THE BLUEGRASS SPECIAL - Review By: David McGee - Got
my own way/and it works just fine. So growls Big Shanty amid the greasy funk blues
of Stop Pushing Me, second cut on the first of this two-disc, 19-song overview
of his impressive musical endeavors. Well, it has indeed worked out just fine for the big
man since he stormed into the blues world with 2004s World of Trouble and has
continued marching on like Sherman to the sea, adopting a strictly scorched earth policy
as he goes. A triple-threat writer/singer/slide guitarist, Shanty attacks most of his
songs with impunity and a foul disposition, because this is serious business indeed. You
can tell that much from the howling slide sorties and in-your-face vocal report to a
wayward woman marking his punishing, Hendrix-like They Say Its Raining
(disc one). He may turn down the heat a bit on something such as Got a Hold On
Me, in which both his dark, ominous voice and spacey guitar evoke the specter of the
Doors at their finest; and on World of Trouble, he goes deep into the heart of
a broken-hearted melody of a blues ballad, his voice full of the pain of betrayal, his
stinging guitar adding a second, aggrieved voice to his own. He prefers, however, to get
off simmer quickly and unequivocally. Disc one shows what he has done with mostly a basic
band behind himthe occasional horn section or synth will show upand thus
showcases the variety of blues and blues-inflected styles over which he exercises complete
dominion. A special treat in this set is the fevered, pumping, 50s-style musical
orgy he engages in on a saucy, braggadocio-filled come-on, Right Combination,
a crispy live track that gets some added oomph courtesy Phil Daviss rollicking
keyboards, Rick Phillipss rumbling bass sax and a tart, electrifying Eddie Jett
guitar solo complementing Big Shantys feisty vocal.
Disc twos ten cuts feature Big Shantys combo joined by an array of special
guests, including Wet Willie bassist Jack Hall (who enters the fray on the intense,
unsparing title track from 2007s Ride With the Wind, a relentless, multi-textured
assault driven in part by Big Shantys rarely heard fingerpicked acoustic blues
guitar, with Eddie Jett taking the electric guitar lead for a couple of searing solos en
route); Hydra guitarist Spencer Kirkpatrick on a couple of cuts (including the sputtering,
funkified southern soul delight, Kiss the Eight Ball, and the hard charging,
party-hearty invite to sensual delights, Love Train, on which Kirkpatrick
steps up for an energized, soaring solo about halfway through); the estimable and
indefatigable Col. Bruce Hampton, adding out-there electric steel atmospherics to the
grinding Living On the Edge of Time; and, on seven of the 10 cuts, Liz
Melendez, doing honors both as guitarist and soul shouter vocalisther heavy metal
thunder on Uncle Sam Go To Rehab is all wondrous, brutal beauty defining a
topical screed of Big Shantys directed at political corruption and government waste
(this disc opens with another topical entry, the anti-war screed, Killing
Fields, an occasion for Melendez to announce herself with wailing, electric
protests), and on the aforementioned Kiss the Eight Ball, her multitracked
backing chorus brings a Bonnie Bramlett soul strut to the proceedings.
The simple title of this release is telling: greatest hits has no relevance in
Big Shantys world; His Best would be only partly correct, since more
than two discs would be needed to support such a title. No, Collection is good. Its
not limiting, its not hyperbolic, its even understated. The better to lay you
flat out when you get steamrolled by the contents herein. Watch outtheres more
to come. Big Shantys at large.David McGee
NASHVILLE BLUES SOCIETY Review By Sheryl and Don Crow.
Bluesman Big Shanty burst onto the scene with his 2007 release, "Ride With
The Wind." With no major corporate sponsorship and nothing but word-of-mouth and
internet buzz to generate interest, he has amassed sales of over one million downloads of
his material through his indie label website, kingmojo.com. He's back with his latest
offering, "Collection," a two-CD powerhouse consisting of fourteen studio tracks
and five red-hot live tracks reissued just for this release.
Big Shanty is in a category all his own, and is indeed an enigma of sorts, but remains
true to the blues in every sense of the word. Some pundits refer to his style as
"death metal blues" or "heavy metal funk." And, while it's true that
he does lay down a mean array of buzzing guitar and a rain of sonic techno-blues, he does
so with a verve and raw passion that is rare among today's players. His love for the blues
has brought out some fine guest stars on this set, including the legendary Col. Bruce
Hampton and former Wet Willie bassist Jack Hall.
The freedom one gets from riding a motorcycle is the theme of the set-closing "Ride
With The Wind," from his aforementioned debut, while the leadoff cut "Whisky
Woman," is a tribute to bikers, their babes, and the late Jim Morrison. An eerie
guitar riff opens "The New Messiah," a sly look at some TV evangelists and their
real agendas, which also features a fine gospel backing chorus. The live tracks, recorded
at the House Of Jam, include a smokin' piano-and-sax-driven "Right Combination,"
and a nine-minute Allman-ish jam entitled "Smoke And Mirrors."
We had two favorites, too. Big Shanty has always had his finger on the pulse of today's
society, and "Killing Fields" hits home hard with its anti-war sentiment and
lyrics that beg the question "When will we ever learn" that war is not the
answer. And, Shanty gets in a sly parting shot to the Bush years with "Uncle Sam Go
To Rehab," and its lyrics, "Uncle Sam you were a friend of mine, until you got
hooked on that crude oil line." Shanty's snarling vocal and searing slide drives this
one home with the power of a right cross to the chin.
