitar slung across his shoulders – and you’ll know that this guy believes in what music can do to the mind and the soul. Gamble attacks his acoustic guitar with an energy rarely seen at such events. He tends to lean forward on one foot and face towards the microphone – guitar at a downward angle, singing from the depths of soul with earnest conviction.
This passion runs throughout the new album Shane Gamble. It’s an album that finds him combining radio- friendly songs, (“Turn My Way,” “One Balloon”) with mixes of acoustic ballads- pop, rock and country, which resonate with Nashville Cats and New York City Hipsters alike. The album is polished but not without taking away the intimacy and warmth that make Gamble’s music so appealing. “You know it’s not about perfection, at least not sonic perfection. I’m trying to capture something unique. I want somebody to hear “Blue Sky” and have it be something they’ve never heard before. It needs to be its own thing, to last the test of time.”
Shane does another run through and the song really seems to lift off. He seems satisfied for the moment, but then his thoughts go back to “Blue Sky” and he heads back to the computer, again tinkering with the settings. He listens for another second and then suggests that we may be listening to the final mix. “This could be it,” he announces. He then walks over to the computer and burns a disc of the song. “I want to listen to this in my truck,” he says and tells me that he’s gone through many different CDs just on this song alone. We walk out to his truck and he pops the CD into the stereo. The music booms loudly, and it doesn’t sound that much different to the versions I’ve heard before. “Most of the changes can’t really be discerned,” he says. He closes his eyes, and we get to about a minute into the song before he presses Stop. He pauses and then laughs, “I think we’ve got it right this time!”
With heavy hitters like Music Row Magazine founder David Ross proclaiming, "Shane's music is a bit edgy for Nashville in some ways, but I felt that it adds something missing that could be that elusive "next big thing," coupled with John Marks, Sr. Director of Country Programming at SiriusXM adding, “we have a huge country hit on our hands,” it seems Shane’s music is breaking through with the right folks in Music City, and at the same time, Shane is the “peoples champ” taking it one gig at a time.