Ever wished you could be there when a future superstar musical artist arrives on the scene? Well, that time is now and the artist is Shane Piasecki.
Piasecki's music returns his listeners to those magical days when Dylan was the voice of the land, when lyrics meant something to the listener and were delivered with catchy tunes that made their message unforgettable.
From the opening strands of Feels Alright to the last haunting notes of Night Like This, Piasecki delivers an album that simply must be experienced. Mixing a rootsy, blues rock sound with lyrical content that is pure Nashville, Set You Free lives up to its title by delivering its listeners from the mundane and predictable sound of so much of today's music. It therefore makes sense that the entire album is being promoted to AAA and Americana radio to allow program directors to choose the tracks they think their listeners will love most.
Those who love Shane’s acoustic side will be gravitating towards the soulful reflection of Wings of Wax and the lonesome, bluesy and hypnotic New To Town. Others may dig the easy rolling, soaring harmonic vibe and the biting wit of Jackie O, the moody, reverb-heavy ballad Roller Gone, the raw, high energy horn-drenched soul rocker Feels Alright and the infectious, harmonica laced pop/rocker Good Thing, My personal favorites are Mannequin Head and Night Like This, which leave me wanting more of Piasecki's incredibleness.
Recorded at The Sound Emporium B and The Lab and produced by versatile Nashville producer, performer and band leader Nathan Meckel, Set You Free features performances by two of Nashville's top session players, bassist Dave Roe (Johnny Cash, Dwight Yoakum) and Jerry Roe (Aaron Tippin, American Idol winner Scotty McCreery) who created the groove on Shane’s previous DIY album Monday Creek (2010). In addition, the album was co-mixed and engineered by Grammy nominated mixer/engineer Mark Niemiec (India Arie), who combined with Meckel form the Buzz Brothers. Other top studio musicians lending their talent to this project include keyboardist John Deaderick (Patty Griffin, James Taylor, Dixie Chicks), bassist Steve Mackey, trumpeter Layne Ihde and Maurice “Bow Tie” Farmer.
“While Set You Free reflects my growth as a songwriter over these past few years, it also marks a breakthrough because it’s my first recording to feature me playing lead guitar – something that few artists recording in Nashville do,” says Shane, who plays a Floyd Stratocaster, Fender Strat, Fender Telly and Gretsch hollow body. “I’ve been working towards this style of Americana where I can play the lead guitar in everything for a long time. I like to say that it’s me getting away from John Mayer-land and creating my own stamp via experimenting with another few levels in my guitar playing.
“If I’m working with my acoustic,” he adds, “I’m doing something folky and poppy, but put an electric guitar in my hand and I’m doing blues and rock. I feel that I have paid my dues with my previous DIY indie albums and that Set You Free, which combines the best of all my styles, puts me on the first tier of an exciting new level in my career. It’s inspiring to work with this caliber of world class musicians and I’m becoming more confident that the songs I am writing, while drawing from many inspirations, don’t sound like any other artist.”
While his career is in a different kind of overdrive since signing with Favarett and now LandStar Entertainment, Piasecki, who grew up listening to CCR and Eric Clapton while driving down country roads with his father in his hometown of Liberty Center, Ohio, has been building to this level of success for the past 10 years. His first indie album All For Coffee (2004) earned him a sport as an opener on the Hanson tour at the House of Blues in Cleveland. Local critics took notice after hearing Piasecki sold more albums in a single night than any other band that had ever opened up for the platinum pop trio.
“All of my life experiences before and since I moved to Nashville have really helped me grow as a songwriter,” Piasecki says. “What’s going on now is that instead of writing songs just about love and heartache, I’m reflecting upon the unique life I am living. To me, songwriting is really about chronicling the world as you see it, and that’s always been the essence of truly American music. I’m following in a storied tradition that starts all the way back with Hank Williams, Sr. in the country world and carries on to this day. At the end of the day, I’m trying to be a good American songwriter.”