Big Shanty is a bluesman for those who want more than three chords and a cloud of dust
with their blues. He's got a great contemporary sound with hard-hitting socially-explicit
lyrics that characterize the cuts on "Collection," a set not to be missed!!
Until next time....Sheryl and Don Crow.
GUITAR INSTRUCTOR.COM - by Michael
Mueller - "Collection" Big Shanty -
With his fuzz-drenched, exploding-out-of-your-speakers sound, Big Shanty has been labeled
by some as "death metal blues." The analogy may be a bit overstated, but this
19-song 2-CD set is certainly more akin to Jimi Hendrix than it is to Muddy Waters. Visit KingMojo.com for more
DOWNBEAT MAGZINE: "Guitarist Big Shanty's great thrill is to fire up blues
in a riotous manner that bolsters old-school Southern blues-rock with jam-band
hell-raising and acid-tossed-in-your-face techno blues."
CRAWDADDY MAGAZINE: "Big Shanty comes on like a rip snortin, fire
breathin son of a swamp dog with whiskey breath harsh enough to blister the chrome
on a Harley."
Shanty's 2007 disc Ride With The Wind seemingly fell out of the blues blue, gaining street
cred when Real Blues magazine named the release its "#1 Blues Album of the
Toronto CanadaReview By Kerry Doole Southern blues rockers Big Shanty is something of a cult hero on the
alternative blues scene. Five independent albums have reportedly generated a million
downloads, and look for his profile to get a boost with this damn fine double CD, 19-song
set of his best material. This is dirty, gritty, fiery stuff that some have called
"death metal blues" or "heavy metal funk." It's about as subtle as a
demolition derby, but Shanty's gruff vocals and raunchy slide guitar deliver the goods
consistently. Alternating lead guitarists Dave Hanbury, Chris Blackwell, Liz Melendez,
Spencer Kirkpatrick (Hydra) and Eddie Jett all fuel the fire, while cameos are taken by
Southern rock heroes Jack Hall (Wet Willie) and Col. Bruce Hampton. Along with classic
motor biking tunes like "Whisky Woman" and "Ride Like the Wind,"
there's a refreshingly subversive tone to the lyrics of "Uncle Sam Go to Rehab"
and "Killing Fields," which adds to the appeal. Female backing vocals from
Melendez boost the funk on "Kiss the Eight Ball" and "Love Train," and
even usually annoying synth horns are used effectively. This goes well with moonshine and
ribs at your next BBQ. Crank up high and ignore the neighbours.
(King Mojo) Blues
In The Digital Age by David
W. King - Big Shantys sonic rain of acid guitars and incendiary beats has
captivated fans all over the globe in search of something outside the blues/rock
mainstream, and the tracks on Collection deliver that in spades. By word of mouth and the
internet, the buzz about Big Shanty has spread world-wide, with fans registering over one
million downloads from his indie label website, www.kingmojo.com. Big Shanty has
successfully navigated through the music business maze without the benefit of big
corporate radio, corporate media sponsorship slick videos or any of the trappings in the
star-making machinery of the music business. TOP-40 CHARTS.com-
New York, NY (Top40 Charts/ Mark Pucci Media) - King Mojo Records announces a February 8
release for Collection, a 2-CD compilation of tracks from Big Shanty, whose blistering
sound has been described as everything from "death metal blues" to "heavy
metal funk." The double-disc set also includes five previously out-of-print live
tracks. Many of Big Shanty's longtime friends join in the jams on Collection, including
Wet Willie bassist Jack Hall; guitarist Spencer Kirkpatrick, formerly of Hydra;
up-and-coming guitar hotshot Liz Melendez; and legendary jam-band godfather, Col. Bruce
BLUES CRITIC: "Hendrix-like vocals by Shanty is Blues at heart "Born Up
In Trouble" may be the "Born Under A Bad Sign" of our day."
REAL BLUES MAGAZINE: "Big Shanty paints visual pictures with his
songs and hes almost without competition in that sense. Killing Fields
is a powerful condemnation of old lies and self-serving propaganda, delivered with raw
emotion and a driving beat. A more powerful anti-War tune does not exist! And, the music
is as powerful as the uncompromising lyrics. Living On The Edge is a
Masterpiece tune closing out a Masterpiece album.
MAGAZINE: "Its nice when a sound comes along that really catches the
ear and takes control of the senses with a magnetic, wrenching tug. The experience doesn't
happen all that often, but when it does its authentic and infectious."
This ain't your run of the mill blues release...But it's a
must have!, June 6, 2011 - By Jerry D ""Blues-Head" & Blues fm DJ"
As a Blues Radio DJ, I'm fortunate enough to get a lot of
CD's sent to me. Some good, some bad, and some that are game changing, and unforgettable.
