Billy Shaddox
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Billy Shaddox

Lyons, Colorado, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Lyons, Colorado, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Americana Folk




""I Melt, I Howl" Album Stream at Guitar World"

Today we’re delighted to share the latest from Billy Shaddox, I Melt, I Howl, out on June 16.

It’s a majestic blend of soul-stirring Americana and dreamy pop harmonies. The album opens with the lilting and locomotive “I Melt, I Howl.” It’ll have you howling along with it’s catchy vocal and riffin’ guitar.

Other favorites on the album include the banjo-based “Feels Like Home,” and the pickin’ and kickin’ track “Golden Coast.”

The entire collection feels openly optimistic with a light and airy instrumentation that feels like sunshine and clean sheets.

From the delicately delivered “Who You Were” to the straight on rock of “Telescope,” I Melt, I Howl shares some magnificent musicianship and a solid sense of self.

Shaddox shares, “The songs on this album collectively tell the story of the last few years of my life. There’s an intimate thread that weaves them together and lets the listener into my experiences. I’m really excited to share these songs with the release of this album.”
Shaddox has embarked on a musical journey that’s led to two independently recorded releases and performances on the same stages with rock and folk legends. For the first time, though, Shaddox trusted his vision with an outsider, enlisting producer-extraordinaire Sam Kassirer (Josh Ritter, Lake Street Dive, David Wax Museum) to record at the Great North Sound Society studio in Maine. “I’m a big fan of his work,” says Shaddox. “And it was great having somebody else’s ideas and vision at work. It made me really open to change.”

As a result, I Melt, I Howl captures a wide-range of influences that transcend Shaddox’s folk roots, from the pop sensibility of the title track to the harmonica-fueled closer “Not Easy Anymore.”

“I don’t think of myself as a folk musician, as I’m sometimes labeled,” he says. “My dad was in a bluegrass band, and he was a big influence on me, but I was really steeped in the sounds of country and rock. For me, it’s really about honoring the styles of the past, but taking it a new level and making them my own.”

A passionate sportsman, Shaddox found inspiration for I Melt, I Howl under life-altering circumstances; following a mountain accident that shattered his pelvis. “All I wanted to do after that was be mobile and run,” reveals the singer-songwriter. “So that song and album title is about opening up your heart so big and taking what the world gives you. Howling: it’s the greatest physical action you can do. It’s about letting your voice out and showing the world what you’re made of.”

Shaddox will be hitting the road to tour in support of his latest artist showing. See dates here and more at - Guitar World

""I Melt, I Howl" Song Premier at American Songwriter"

BIRTHDATE: May 26, 1977

HOMETOWN: San Diego, California

CURRENT LOCATION: Gold Hill, Colorado

AMBITIONS: Be a role model

TURN-OFFS: Being late, competition, newspaper

TURN-ONS: Trust, coffee, watercolors, guitars, bicycles, mountains, being surprised, woodworking, the perfect knot, and really cold drinking water

DREAM GIG: Summertime sunset performance at Red Butte Gardens in Salt Lake City, a beautiful venue with great vibes.

FAVORITE LYRIC: Right now this one is really resonating with me: “I’ll pay the cost if they say I’m lost and it means that I’m totally free” from the song “Jackpot” by the band Jackpot

CRAZIEST PERSON I KNOW: John Santos, the only person I know that has had to swim to shore in San Diego for a class from a lobster boat. He’s not a lobster fisherman. Why was he on a lobster boat before class? Why wouldn’t the boat take him to shore? These are the mysteries that make him so special.

SONG I WISH I WROTE: “Northwest Passage” by Stan Rogers - This a Capella song captures the desire and hopeless fortitude of an explorer in search of a sea route across the North Country. It’s a great song about the quest for that which eludes us and it really touches into my love for nautical tales.

5 PEOPLE I’D MOST LIKE TO HAVE DINNER WITH: Captain Cook, Abraham Lincoln, Levon Helm, My Grandpa Oscar – who passed away when I was young, John Muir

MY FAVORITE CONCERT EXPERIENCE: Arriving at a Willie Nelson show with my brother to find out the seats printed on our tickets didn’t exist. We were apologized to, placed in the front row, and asked if our new seats were going to be ok. Willie was great too.

I WROTE THIS SONG: Sometimes you need to run, listen closely to the wisdom of the nature world, love like there is nothing to lose, dig deep into your body and produce a howl like a wild animal. I wrote this song [“I Melt, I Howl”] when I needing all of this. - American Songwriter

"Billy Shaddox Braves It Alone"

Your song of summer awaits, and you’ll find it in an unexpected place, specifically, the title track off the latest record from Billy Shaddox, I Melt, I Howl. Shaddox hails from Colorado, and is the rare songwriter who seems to have a natural knack for crafting a pop song, and a deep understanding of what makes one great. And “I Melt, I Howl” is truly great. With the softness of Tweedy and the sweetness of Mikal Cronin, Shaddox has truly found his sound with Howl. His breakout record is folksy Americana-rock, with the smoothest of melodies and vocal harmonies, and will hopefully earn Shaddox some much-deserved attention.

Embarking on a solo career was an adventure for Shaddox, and there’s a heap of evidence of the aftermath of that struggle on Howl. There’s a freeness to these songs, perfect for a long ride into a dreamy sunset. And even the deeper, heavier songs have a feel-good, flower child vibe about them that makes you want to run and skip and frolic through summery fields. “Somewhere it seems/I lost my dreams/Or it might be/That they were all taken away,” Shaddox sings on “Golden Coast”, and you get the impression that years of neglecting his dreams for a more traditional career has left him with a strong urge to break out on his own and risk it all, and maybe do some frolicking himself. “I’m sick of this routine, too/Always in a bind…/Burn up your paycheck stub/Donate your life to love/Just give it away,” Shaddox sings on the album’s sole rock and roll number “Telescope”. His message is loud and clear, and it’s one that should resonate with all of us.