When I received Big Shanty's new "Collection" 2 CD set, I was frankly blown
away! I thought I had my finger on the pulse of todays hot rockin' modern blues-but
this one proved me wrong, as there's still much to be discovered. This is because Big
Shanty's been out there-somewhat underground, for a few years now, releasing other great
I am glad that this is the first Shanty CD's that I
received, because this one displays great diversity in this artist. This is supposedly not
a "Best Of" set, though it does draw from some of his other releases. I will
warn you though-this is probably unlike any other Blues CD that you've ever heard-and
THAT'S the beauty of it also. This is Blues for the 21st century, but yet Blues that has
deep roots as well. This is a great introductory set for listener's to discover this
I'm not going to describe every tune for
you-there is free preview right here, use it, and then buy it, and then tell your friends
to buy it also...this one will expand your blues experience! Blues Underground Network
- 5 Starsfor sure for this treasure....Review
by John Vermilyea Big Shanty "Collection" was an amazing introduction, for me, to
an artist I had not heard of before, but one that I now totally understand why he has such
a large cult following. Big Shanty's music falls into the category of being truly rare,
truly unique, and truly wonderful.
Americana Roots - Review by Don Zelazny
Nothing I love better than discovering a great new BBQ joint I havent been
to or a great musician I hadnt heard of. While I have plans to try the newest BBQ in
town in a few weeks, I dont have to wait for some great new music, courtesy of Big
Shanty, who I had never heard of before this great new double cd Collection
arrived in my mailbox recently.
While Shantys music would definitely be categorized broadly as blues, one of the
other descriptions I read is perhaps more accurate; Death Metal Blues and Heavy
Metal Funk. Disc one of the collection is definitely more in the blues
vain, while heavy metal funk more aptly describes the second disc. One thing they both
have in common- to best best appreciated they need to be played LOUD!
While Big Shanty has obviously been around for some time, his entrance onto the wider
blues scene occured in 2007 with the release of his disc Ride With The Wind, which caught
on not from corporate advertising, but from work of mouth and internet buzz, leading to
over a million downloads of his material- hardly the normal bluesmans road to
success. This Collection contains 5 live tracks that were released just for
this disc, as well as 14 studio tracks.
Check out Shanty performing his anti-war tune Killing Fields, the opening cut of disc two!
Phoenix Blues Society - Review by Graham Clarke Big Shanty plays brash, blistering rock/blues thats been called
Death Metal Blues and Heavy Metal Funk. Since his breakthrough
album, 2007s Ride With The Wind, his renegade brand of blues has been reaching and
converting music fans, who have tracked down his previously releases on his labels
website and downloaded them over a million times. Despite virtually no exposure from radio
or media, the word has spread.
Collection (King Mojo Records) should play a big role in getting Big Shantys sound
out to the masses. Its a two-disc, nineteen-track compilation of all original
material, featuring Shanty with a potent list of guest stars, including Wet Willie bass
player Jack Hall, former Hydra guitarist Spencer Kirkpatrick, guitarists Liz Melendez,
Chris Blackwell, and Col. Bruce Hampton.
Shanty wrote all of the tunes and they range from straight blues/rock (Whisky
Woman, Born Up In Trouble, 100 Pound Hammer) to
dissertations on current or recent events (Uncle Sam Go To Rehab,
Killing Fields) to funk/rock (Kiss The Eight Ball, Love
Train). Even the more laid-back tracks (there are a few) like Ride With The
Wind grab you by the throat.
Big Shanty dominates the scene with his omnipresent slide guitar and his growling vocals.
The backing musicians are incredible, particularly Scott Robertson on drums, Ronnie Heath
on bass, and all of the lead guitarists. If youve never experienced the force of
nature that is Big Shanty, I strongly recommend this awesome 2-disc set as a jumping-off
point. Chances are that you will want to hear more.
REVIEW - MIDWEST RECORD
CHI, IL JANUARY 7, 2011
BIG SHANTY "Collection" Review by Chris Spector If were not careful, Shanty might be the last blast of outsider
music we hear in our lifetimes. With his industrial, acid blues, he came out of nowhere a
few years ago and became the darling of the underground, indie world. This set looks the
past over one last time and offers up some previously unreleased stuff as well. Real musos
know this is cut from the true vine and its a real tonic for stasis infested
bloodstreams. With cats from the classic Capricorn era on board, nobody here wants any
dust on them and they deliver. This aint for you if youre a chart music fans,
but if you arent ..dig it and dig in.
Andy Hamburger-drums / percussion, Big Shanty-vocals / slide guitar, Dave Hanbury-lead guitar,
Dave Ylvisaker-keyboards, Ron Heath-bass |
Hittin' The Road 2012
PRESS AND REVIEWS...
"Modern Guitars Magazine"
By: Brian D. Holland Its nice when a sound comes along
that really catches the ear and takes control of the senses with a magnetic, wrenching
tug. The experience doesn't happen all that often, but when it does its authentic
and infectious. Its music with an air of excitement, a stimulation factor brought on
by a combination of traits both unique and inspirational. Sold Out is all that and
Big Shanty's music is a mesh of styles, both contemporary and traditional. It's a mixture
of funk, techno, hip-hop, and especially blues and rock. It's Prince meets JJ Cale and Jon
Spencer Blues Explosion meets Muddy Waters, Public Enemy and the Chemical Brothers. The
sound is electrifying and mesmerizing. He's known as a renegade rocker at times, and he
sings in support of human rights, free speech, Internet radio and independent media. Those
familiar with his song "Killing Fields," from his 2007 release Ride With The
Wind, are well aware of that.