For all the chances he had to take, though, Howl is a beautiful payoff. His harmonies are honeyed and gentle, and his songs fit together like one snugly knit thread, focusing on living in the moment and moving toward the future, never looking back. “The future is your friend,” he sings, also on “Golden Coast”. Shaddox is living the dream, placing artistic passion before practicality, and that courage and ability to be uninhibited seems to have played an important role in his songwriting. “Not Easy Anymore” faces the fears that come with a more practical, artless life head-on, exploring the banal comforts and securities to which we’re too accustomed. “Get out while you can/Find yourself a place to stand,” he sings, alongside dreamy harmonica, encouraging everyone to go out and find out who they’re supposed to be. Amen.

“Leaves in Autumn” and “I Believe”, along with the album’s stunning title track “I Melt, I Howl” convey Shaddox’s bountiful optimism. These songs find a fearless Shaddox, likening himself to a part of nature – wild, uncaged and boundless. On the latter, he howls like a wolf, and on the others he vividly paints a picture of forests and mountains, rivers and trees. “Who You Were” is much more sparse, just Shaddox and his guitar, as he sings a quiet lullaby. “Take in these moments/’Cause this is who you were,” he sings with equal parts sadness and hopefulness. This is especially poignant when you consider that he’s completely reinvented himself.

Something magical happens when an artist really finds his or her voice, and you can hear that epiphany in all of Howl. It’s a stellar start, establishing what we can come to expect from the über talented Shaddox. - No Depression

"Billy Shaddox's Refreshing Take on Americana with Solo LP "I Melt, I Howl""

Colorado-based singer/songwriter, Billy Shaddox is an adventurer at heart whose quoted John Muir and Captain Cook as people he would most like to invite to dinner. Yet, for the better part of his adult life, it was a rather less pastoral affair as he played in bands that celebrated Americana only to return to his desk job as a civic engineer come Monday morning.

Colorado-based singer/songwriter, Billy Shaddox is on the road with his new album, "I Melt, I Howl'
Courtesy of Billy Shaddox
Unable to fully concentrate his energies on his music, Shaddox and his old band, Billy Midnight still managed to win Best Americana or Country Album at the San Diego Music Awards in 2008.

Last month however, he released his stirring solo album, I Melt, I Howl having relocated his young family from the bustle of San Diego to the serenity of the Colorado mountains. He has also quit his day job and is now dedicated in equal measures to the call of the wild and his muse.

To promote the album, the troubadour has been touring the country and will be in San Francisco, playing at Doc’s Lab next Monday, July 14. Prior to that show, he will play two other Bay Area locations - Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, on Thursday, July 11 and Hop Monk in Novato on Friday, July 12.

I Melt, I Howl was borne out of a serious biking accident two years ago when the avid outdoorsman, shattered his pelvis. However, it reflects the deeper-rooted problem of what happens to the soul of an artist when they are not following their heart. The album is a parable that unfolds like the easy Californian breeze, and is tinged with nostalgia yet enough of a folk-pop sensibility to anchor it in today.

It will find favor with fans of Neil Young, Wilco and the current crop of indie singer/songwriters who have found inspiration from 70’s auteurs such as Harry Nilsson and the laid-back Laurel Canyon rock of The Eagles and Bread. It also calls to mind country-folk singers such as John Denver in its bucolic themes.

Shaddox is a fan of Josh Ritter's Americana template - a narrative delivered with a lightness of touch no matter how raw the emotions. However, with his own lyrics in possession of a tenderness that is weighty with mention of fireflies and Summer nights; talk of a Eugene meeting '...up in Oregon when my brain went dead'; and Fahey-proficient finger-plucked melodies, one can't help but think of Sufjan Stevens' latest release.

Admittedly, I Melt I Howl is not nearly as grand and gut-wrenching as Carrie & Lowell but in its embrace of a certain directness there is a thread similarly intimate and personal that runs through.

The title track kicks things off with a mellow, finger-plucked tune that paces along and alludes to tougher times. It's an ode to nature and a girl when the Universe is aligned with you. "My Hands Don't Lie" reveals the exact reverse, how things manifest when we have Gaia in a gauntlet.

Shaddox sings “My hands don’t lie, how does a heart go so out of place,” with a faint New Radicals upbeat swagger and the occasional handclap. Though it’s never quite as rambunctious as “You Get What You Give”, the message that you’ve got the ‘dreamer’s disease’ works well with Shaddox’s afflictions.

“Feels Like Home” belies his father's influence, as he sings “My heart’s a simple beating muscle, simple beating tool” on a banjo tugging a steady bluegrass patter.

Elsewhere, "Telescope" is a rock reverie, "Golden Coast" more rockabilly while "I Believe" and "Not Easy Anymore" have a spacey element that can easily be teased out into a sprawling jam.

The album really is the sum of various strains of Americana and roots music that inspires Shaddox yet where it really excels is with "Fireflies" and "Story of You and I". While the bulk of the album sits at the intersect between rock and country - thankfully, before it descended into the later abyss of yacht rock, this pair of songs with their pop-inflected melodies and stirring story-telling are head and shoulders above the rest.

The strum-along guitar of "Fireflies" - coupled with low-key reflections delivered through reverb-drenched vocals and a pretty piano riff is pure gold. Here, the hand of producer, Sam Kassirer really enables Shaddox's to play to his strengths.

“Story of You and I” has a melancholy that serves to pull into focus moments of light, on things that matter. With guitar strum and slide that echo The Eagles but an alt-folk rock delivery more grounded in today’s indie landscape, it opens with a strong statement so tender - ‘If you were ever in a kiss, you would surely know. If you were ever lost in this, I wouldn’t let you go.' And hence you need to go hear this album or better still, buy it, as once you've chanced upon this, it will quickly earn its keep as one of your favorites.

As Shaddox prepared to get back out on tour to introduce his album to more converts, he spoke to from his home in the Colorado mountains. He revealed how he plotted to trade city life for a cool mountain change; why he is doing it for the kids; and sheds light on what it means when he describes his sound as Cosmic American Music.

Hi Billy, how has the tour been so far?

The tour’s been great so far. The other leg is about to start. For me, where I live in Colorado with my access to the West, I don’t need to go for months and months on the road. In April and May, I was touring in California and then I come home, rest and be with my family.

Was it hard to make that decision to leave your day job as a civic engineer and move from Southern California to the mountains of Colorado?

It was one of those decisions that I could have deliberated on for a lifetime but I didn’t want to one day look back and think, ‘why didn’t I?’. It’s been almost two years since the move, I have a wife and two children – a 4 and 6 year old, and we have a lot of space. It’s quiet and peaceful here with rocks to climb and lakes to go out on hikes to. We are very happy.

How long have you been playing in bands and what has stopped you in the past from making it a really viable career option?

Ever since I was a teenager and could drive over to someone’s house to play, I have been in a band. I’m an engineer by training which kind of tells you how I was wired. I would joke with people that I always have a spreadsheet in my head of pros and cons for any decision that needed to be made. After college, I gave it a proper push with my band – we were playing in Eugene, Oregon and I woke up with a fractured skull. It had happened in my sleep. It forced me to really check-in with my mortality. I wanted to settle down and marry the girl I loved. And so I made this conscious decision to go down this path, one that was more grounded. But… I wasn’t doing my heart’s work. I felt stressed out all the time. My wife she’s a real advocate of ‘if you follow your heart, everything else will fall into place and take care of itself’. And I’m like an engineer, ‘you don’t just follow your heart’. I wasn’t comfortable with making that decision. But I did and we thought things through – we started to saved our money cause as a musician you earn no money, and we started giving ourselves the foundation to spring off to do something I truly love. One year ago, I bought a van, quit my job and started touring solo with an acoustic across the country. Then I recorded this album, assembled a band and it’s been a great experience since. Our outings into the world, connecting with people, I love camping so I also do that while on tour, and I love skateboarding so I try to hit the skateparks along the way.

Does your family also go on tour with you?

Yes, last Summer we toured together. This month, they’re going to meet us half way - we are passing Yellowstone Park so it’s perfect. That’s been a big part of coming out, filling in this new life, touring, and being who I am? I’m a father and husband first and foremost. To be true to myself, I don’t have to abandon my family, I’m not a traveling solo journeyman, it’s as much about getting them along for the ride. Imagine a big circle around Nevada. I grew up in San Diego, West of the Rockies there’s Northern California, Utah, New Mexico, Montana, Wyoming – it’s perfect with the family. When it gets weary in the car, we get out and go on a hike. I have a van. I travel pretty budget. In the last year and a half of tours, I think I paid for an actual hotel twice! I sleep in the van. I sleep on couches – you get to know a few people in this business who are happy to let you sleep on their couch for the night. Or I camp out under the stars. I just feel so blessed.

You tagged your music “Cosmic American Music” like that of The Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers - can you tell us why and what defines it as such?

I can’t claim ownership to that. I borrowed it from Gram Parson years back. It’s a hybrid of music that’s got its roots in folk, country, blues and bluegrass – original American styles of music. It’s an attempt to fuse these styles and move forward with a new style that is progressive. I grew up steeped in that California ‘70s sound. The Eagles was always playing in my house. My dad played bluegrass so I love those sounds. I don’t really want to play a tight genre of music. So a certain song might have a country feel but I try to take it some place new. I want to be forward thinking and not stuck in a style that’s not changing and evolving. I want to do something that surprises people, so live we may jam a little more on a song and it becomes very spacey. Or it might have a country or blues melody but it’s not an off-the-shelf country or blues topic that I sing about.

You talk of the trepidation you felt about launching your Kickstarter project of raising $15,000 to which your two sons said, “do it Daddy!” – how do they figure in your decision to leave the stability of a day job and pursue music which is so unpredictable?

They were a big part of my decision-making process. You’re a parent?


You understand. You teach them and you want to encourage them. If they want to be a doctor, paleontologist or astronaut you don’t want to put a limit on their imagination and what they can do. I think all too often we try to funnel kids into what they should do. I felt that if I don’t try to do something, I won’t know what the outcome will be? It could be a flop but it could also be great? I have to try it. What will my kids think if I don’t go after something I’m a passionate about? They can filter through it all you know. They have no experience but they can break it down to the things that matter pretty easily. But then my rational mind goes ‘what about rent?’ and they say, “Daddy you love your music, you should do it!”. Sometimes, it’s good to listen to children as they have such a pure observation on life. There is no over-dissection or worrying about health insurance but these are real things we have to deal with. This time, I actually built a real spreadsheet and figured if I am on the road for two weeks, and then home for two weeks, I actually have more time with my family. I have these two little guys and instead of spending 12 to 13 hrs a day away from them, now I see them in the afternoon when they are at their best, not just in the evening when they’re crummy and tired. No matter what happens – success as a musician or otherwise, in the end I want them to look at me as a person who knew what they wanted and went for it. Passion - I think that’s what the world needs – be it in architecture, art, great new ways of sourcing renewable energy, that’s the kind of world I want to be part of.

What’s your life in Colorado like in comparison to San Diego – are you living off the land and do you have chickens?

I do! We have nine chickens. (laughter) Last time, I lived in San Diego I lived at the beach. It was great. I surfed a lot. But it was also stressful. My wife, her name is Yasmin, she and I have always been passionate about being outdoors. And we always knew we wanted to raise our kids with a close connection to nature. There are places in California that you can do that too but we came to Colorado sometime ago and just fell in love with it. Look, it’s a much more rugged lifestyle – we have elk, bear, mountain lions and lots of deer around us, and we are at 7,000 feet elevation so winters can be harsh. But you’re so connected to your elements. In San Diego during long weekends or vacations I would run off to the mountains and we thought, ‘why not just live here? Why are we in the city?’. So, this is actually like a homecoming.

Could you tell us a bit about the song “My Hands Don’t Lie” – it was the physical manifestation of what your heart wanted?

In the last two years leading up to when I left my job, I was stressed out and so out-of-touch with myself. I had bad eczema on my hands. It was totally inflamed, pussy with sores, it was gross. My sons said my hands looked like bacon. It was so bad I would keep my hands in my pockets. I don’t go to doctors, I don’t do antibiotics and pills. I knew I could go to a dermatologist and get a steroid cream and it would probably go away but that only cures the symptom, the root problem will still be there. I did change my diet, see a naturopath, tried homeopathy nothing worked. Only I could fix myself. And literally a week after with moved here, my skin cleared! It’s been a year and three-and-a-half-months and it hasn’t come back. And so I wrote that song.