The opener, "Big Shanty, From Lower Alabama to Hollywood," is an up-tempo blues
number with a rhythmic drive reminiscent of J.J. Cale in places, an isolated vocal element
that's suggestive of archetypal Cale as well. However, the song's rocked up and funky pace
makes it all Big Shanty in essence. He gets into some interesting acoustic and slide
guitar phrasing throughout the song. Rick Phillips is superb on keyboards as well.
"Kissing the Eight Ball" takes it in another direction. Though it's quite rocked
up and funky, in somewhat of a Jon Spencer vein, its techno vibe is very innovative and
captivating. This one has a tendency to grow more likable each time it's heard. Accented
by Shanty's brisk slide guitar chops and the scorching lead guitar work of Spencer
Kirkpatrick, "Love Train" drives along like a locomotive streaming down the
Though Big Shanty's innovative slide work transpires throughout the album, much of the
lead guitar work is Spencer Kirkpatrick (Hydra). There's also a scorching solo by Chris
Blackwell on "Stop Pushing Me." Liz Melendez is perfect in providing the songs
with extra vocal ambiance in the choruses (solo guitar on "Uncle Sam" as well).
So, even though a few songs contain a heavy techno sound and other idiosyncrasies, it's
still very much a guitar and instrument oriented CD.
Another notable track is a pleasant acoustic number called "Tybee Town." It
includes a sitar additive played by Col. Bruce Hampton, the renowned surrealist musician
from Georgia. Shanty ends the album with the lyrically political and rocked up "Uncle
Sam Go To Rehab," giving the CD a real kick-ass finale.
The music on Sold Out is different, innovative and captivating. Big Shanty's slide
guitar approach and gruff vocals are just right surrounded in the bluesy, rocked up, and
techno environment. For those with brave taste and a roving ear, who are always looking
for new frontiers and new approaches in music, Big Shanty's Sold Out is a very
diverse and enjoyable collection of songs. Boundaries do not exist in this music. READ MORE
Big Shanty uses; Squire Stratocasters,
Fender Stratocasters, Danelectro U2, Guild D40, Rogue Resonators and DAddario
By: j. poet Big Shanty comes on like a rip snortin, fire
breathin son of a swamp dog with whiskey breath harsh enough to blister the chrome
on a Harley and a black-and-blue attitude hard enough to make strong men weak and weak men
quiver. Hes got a guitar sound thats fuzzier than a bucket full of month-old
bacon. Hes a night walker, a trash talker, and a groove master with a grinding
guitar sound thats both dangerous and thrilling. Born in the backwoods and raised on
brimstone and moonshine, weaned on tractor exhaust and hard work, and seduced by the
primal power of the blues at an early age, Shanty never wanted to be a star, but he did
want to make some kind of gut-bucket, bone-rattling, tooth-busting, hell-raising noise. He
grabbed a guitar, turned his amp up way past 11, and started wailing out tunes about
desperate men, fearsome women, and a world gone mad. He spoke the truth, not giving a damn
if anybody was listening, and found that he connected with something ferocious in the
souls of his audience. He got discovered and soon found himself tearing up the floorboards
of juke joints and blowing the roof off of blues clubs. He put out a couple of CDs and one
of them, 2007s Ride With the Wind, which lifted a big middle finger to the powers
that be, went viral thanks to the internet. Real Blues Magazine named it the #1 Blues
Album of 2007, and internet blues stations around the world drank from his bracingly
bitter cup. His thick, greasy sound turned heads and got people all shook up. They began
wondering just who this Big Shanty character was. He may be the alter ego of legendary
blues lover and promo man Dick Wooley, or maybe not. But one thing is certain: Hes
laying down some of the nastiest blues-rock youve heard in a long time.
Things kick off with Big Shanty, From Lower Alabama to Hollywood, the story of
our heros journey from obscurity to the bright lights of LA. Its a mellow
driving track with a tongue-in-cheek lyric, nice boogie woogie piano from Rick Phillips,
and some slashing guitar from up-and-coming guitar goddess Liz Melendez. Shanty sings his
own praises with a gruff grace and tongue firmly in cheek. Love Train is
steaming and frenetic, a simple groove that lets Shanty show off his slide guitar work,
while Kiss the Eight Ball is a funky rocker full of snarky sexuality with
sassy backing vocals by Melendez that adds plenty to the decadent ambience.
They Say Its Raining tells the usual sad story of a man left alone to
wander the neon blasted sidewalks trying to mend a broken heart. The sound is thick and
distorted, a voice crying out from the darkness of a bottomless pit. Shantys vocal
is full of frustration and anger, and the guitars fall like a collapsing building.