Why did you choose to record with Sam Kassirer - did you go these are the bands I like and he’s produced them so I want to work with him (Josh Ritter, Lake Street Dive, David Wax Museum)? What was the process like cause the Great North Sound Society in Maine is in an 18th century farmhouse with beautiful surrounds and no highspeed internet?

It was all those things. I’ve been a fan of the bands he’s recorded, especially Josh Ritter. It was a longtime ago on “The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter” (2007), I really liked that album and was reading the liner notes and it mentioned the Great North Sound Society so I went online, looked it up and thought ‘that is awesome’. It’s not like a regular studio in the city where all the rooms are in isolation – the control room with all the mixing boards, the recording rooms – they are all just part of this old house. The co-habitating - Sam stays there with you, and you are immersed in the art that you are making. I was really attracted to the idea. Then one day a couple of years ago, I just decided to e-mail him. I thought ‘what’s the worst that could happen? He doesn’t email back?’ But he actually called me and we got to talking and though I wasn’t ready at that point to record he said ‘hey man, here’s my number, just call me when you’re ready.’ A year later I was. My brother lives in Portland, Maine and he’s a drummer so he joined us there. Sam picked me up at the airport and we spent the next eight days at the farmhouse recording the album. What also attracted me to Sam is that he does an amazing job with vocals. He captures this roomy sort of sound that feels so incredible. And you can’t get stuck on the internet. (laughs)

And you shot the video for the album’s title track – I Melt, I Howl there too, does that come with the price? Or is that just a teaser to the album?

That was just the album’s trailer . We had been recording for a few days when Sam said that there was this guy, Silas who lived in another town who had a production company and was I interested in shooting some video? I said ‘yes’ and he came up and took all these footage. I’m sure he has enough that I could make a music video.

What is it for you that special relationship with nature – I mean it’s as old as the hills, and the Romantics from Wordsworth to Coleridge and the great American naturalists John Muir sings its praises – but what does it mean for you and your songwriting?

You know I’ve always found I get a clarity when I’m out in a natural space. And in those moments I can really get in touch with my Muse and it allows me to create. The moon, the star, the wind, the rivers, the sounds – my whole life I’ve never tried to figure it out. I just obey it and let it do its thing. It’s got a very invigorating, yet calming and soothing effect. To me it’s that harmony. Nature can be violent and stormy too. I love it when I feel I fit into it. I like feeling dwarfed by the mountains and trees, or looking down a canyon. Or from where we live, it’s 14,000 feet above sea level and there are still peaks covered in snow in May and June – nobody’s messing with those. They are just gorgeous and strong. Lately, when I’ve performed, I’ve been listening to myself and I noticed that the last three songs I was talking about the stars and I never really realized it.

What have you got planned for the rest of 2015?

This album came out two weeks ago – it was really hard to see pass June 16 for a long time. Now that I have this record I want to take this to as many people as I possibly can. To get on the road and perform it. I haven’t put together a game plan but the Summer at least is sorted.

You haven’t done a spreadsheet yet?

(Laughs) I want to connect with more musicians, more people and open as many doors as possible. I guess to rise to the occasion and really put my music career in full throttle.

To purchase tickets to see Billy Shaddox at Doc's Lab, please click here. To purchase the album, 'I Melt, I Howl' please click here. For further tour dates, please see below.


July 09 House Concert San Clemente, CA

July 10 the Whistle Stop San Diego, CA

July 11 Terrapin CrossroadsSan Rafael, CA

July 12 HopMonk Novato, CA

July 14 Doc's Lab San Francisco, CA

July 15 The Hideout Mariposa, CA

July 17 The Maltese Chico, CA

July 18 Split Rock Music Truckee, CA

July 23 Silver Star Cafe Park City, UT

July 24 Oyster Ridge Music Festival Kemmerer, WY

July 26 House Concert Ogden, UT

July 30 Downtown Tonight Missoula, MT

July 31 The Stone Fly Coram, MT

Aug 01 Murray Bar Livingston, MT

Aug 02 House Concert Bozeman, MT

Aug 09 Rock Inn Estes Park, CO

Aug 29 The Stone Cup Lyons, CO - Examiner

""My Hands Don't Lie" Song Premier at All Music"

On his new album I Melt, I Howl, Colorado musician Billy Shaddox performs a hybrid of country and folk with a slick pop twist for good measure. On this cut, "My Hands Don't Lie," Shaddox ponders the sometimes tricky relationship between the heart, the mind and the body.
“I spent a long time ignoring the indicators around me, avoiding the direction they were pointing me in. The most poignant of these was the condition of my hands. Yes, I know it sounds strange, but my body was staging its own revolt against me when I wasn't being mindful of where my heart was trying to direct me. My hands were covered in eczema, totally inflamed, screaming at me to make changes in my life. When I finally starting listening, and made the changes that were calling to me, the skin on my hands healed itself. Thus, “My Hands Don't Lie”, they speak the truth about my spiritual well-being and the health of my lifestyle. I guess literally, it’s a song about eczema, but it’s really a song about a person breaking out of a toxic mold that has trapped them for too long. That was me.” - All Music

""Telescope" Song Premier in Glide Magazine"

Billy Shaddox effortlessly crafts a majestic blend of soul-stirring Americana and dreamy pop harmonies. The Colorado transplant truly transforms with his forthcoming album I Melt, I Howl, to be released on June 16.

“This album was born in a time of change for me,” explains the singer-songwriter. “It’s about being excited about moving forward…or being unsettled where you are.”

Shaddox has embarked on a musical journey that’s led to two independently recorded releases and performances on the same stages with rock and folk legends. For the first time, though, Shaddox trusted his vision with an outsider, enlisting producer-extraordinaire Sam Kassirer (Josh Ritter, Lake Street Dive, David Wax Museum) to record at the Great North Sound Society studio in Maine. “I’m a big fan of his work,” says Shaddox. “And it was great having somebody else’s ideas and vision at work. It made me really open to change.”

As a result, I Melt, I Howl captures a wide-range of influences that transcend Shaddox’s folk roots, from the pop sensibility.