Phillips adds some midnight B3 to Walking Shoes, another broke down she
done me wrong song with Chris Blackwell, his stinging leads darkening the mood even
Rolling Thunder has a late night vibe, a slow blues perfect for driving down a
deserted, late night highway. Cant Hold Out picks up the tempo for
another desperate groove; Shantys slide and Spencer Kirkpatricks shrieking
leads release some of the tension, but Scott T. Robertsons drums keep up the
pressure. Tybee Town lets a bit of light into the picture. Shanty sings like a
young man in love and plays some delicious acoustic slide to complement the bluesy sitar
lines of jam band godfather Col. Bruce Hampton. Things close out with a protest song,
Uncle Sam Go to Rehab. Robertsons drums and the twin guitars of Shanty
and Melendez give the track a raw, barebones feel. Melendez smokes while Shanty snarls out
his tale of woe. Theres nothing fancy on Sold Out , just down and dirty blues
delivered with plenty of attitude and a devil-may-care energy thatll warm up even
the coldest winter night. READ
By: Frank-John Hadley
*** Three Stars
Guitarist Big Shanty's great thrill is to fire up blues in
a riotous manner that bolsters old-school Southern blues-rock with jam-band hell-raising
and acid-tossed-in-your-face techno blues. Sift through the sonic turbulance and Shanty's
heard singing about age-old blues matters like loneliness and hittin' the road.
"Uncle Sam Go To Rehab" is his twisted requiem for the Bush presidency.
By: Frank-John Hadley
By: Reverend Keith A. Gordon READ MORE
Blues guitarist Big Shanty will kick
off the new year with his rockin' third collection of songs, Sold Out , which is
certain to turn blues purists on their collective heads. Shanty effortlessly blends
Delta-inspired blues with 21st century sounds to create something entirely unique,
interesting, and entertaining. Helping the big one this time out are friends like Atlanta
rock legend Col. Bruce Hampton, and guitarists Liz Melendez and Spencer Kirkpatrick, an
original member of the Southern rock cult band Hydra. (Release date: 01/06/09) READ MORE
Sold Out . . . (King Mojo ***1/2)
Shanty opens his new album with a bit of tongue-in-cheek self-mythologizing, "Big
Shanty, Lower Alabama to Hollywood." The guitar-slinger does,
however, seem to have taken the advice he dispenses: "The moral of the story is it's
never too late/ Picking up a guitar, or pounding 88s . . . Tomorrow never comes for the
people that wait." That's how Dick Wooley, former record promo man and now a condo
builder in Georgia, became Big Shanty, blues-rocking dynamo.
Sold Out . . . features some synth beats, but make no mistake: This is more retro than
techno, to paraphrase a Shanty marketing line. The blues and blues-rock are heavy on
attitude and riffage - Shanty's vocals are often sung through a mike filter to add to the
rough-and-tumble effect. "Tybee Town," on the other hand, is a lilting interlude
graced by electric sitar. It comes just before Shanty closes out with "Uncle Sam Go
to Rehab," in which he veers from the usual blues themes to deliver a blistering
broadside against government corruption.
Batten down the hatches, Big Shanty's back in town. What
that means is a full-on scorched earth assault of searing, buzzsaw guitars and thundering
rhythm section in service to the Big one's rough-hewn vocal declamations. Among the
estimable musicians on hand to support his efforts are a few of those who made his
previous album, Ride With the Wind, a memorable outing, including the honorable Col. Bruce
Hampton (Ret.), guitarist Liz Melendez and Scott T. Robertson doing double duty as
producer and drummer, plus Hydra founding member Spencer Kirkpatrick joining in on guitar.
Keyboardist Rick Phillips shows up a few times, too, notably right off the bat adding some
honky-tonk inspired piano to the self-referential barnburner, "Big Shanty, From L.A.
to Hollywood," returning later to inject some bluesy Hammond organ to the crunch and
grind pulse and spitfire guitar work of "Stop Pushing Me" ("can't take it
with you," Big Shanty growls in what is something of a guiding philosophy on Sold
Out, "but there's no harm in trying"). Fans of malevolent slide work of the
Shanty sort will find much to chew on here, with a high point of sorts occurring on
"They Say It's Raining," an angry chronicling of a soured romance's detritus,
given a sharply sinister feel by Shanty's bitter vocal and his howling slide's cosmic
wail. Though these blues tend to be electric and raucous, Big Shanty does have his tender
side and it surfaces on the atmospheric, Delta-style blues ballad "Tybee Town,"
a warm reminiscence of a good place to be where "the beer is free, they say the women
are too." In addition to his own evocative slide guitar adding robust, poignant
feeling, the arrangement is further fleshed out by Kirkpatrick's rain stick, which sounds
like the waves breaking on the white sand beach the song extols, and Col. Hampton's sinewy
electric sitar lines snaking around Shanty's slide. Melendez gets into the act in a big
way on the final cut, keying the topical "Uncle Sam Go To Rehab" with roaring,
fuzzed out, foreboding electric guitar riffing as Robertson's drums provide the bottom
ballast while Big Shanty rages against corporate and government freewheelers enriching
themselves as Main Street goes down the tubes; the tune is a timely corollary to Ride With
the Wind's "Killing Fields," wherein our hero lambasted politicians who send
young people off to die to further their own agendas. His suggestion that "Uncle Sam
gotta go to rehab/get a new attitude" makes this the first song to address both the
causes of and solution to the economic meltdown. Too bad it had to be written at all, but
at least in Big Shanty the subject finds an eloquent, firebrand spokesman. Sold Out
triumphs in a landslide. -- David McGee READ MORE
Perhaps when Jack White has lived a bit more, he might dig
deeper into his blues roots, he might learn the "why" of what he does, and
perhaps then he'll finally begin channeling his experience into something that's relevant
and telling, something that resonates longer than it takes to scroll to the next download.
Perhaps his voice will darken. Perhaps then he'll sound like Big Shanty.
Big Shanty's 2007 disc Ride With The Wind seemingly fell out of the blues blue, gaining
street cred when Real Blues magazine named the release its "#1 Blues Album of the
Year." Not bad for a veteran record-promoter-turned-label-chief-turned-guitarist. Big
Shanty began his storied career as Dick Wooley, a music promotions guy, helping to
establish southern rock with Atlantic and Capricorn by touting Molly Hatchet, Wet Willie
and the Allman Brothers, among others. Now a condo builder on Tybee Island, Georgia, he
runs his own King Mojo Records, specializing in updating the blues for modern audiences.
Sold Out... isn't nearly as overtly beat-infected as Ride with the Wind, some of which
came off as distracting. The new disc is all old-school blues attitude, with vocals sung
through a mike filter that turns every line into a snarl, and with a guitar neck greased
up from the get-go. The guitar lines grind against bass and drum, like the teeth of rusty
gears in some ornery machine. It's new, but it's old, too.
There's primal power in "Big Shanty, From L.A. To Hollywood", "Love
Train", and "Kiss The Eight Ball", as Big Shanty establishes his
no-holds-barred techniques. "Stop Pushing Me" changes things up, with Rick
Phillips' Hammond B3 providing a lifeline in the swells of Chris Blackwell's furious
guitar solos. Labelmate Liz Melendez takes the solo on the disc closer, "Uncle Sam Go
To Rehab", an audacious declaration of independence. This is the disc to put on at
one in the morning, the one that chases away the lightweights so you can find out who you
wanted to hang with after all. READ MORE
Shanty talk about starting out in a rock band. Then switching to working behind the scenes
for people like Derek and the Dominos (Eric Clapton) and the Allman Brothers. He never
stop writing songs or playing the guitar though. Now he has his own record label King Mojo
Records and his third CD Sold Out
Renegade blues-rocker Big Shantys sonic rain
of acid guitars and synth beats blasted across the Internet, Satellite and College radio
in 07 with his anti-war song "Killing Fields" and went number-one for
five-weeks on "Blues Critic" singles chart. Big Shantys CD Ride With
The Wind stayed top-ten in their album chart for five-months, his single was
nominated as "Best Blues Song and Shanty was nominated as "Best New
Artist". Topping the list of amazing kudos for the year "Real Blues
Magazine" selected Big Shantys album as the "#1 Blues Album of 2007".
Big Shanty mixes Retro with Techno, Delta Blues and Club Beats to energize his
taken-from-life stories and fans have downloaded his original songs over a million times
from KingMojo.com, his Indy labels free download website.
Internationally; Big Shanty hit number-one on Pariss Internet blues giant
Midnight Special and went top-ten on Internet blues stations in Australia,
Belgium and Scandinavia. From Londons UK ROCK Magazine to Chicagos
Downbeat Magazine, Big Shantys album received rave reviews across the
music media and remarkably all without the benefit of major label backing, corporate radio
airplay, MTV, or any assistance from the music bizs star-making machinery.
On Ride With The Wind Big Shanty delivered a brilliant collection of songs and
media reviewers compared him to the White Stripes, Lonnie Brooks, Jimi Hendrix, Root Boy
Slim and Neil Young. Big Shanty aspired to measure up to the high praise on his new album
and invited some great friends like, legendary Godfather of Jam-Bands, Col. Bruce Hampton;
The amazing blues guitar diva, Liz Melendez; Cutting edge guitarists, Spencer Kirkpatrick
and Chris Blackwell; The driving basses of Dustin Sargent and Kevin Scott; The Roadhouse
88's of Rick Phillips and the unrivaled drums of Scott Robertson these self-styled
bohemians of rockn blues gathered at Atlantas STR studios in late 2008 and
came out with a swarm of raw, rocking, high-octane Blues on the new album, Big Shanty Sold
Big Shanty uses; Squire Stratocasters, Fender
Danelectro U2, Guild D40, Rogue Resonators and DAddario Strings.
BIG SHANTY: RIDE
WITH THE WIND (KING MOJO)
With the U.S. Governments attempts to silence all forms of Independent Media, music
fans are finding-out the hard way that Indie. Media also includes Music. Many were naïve
enough to think that if we ignored everything else that was going-on wed be
left-alone with our Blues, Rock, Folk and Reggae etc. Well, its now
evident, in 2007 that if we keep our mouths shut that Big Government a.k.a. Big Brother,
just gets bolder and meaner. No man is an island is something that comes to
mind and singing out against Evil is a mandatory requirement if you want to
see Democracy survive. While many Musicians/Artists have run-in-fear from Big Brother,
others have stood-their-ground and challenged the Schoolyard Bully. Big Shanty
gets our respect and a big salute for Singing Out against the Evil that has dragged
America down and made it almost unrecognizable as a Nation that once stood for True
His Killing Fields is a powerful condemnation of old lies and self-serving
propaganda, delivered with raw emotion and a driving beat.