“I don’t think of myself as a folk musician, as I’m sometimes labeled,” he says. “My dad was in a bluegrass band, and he was a big influence on me, but I was really steeped in the sounds of country and rock. … For me, it’s really about honoring the styles of the past, but taking it a new level and making them my own.”

We’re excited to premiere a new tune off Shaddox’s upcoming album called “Telescope”. The artist shared his own thoughts on the origins of the song:

“This song is for the escapist. The protagonist is frustrated with the routine, the grind, the life they have carved out for themselves, and seeks relief in the form of a drastic getaway with the person they love. In this particular story, they set their sights on the volcanic lands of central Oregon. The charm of the high desert and Cascade Mountains calls them in. Enter the antagonist, the volcano. The reality of settling at the base of a giant with such disastrous potential hits home when the lovers recall the fate of those in the past that have met their demise in the currents of the magma that engulfs all in its path.” - Glide Magazine

"In Talks: Billy Shaddox"

Singer-Songwriter Billy Shaddox goes above and beyond the call of duty with exhiliarating brand of music. Currently on tour in the North West (Find his dates at, you will not be disappointed. His rootsy music is perfect for the Fall and speaks volumes. I had the opportunity to speak with Billy about his musical ventures and upcoming plans in an exclusive interview.

You have a new record coming out in the near future. Are there any details you can share about the upcoming music and release?

BS: The album is titled "I Melt, I Howl". It was recorded at Great North Sound Society in Parsonsfield Maine and was produced by Sam Kassirer. Sam and I locked ourselves away for 8 days in the spring and emerged with a great sounding album. The album captures the spirit of the season it was recorded in. Spring is a transitional time and we tapped into this and infused the music with an energy that is undeniable. It will have 11 tracks and is scheduled for release in the Spring of 2015. In the near future I'll start trickling out some sound bites and videos for the album.

Where do you draw your musical inspiration from?

BS: Life. I try to keep my ears and eyes open all the time. Sometimes I am surprised at what inspires me. Lately I have written a lot of songs dealing with escape and change. The latest song I have been working on came out of canoeing at night with my brother on a lake in Maine.

What artists and albums influenced you as a musician?


Wilco "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" - Be cryptic
Pavement "Wowee Zowee" - Be playful
Tom Waits "Closing Time" - Be Yourself
Josh Ritter "The Beast In It's Tracks" - Be Sincere
Jimi Hendrix "Band Of Gypsies" - Get into it
The Band "The Band" - Honor the past

What cities are you excited to play most on this upcoming tour?

BS: I am excited to play in Seattle for the first time and I am excited to get back to Oakland. New cities are always inspiring, I like way my senses open up when I visit a place for the first time. There are lot of old friends I am looking forward to connecting with in Oakland and we've built a really special bill for the night there.

Do you ever find it hard to translate the studio creation onto the live stage? How does your live experience differ the in-studio record, in your opinion?

BS: When I record I set out to create a really good listening experience, when I play live my goal is create a great live experience. I enjoy that my songs don't always sound the same, there are qualities that are unique to studio recordings and there are magical moments that only happen during live performances. My hope is that audiences will appreciate what I record and how I perform even though they don't always sound the same.

What is your dream band/artist to tour alongside of?

BS: Bob Dylan and The Rolling Thunder Revue ala 1975-76… sometimes dreams are sweeter when time travel is involved :)

What is your favorite part about being on stage?

BS: I love connecting with people. There are moments when you can really feel people engaging in what you are saying and the sounds you are making, they open up to the sacred language of music, there is a real purity there. It can be hard to come by in day to day life.

What is the craziest thing that has ever happened to you on the road?

BS: After a show in Eugene Oregon, I was without a place to stay and the bartender invited me back to his house. Everything seemed ok and normal but when I woke up in the morning I had a cracked skull! No Joke! I obviously didn't know my skull was fractured, I just felt really, really sick. As the day went on my condition worsened and my band mates finally took me to the hospital where I was diagnosed and admitted. I spent 5 days there, a good portion of it in intensive care. The doctors said my head trauma was that of a high speed car accident. Nobody knows what happened to me, I went to bed and woke up with a cracked skull. I haven't been back to Eugene since.

One of the shows you have coming up features you playing alongside your Father. Can you explain the inspiration behind this show, and what will take place? I was quite fascinated by this.

BS: My dad is an awesome musician, he plays guitar and approaches music with the kind of skill that only a person that has been doing it for 60 years can. He is the reason I play music. I only get to see he a few times a year so when this tour had a stop in my home town of San Diego I thought it would be fun to include him in the show. We will play each other's songs together and try to re-create the experience of so many jam sessions that have happened at the house on stage for others to witness. I am really excited for this night.

After the tour, what is the next step for Billy Shaddox? Where will the road take you next?

BS: After this tour I will be home for a few weeks and then heading back to the west coast for another run in November. After that I will settle into some shows at home in Colorado around the holidays and will start planning the next tour and will work more on the upcoming album release. I plan to cover a lot of ground in the new year in support of the new album. - Buzznet

"Billy Shaddox Shares His Musical Insights"

With a folk rock edge unable to be shaken, the talented San Diego, California-based singer-songwriter brings a whole new sound to the table that also has gentle familiar undertones.

Shaddox, who writes songs straight from the heart, is currently on the road, and I was able to grab some time with him. In this exclusive interview, we talk about his early beginnings, the inspiration behind his music, the challenges of today, and much more.

Arena: What was the first instrument that you learned how to play?

Billy: The first instrument I learned to play was the guitar. My father and grandfather both played guitar. It was a staple at family gatherings to have music being played. As soon as I could get my fingers around the neck of the guitar, I was eager to learn how. One of my earliest memories of playing the instrument is playing dueling banjos with my dad at an elementary school assembly. I think I was in 3rd or 4th grade.

Arena: At what age, or period in your life, did you know that music was something you wanted to be heavily involved in?

Billy: I was young, probably 12 or 13. My parents gave me a red Fender Stratocaster for Christmas and I played it all the time. I lived in a rural place on a large piece of land. I would walk around the property with my red Stratocaster and play to the trees, rocks and bushes, imagining them to be an audience. As soon as I had a driver's license I was playing gigs and was at friend's houses jamming after school.

Arena: What is your overall inspiration when writing these tracks? What is your mindset?

Billy: I try to write from the heart, from life experiences. Per the liner notes in the "Golden Fate" album, the songs came from times of travel, parenting, being in love, and in general listening to the world around me for direction. I only have a few songs that are fictitious stories, most of what I write is from first hand experience, my songs tend to be very personal. The album that I am releasing in 2015 is similar, it was born in a time of great change in my life and captures the energy, excitement, fear, and eagerness associated with these changes.

Arena: How much of your studio tracks do you record on your own, and how much do you record with the help of others on instruments?

Billy: To date my albums, "Mellow Me" and "Golden Fate" have been recorded and performed entirely by me and were recorded at home in my bedroom or basement. I collaborated with Sam Kassirer and Bobby Shaddox, my brother, on my upcoming album I Melt, I Howl. Bobby did all of the percussion, and Sam produced the album and played the piano and organ on the album.

Arena: What is your favorite thing about recording and writing music?

Billy: My favorite thing in recording is how songs start as an idea and develop into audio experience that can be shared with others. With me, they usually start with an acoustic guitar. I tend to play them and nurture them for a while before I let anyone hear them, all the while imagining how they might sound when they are recorded. Once that time comes, it's really exciting for me to hear other instruments coloring the songs as I've always imagined.The best part is in the end sharing the recording with people and having them enjoy what I have created.

I have never been one to regularly keep a journal. The songs I write have been my way logging my life experiences and thoughts. My favorite thing about writing music is that I am able to go back and listen to my journal, and that my ideas and experiences have been able to be shared with others who identify with what I have chosen to write about.

Arena: What is the most challenging thing about being a musician in 2014?

Billy: Things move so fast these days and they are only accelerating. People are blasted daily with an excess of information in the media. I fear sometimes that I don't fit in this quick tempo'd model. My music asks people to stop and listen and these are two things that are getting harder and harder to do. - Arena

"Billy Shaddox "I Melt, I Howl" Review"

Up-and-coming singer/songwriter Billy Shaddox is often described as a folk or Americana artist. But from the sounds we hear on I Melt, I Howl we can't help but think Shaddox is a true popster at heart...whose music just happens to have sprinkles of folk and Americana threaded into the mix. Billy has an intriguing sound and image that may remind many folks of 1970s artists. His long hair and straightforward approach are definitely out-of-synch with the world of popular music in 2015. And because the 1970s have seen such a strong resurgence over the past few years, this is a man who just might be on the brink of big success. He's certainly got the skills, talent, and the voice to make it happen. I Melt has all the ingredients necessary to become a modern classic. Billy's smooth friendly sound is instantly satisfying. His refreshingly organic songs are always right on target. The last harder rocking track is probably a good indication of what might be just around the corner. Fans and critics are gonna be all over this one. You can bet on that. Our favorite songs include "I Melt, I Howl," "My Hands Don't Lie," "Story of You and I," and "Not Easy Anymore." Highly recommended. TOP PICK - Baby Sue

"Album Review: Billy Shaddox "I Melt, I Howl""

From the moment the title track of Billy Shaddox’s I Melt, I Howl kicks in to open this album, you get that twinge of excitement that this is going to be good. A breezy, warm track that immediately turns your head – a mix of pop melody, clean guitars, crisp production and immensely pleasing vocals. This Colorado native has the ability of melding both pure roots-y Americana and a skilled manner in pop writing. Which makes an automatic win for me.

If the joyfulness of the title song wasn’t enough (which it isn’t), “My Hands Don’t Lie” is an absolute pop gem – catchy melody, upbeat – all the right elements. “Feels Like Home” is the masterful Americana Shaddox has begun to build his reputation around – banjo runs, strident rhythm, warmly undertoned acoustic guitar and subtle harmonies; “Fireflies” is an acoustic gem – the effects on the vocals heighten the song’s emotional width and “Story Of You And I” is as sweet and embracing as a country-fied love song can be.

This album is one fine collection of songs – I believe I can consider myself an absolute fan of Billy Shaddox. And I can only hope that he continues to produce music of this calibre. A very happy find, indeed.


I Melt, I Howl will be released on June 16th, 2015 - Pop Dose

"Billy Shaddox Premieres "My Hands Don't Lie""

Billy Shaddox effortlessly blends soul-stirring Americana and dreamy pop harmonies on his forthcoming album I Melt, I Howl, to be released on June 16. The Colorado transplant’s majestic sound can be fully heard with the single “My Hands Don’t Lie”, which was recently premiered by AllMusic. - Skope

"Billy Shaddox: Bright, earnest, gentle"

Billy Shaddox‘s I Melt, I Howl contains sounds as fresh-faced as a Generationals pop song, as gently quirky as a Backyard Tire Fire jam, and as easily evocative as an Iron & Wine tune. To put it another way: Shaddox’s work lives in space created by drawing a triangle with points at good-natured AM radio rock, unpretentious folk, and earnest indie pop. His songwriting prowess shows through not in complexity, but in making simplicity sound just the way I want it to sound.

It all starts with Shaddox’s effortless tenor voice, which is often so at home it seems like he opens his mouth and notes just tumble out. They land in a comfy bed of leaves: from road-friendly, ’70s folk-rock vibes of the title track opener to the gently grooving rock of “Golden Coast” to the resplendent melodic acoustic guitar work of “Who You Were,” the arrangements here can’t be ignored. “Who You Were” in particular points out the fusion between his comforting voice and unassuming arrangements, as he takes an old chord progression and presses it into service of a nostalgic, yearning tune. With his voice, gentle keys, and some color electric guitar chiming off in the distance, old pieces feel fresh and bright again.

It’s that sense of brightness that most marks I Melt, I Howl. Even on the more downtempo songs, Shaddox makes sure that there’s light coming in around the edges. It gets its street cred not from being edgy or heavily imperiled in turmoil, but by employing traditional pop songcraft in an impressive way. This has elements of tons of American songwriting genres, as I’ve mentioned already–but it’s not a grab bag. The overall mood ties these songs together into an elegant collection. If you’re looking for the soundtrack to a charming summer trip, or a tender summer romance, you need to look into Billy Shaddox’s I Melt, I Howl (stream). It will stick with you. - Independent Clauses

"We Asked A Bunch of Bands About Their Kids for Father's Day"

How have your kids factored into your music career?