Big Shanty has a large cult following in The South and thanks to Internet Radio (which The
Government is trying to muzzle ) Killing Fields is getting played
relentlessly. (Now that commercial Radio is following the American Governments
Dont-Play-Ban on all the 1960s/1970s Anti-War and Peace/Love tunes, Killing
Fields would undoubtedly be added to that list along with Give Peace A
Chance and Sky Pilot). Ride With The Wind is Not typical
Blues but it is Blues Rock at its very best and drenched with Truths, Honesty and
great playing. Theres no doubt that Ride With The Wind would be a Hit
Commercial album if it were allowed to be and we can always hope that the collective Power
of The People forces this fine CD into the mainstream. D. Wooley a.k.a. Big Shanty plays
wicked guitar and on 5 of the 10 tunes whips-out his slide. There are some killer-diller
commercial potential songs on here and Shantys original King
Bee is a Hit or my name aint Fred. While the use of synths may put-off the old
fogey blues lovers, anyone who Loves great Rock Blues will not give it much thought as the
music is too damn fine.
Theres a big bunch of Georgia-area talent on here: Scott Robertson
drums/percussion, Ed Sanchez guitar, Liz Melendez guitar/vocals, Eddie Jett
guitar, Dustin Sargeant (bass), Bill Stewart (drums), Jack Hall (bass), Col. Bruce
Hampton (pedal steel), Matt Smart (harp), Ron Heath (keyboards & bass), Diane Durrett
(vocals) and Chris Blackwell (drums & synth) and the sum total is some of the finest
hard-rockin Blues/Rock youll hear on the scene today. Born Up In
Trouble sounds like Rob Zombie in Mississippi Hill Country and I say that in a
totally complimentary sense. What a tune to open with! It grabs you by the ears and it
dont let go. Killing Fields is permeated with anger, disgust and
contempt for the White House maggots. A more powerful anti-War tune does not exist! And,
the music is as powerful as the uncompromising lyrics. New Messiah continues
in this vein with a scathing put-down of the TV Christians who really are no different
than Politicians as Bullshit Peddlers. the Law doesnt touch him as
hes crossed their palm I can visualize this powerful imagery and these
incredible songs need video representation. Saying that, it occurs to me that Big Shanty
paints visual pictures with his songs and hes almost without competition in that
sense. Gone Downtown is a powerful tune about someone who went for the
downward spiral of Heroin. Beau Hills guitar solo is incredible. Ride With The
Wind is an ode to Motorcycle peace-of-mind while Whiskey Woman is an
excellent Pure Blues rocker, showing that Big Shanty can get down and basic if he wants
to. Know What Im Saying is Southern-Fried Boogie that should slay the
whole Allmans/Govt Mule/Lynyrd Skynyrd audience. King Bee, as mentioned
earlier, is a Mega-hit waiting to happen and lets hope it does happen as itll
score major points for Real Rock/Blues and have all those poseurs running for cover.
Living On The Edge is a Masterpiece tune closing out a Masterpiece album. It
deals with the Moral Cesspool weve sunk into and the manipulation of Truth and
6 Bottles of Truth Serum for the biggest dose of Truth Rock youll ever hear.
Lets see if the Bad Guys can keep this album suppressed not bloody likely! Big
Shanty has arrived.
Big Shanty's not afraid
to mix Blues with Alternative Beats or denounce politicians who start ideological wars and
send heroic young people to fight, as he does on "Killing Fields" when asking
"when will we ever learn".
Not all Big Shanty songs exhort world peace but they tell stories tales of lost
love, false prophets, girls gone bad, crusin' down blacktops and living large. Shanty
twists his Delta "Fusion" Blues, Club Beats, Alternative, Funk into hypnotic
dada rhythms that keep the dance floor shaking.
Big Shanty's first two albums stayed atop the online blues radio charts for most of 2006
and he was Nominated For; Best Blues Song of 2006, "KILLING FIELDS" and
Nominated; Best New Artist "BIG SHANTY" Debut 2006 - by Blues Critic.
Shanty song on
Allstars Vol. 3
#1 First Week...
Blues Radio, Paris, FR - Click image to jump
"Can't Hold Out" #2 for the month of June 07
Big Shanty mixes Delta Blues with Big Alternative Beats and denounces those politicians
who start wars and send our young people to sacrifice, he asks "when will we ever
Big Shanty's first two albums stayed atop online blues radio station charts for most of
2006 and was Nominated by Blues Critic as; Best Blues Song of 2006, "KILLING
FIELDS" and Best New Artist Debut "BIG SHANTY"
Big Shanty, Scott Robertson, Liz
Dustin Sargent, Jack Hall, Col. Bruce Hampton
Diane Durrett, Bill Stewart, Eddie Jett
Chris Blackwell, Ed Sanchez
Ron Heath, Matt Smart
Produced by Scott Robertson
Big Shanty uses; Squire Stratocasters,
Danelectro U2, Guild D40, Rogue Resonators and DAddario Strings.
The cover of the CD is black.
Big Shanty is written in bones. There is a silver chopper, ridden by a
grinning man wearing a top hat and carrying the flag of the Jolly Roger. Naturally, there
is a woman riding on the back.
This aint no candy ass music. This is hard driving, blues influenced Southern Rock
and Roll. This CD wasn't made for sissies.
The songs are credited to a D. Wooley, with some collaboration on a few. We can assume
they belong to Big Shanty. The lyrics are angry, written by one who is sick and tired of
the injustice, the deception, the greed and corruption of todays society. Big Shanty
is outraged, and he wants to tell you all about it.
That isnt to say that there are no love songs on Ride With The Wind. The
title track is a good example. This is a love song, biker style. Big Shanty paints a
landscape that is tattooed on the soul of every true biker worth his salt.
The voice is similar to Lonnie Brooks. There is a throaty texture, enhanced by a
considerable amount of slapback and a touch of echo to Big Shantys vocals. Shanty
sings without trepidation; a voice as hard driven and purposeful as the heavy drums and
percussion of Scott Robertson. Robertsons drums require very few rolls. This music
requires a lot of backbone, and Robertson delivers.
Big Shanty plays a smooth slide, leaving the lead solos to Liz Melendez, for the most
part, and other guitarists. As with the vocal slapback, Melendez doesnt spare the
tube screamer to achieve the hard driving tone for this recording.
King Bee is far and away the most whimsical track, rife with boasting and some
hilarious banter between Big Shanty and Melendez.
If you like your music rock solid, if you want it given it to you straight, you can find
Big Shanty on King Mojo Records at: http://www.kingmojo.com
Blues Critic: - Big Shanty Four Stars Ride With The
Wind by Dylann DeAnna
......Is Big Shanty "the white Jimi Hendrix" with a Neil Young grunge aesthetic?
He certainly is on the anti-war diatribe "Killing Fields". A loping drum beat
from Scott Robertson, wild guitar by Liz Melendez and Hendrix-like vocals by Shanty.
There's even a great video of the song out there in cyberspace. "Ride With The
Wind" combines 60s Rock, Delta Blues with funky beats. Adding "alternative
beats", often lazily dubbed Hip Hop, was a success for R.L. Burnside & Fat Possom
Records, but Shanty's use of funky drumming is fully integrated with the song rather than
feeling like a remix. In a sense he's a Bluesier version of Beck (or perhaps the other way
around). Just as good is the title cut, featuring Shanty's rapid fire phrasing, squealing
guitar and a trancelike rhythm. "Whisky Woman" owes a debt to the Beatles'
"Come Together", which ripped a portion of Chuck Berry's "You Can't Catch
Me". The opener, "Know What I'm Saying", uses a Delta Blues riff &
Blues harmonica for what is essentially a booty shaker. Despite the eclecticism, Shanty is
Blues at heart. "Born Up In Trouble" may be the "Born Under A Bad
Sign" of our day. This is truly alternative music.
Big vocals and air-ripping slide guitar zig-zag in the fast lane of
Onstage Big Shanty growls out his songs to a capacity crowd, he stomps age old blues
rhythms on an wood coke case and tambourine as his slide guitar rips holes in the late
A gesture from Big Shanty and the band accelerates intensity and the narcotic dada beat
builds the energy into a high decibel rush. The front row of fans gather at the front of
the stage to view close up what'll happen next... the Big Shanty band keeps on Rocking.
Big Shanty continues to evolve music by mining treasures from eclectic jam rock and blues.
Percussive young musicians build new beats and ambient musical elements into the mix, then
its all twisted into a dada aesthetic all its own.
Without the benefit of big radio airplay, press coverage, MTV videos or any of the other
trappings in the music bizs star-making machinery, Big Shanty has grown a large and
vocal international fan base via Satellite and Internet radio.
Success for Big Shanty is a reality, because to quote him "Success is being able to
play music with some of my best friends and with some of the most gifted young players in
the music business." He added, "For me its all about the journey because
it can all go away tomorrow. But today it just doesnt get any better.
......The continued rise of the blues bopper in clubs seems stuck in the fifties
and sixties when DJs seem quite prepared to accept later recordings in jive and
rockabilly. Rockin blues continues, though, and track one of this self-titled
collection from this stout Fender toter entitled Born Up in Trouble sounds ideal dance
floor material with its insistent beat. American Big Shanty plays principally slide guitar
on 100 per cent originals, some of which have socially aware lyrics that are worth a
listen but not a dance. As his name suggests, Big Shanty has a big voice, and no doubt a
big personality ... Check Out Big Shanty's Video "KILLING FIELDS". .
Big Shanty twists Club
Beats, Alternative Rock, Funk and Delta Blues into dada rhythms and fresh
"Fusion" Blues.Read More... Available at iTunes. Add Big Shanty to your friends at MySpace Click
......Death Metal Blues? That's the best I can describe Big Shanty's CD Ride With The
Wind. Some of the heaviest guitar sounds I've heard on a "blues" CD. The opening
track is an anti-religous screed followed by a full-on anti-establishment anti-war anthem
"Killing Fields." The third track returns to his issues with religion on
"New Messiah." Having got that out of his system, the CD starts sounding less
preachy and more heavy metal funky. The title track, "Ride With The Wind" is a
motorcylce road tune that would fit into pretty much any biker bar juke box. "Whisky
Woman" is another biker bar tune with a homage to Jim Morrison both in terms of
subject matter and vocal style. "Know What I'm Saying" keeps the heavy guitar
sound but it brings down the tempo just a bit and sounds more like the blues.