My two sons are a big part of my life and my career. They have inspired songs in me and whenever possible I try to take them on the road. Most of all, I want to be an example for them to show that you can do anything with your life and that true fulfillment is found when you follow your heart into something.

Do your kids like your music? What do they listen to?

My kids like my music and nothing make me happier than when they want to listen to my songs or when I stumble on them singing one of my songs. They listen to all kinds of music, some stuff that is way outside of my tastes and some things that are close to home. My 4 year-old loves Johnny Cash and my 6 year old loves everything from Presidents of the United States of America to Redfoo to Freddie Mercury.

Read More: We Asked a Bunch of Bands About Their Kids For Father's Day | - Diffuser

"Billy Shaddox Preshow Rituals"

In this Preshow Rituals segment, the singer songwriter, Billy Shaddox, shares what they do before every show. You can check out their rituals, after the break.

If you’re not resourceful with your time while touring, you can find the days to be long and full of driving and waiting. These are the things I fill my days with routinely as my pre-show rituals while on traveling to avoid getting into a slump on the road.

I try to get some form of exercise every day when I am on the road. Walking, hiking, and sightseeing are great, but one thing I really enjoy is scouting out skate parks when I am traveling. My skateboard is easier to pack than a bicycle and more fun than running. I usually find myself pretty exhilarated after an hour of pool or ramp skating and ready to face the remainder of the day, whether I am in the town I need to be in that night or have a day’s drive ahead of me.

No day in my life is complete without coffee. This is a ritual that doesn’t get skipped. I have a camp stove, hand grinder, and French press in the van so that I can avoid overpriced java and weak gas station versions of the drink. I like to find a peaceful spot to park and make my coffee then sit and enjoy my beverage. This is usually the time where I mentally prepare for the show that is ahead. It’s a good time to start crafting a set list, change guitar strings, play a few songs, maybe write a song, clean up the van or even write a postcard home.

I’ve got two little boys and the way I take them with me on the road is through stopping into souvenir shops to pick up trinkets from my travels and sending them postcards. The postcard is a fun way to write a couple of sentences about my day to them and let them see a photo of where I have been. We usually talk on the phone every day but writing a quick message to them helps ease the distance between us when we are apart. I try to do this every day.

Food is an important part of the pre-show ritual. It can be really challenging to eat healthy when you are traveling in the USA. The roadside offerings are usually not that attractive, and you can really break your budget if you’re eating out 3 meals a day for weeks on end. I approach eating on tour a lot like eating when camping. I pack a cooler with vegetables, cheese, sandwich meat, and a kitchen box with utensils, plates, and cups. I rely on my aforementioned camp stove to heat things up if necessary and I do grocery runs as needed to keep things stocked. Some of my staples while touring are oatmeal in the morning, PB&J sandwiches (though on the last tour I stepped things up with a George Foreman grill and made toasted turkey sandwiches) and noodles for dinner, or a baguette with cheese and salami. If I’m not being fed by the venue, meeting up with friends for dinner, or in the vicinity of a good carne asada burritos, I’ll typically be making my dinner in a scenic spot before heading to the venue.

So now I’ve gotten my exercise, had my coffee, written my postcards, and eaten dinner… it’s time to make my way to the show! This routine keeps me feeling healthy, creative, enthusiastic, and connected with my loved ones. When all these things are going for me as I walk into a venue I am prepared to give the performance my all and put on a great show for everyone there.

Keep up with Billy Shaddox on Twitter and Facebook! - Digital Tour Bus

"Billy Shaddox"

Billy Shaddox, 31, is a modern-day Leonardo Da Vinci. When the civil engineer isn’t working on the Lake Hodges footbridge, the longest stress-ribbon bridge in the world, he most likely is either writing music, painting, wood carving or participating in that most revered San Diego
pastime, brewing beer. Music is his first love, though, having been raised in a musical family. His band, Billy Midnight, recently won an SDMA for best Americana or country album for its 2008 release “Don’t Get Your Hopes Up.”
Billy Midnight performs tonight at the Casbah.
Describe what you do: “I get an idea, I take it and I put it into music. Something comes to me, whether it’s about politics, the environment or a comical idea. If it sticks in my head for a while, I know it’s something I need to put
into music. I sit with an idea and try and find its sonic
characteristics. Then I get with the band and everyone
pitches in to make it a whole sound.Where did the name Midnight come from? When we started the band (in 1999), we were looking for a
medicine-show feel, an old rock ’n’ roll feel. My brother, Bobby, the drummer, he came up with the name. Midnight implies a lot of things. That’s usually around the time things start getting wacky at our shows. As it gets later, we start pushing the envelope. For example, at
our show at the Ould Sod last week, my brother started singing in Spanish. Then we slid into a reggae version of “Ghostbusters,” and finished by instigating a make-out contest.

Assess the San Diego music scene: San Diego has changed a lot. I started playing in a band when I was 15 or 16, and then we were kind of coming out of the grunge era. I don’t feel like there is a specific San Diego style. We have jazz influences, Mexican, hard rock and metal, and of course indie-rock bands. Whenever I pass through a major city like Los Angeles, I realize that San Diego is an imposter of a big city. It’s not a go-getter, cutthroat type city. Our bands are like that, too; they are laid back. We are a product of our habitat.
Did you go to the SDMAs? We were nominated like
three or four years in a row, and never won. Then this year my son, Brooks, was born a week before the awards. So I said: “We’ll never win anyways. No point in going,” and of course we ended up winning. A friend of ours was there to accept
- San Diego Union Tribune

"Local Releases: From The Bitter Cold To Simply Cold"

In a more acoustic spectrum, last month also saw the debut release from singer/songwriter Billy Shaddox. The San Diego transplant (seen above, courtesy of his Facebook) made his way to SLC a short time ago, mainly playing small gigs and partnering up with other singers, but it looks as if he decided to venture out on his own with his first full-length album, Golden Fate. If you're a fan of '60s and '70s folk and the old-school sound of a recording session, this may be right up your alley, as it harkens back to the days when aspiring musicians would drag their case to the coast, buy some time in a cheap studio and get a record deal. These are some very soft and lilting tunes for folk and Americana fans to enjoy. You can purchase a copy of the album off his Bandcamp page for just $6. - Salt Lake City - City Weekly

"Billy Shaddox - Golden Fate"

Billy Shaddox is blessed with the ability to blend the Western dualities of coastal dreamer and high mountain drifter into his deep, easy flowing songs.

Rooted in stories of love and fortune lost, perspective and enlightenment gained, Shaddox captures the mystique of the West with indelible lyrical imagery and sharply original musicality: the displaced modern man weary of coping with vanishing ideals, the present-minded realist, the uncontrollable jealousy of the downtrodden miner, and the bright-eyed morning traveler setting out to make his mark on the world.

The characters who inhabit Shaddox’s tunesy tales have a depth of personality and situational believability that leaves the listener feeling affected by their being long after their songs have woven their course.

Golden Fate, Shaddox’s newest record, builds on a strong decade of songwriting and musical performance that has now seen two solo records that easily fit into the Americana genre, along with four releases by his powerful, unheralded San Diego-based country-rock band Billy Midnight.

The record is generously layered with Shaddox’s signature lonesome Telecaster twang, picture perfect acoustic guitar and banjo work, and the soulful wail of his homemade lap steel. The lyrics are neck hair bristling at times, captivatingly laced with references to the wondrous powers of nature and destiny, the joys and travails of living simply, and the introspective importance of home and family. It is one of those rare records that, without being over ambitious in an effort to, seems to eerily match the listeners life circumstances in subtle ways that are revealed deep into multiple listening sessions.

Bouncy and evocative like the best Woody Guthrie dustbowl gospels at times, dark and forlorn in Cashesque grandeur at others, Golden Fate verily demands for to be taken out on a long, thoughtful desert drive where it should be played through barely adequate speakers that compete with the crackling of a sage and juniper campfire, echoing on and on off of steep canyon walls.

Corby Anderson

Emma, Colorado

January 4, 2013 - Corby Anderson - Down Canyon

"Billy Shaddox - Golden Fate"

As the front man for local roots band Billy Midnight, Billy Shaddox was familiar to local roots music fans, Telecaster in hand, playing country rock, rockabilly, and boogie music with harmonies – and plenty of aggression and edge. His band was also on the cover of the Troubadour during its early years. Shaddox now hails from Utah, and his new solo CD Golden Fate has the sound of a musician who has sowed his wild oats and settled down; it is alt-folk and primarily acoustic country-rock that conveys peace and contentment.

Shaddox wrote the 12 originals and does all of the playing and singing, and this is one homemade CD that sounds pristine. He plays all manner of guitars – including some really effective lap steel, banjo, mandolin, bass, and adds layers of harmonies, all easily blending into tasteful arrangements. To this, he adds the kind of assured vocal presence that works for both rustic and smooth songs equally well.

“I Believe” is sort of a mission statement for the album, and starts with a brisk, ear-grabbing acoustic and electric guitar hook, then Shaddox lays down his testimony about how he never pays attention to the “noise” of our hectic world, preferring the quiet and calm of the “long lost ways” within. The simple, mid-tempo country shuffle “Good Idea” clicks with a catchy melody and a good-time story about getting back to nature with a musical palette of swirling pedal steel lines and friendly banjo licks. The same themes dominate the folk tale “Far to Find.” Over soft, finger-picked guitar, Shaddox sings “I don’t need a big city mansion…All I want is a reminder/ Of the love I’ve travelled so far to find.”

“Waiting for the One” is a highlight that zips along with a new-grass vibe, a hoedown with an infectious guitar/mandolin riff that makes both feet tap as Shaddox again nails the vocal and arrangement. “Come Back to Me” is next and stays out in the hills for another sharp close-harmony country gem. On a disc with many standout tracks, not everything works; “This One” is a slow ballad that seems to drag forever, and “Who Let You Go?” is a slow-paced country rocker that never breaks loose and doesn’t fit Shaddox’ vocal strengths.

“Holy Whistle Blues” shows another side of Shaddox, as a bluesman with slick picking and a catchy tale that is a throw back to the days when many country-blues tunes were about staying on the good side of Jesus. He closes out the disc with “The Ballad of Dan McGee,” a highlight and one of those Dylanesque folk storyboards about tough times and hard characters in the old West. With just the right touch of world-weariness, and a minor-chord background dirge, Shaddox confesses the murder of a fellow miner in a moment of weakness and greed, “For I knew that if they looked me in the eye they’d surely see/ That underneath the setting sun I’d killed old Dan McGee”.

Golden Fate is an excellent roots album, an eclectic delight that establishes Billy Shaddox as a multi-faceted talent and skilled songwriter. - The Troubadour


Still working on that hot first release.



Billy Shaddox is blessed with the ability to blend the western dualities of coastal dreamer and high mountain drifter into his deep, easy flowing songs.  This is modern American folk music  with pop sensibilities.  

Rooted in stories of love and fortune lost, perspective and enlightenment gained, Shaddox captures the mystique of the West with indelible lyrical imagery and sharply original musicality: the displaced modern man weary of coping with vanishing ideals, the present-minded realist, the uncontrollable jealousy of the downtrodden miner, and the bright-eyed morning traveler setting out to make his mark on the world.

The characters who inhabit Shaddox’ tales have a depth of personality and situational believability that leaves the listener feeling affected by their being long after their songs have woven their course.

Shaddox is fresh out of the studio where he recorded a new album with producer Sam Kassirer at Great North Sound Society in Maine.  Sam has producered Josh Ritter, Lake Street Dive, David Wax Museum, and Langhorn Slim to name a few, and his collaboration with Billy has resulted in a dynamic album that highlights Shaddox’ song writing and musicianship.

Shaddox is a routine traveler, he is a musician, a camper, a skateboarder, and is always taking in what his surroundings are delivering.  Keep an eye out for #folkwise, #billyshaddox, and #skateparksacrossamerica, when Billy Shaddox comes to your town you will want to be there!

Band Members