Jon Shain
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Jon Shain

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"review of No Tag, No Tail Light"

"No Tag, No Tail Light: Jon Shain crosses rich musical terrain in this, his third and finest solo release. Shain takes us on a breezy, open-air train ride through the history of American music, moving seamlessley through folk, swing, ragtime, piedmont and country blues. His approach is equal parts humorous, love struck and world-weary, all with a homespun flair."

- Relix Magazine


"review of No Tag No Tail Light"

"No Tag, No Tail Light is a beacon of sonic serenity, virtuosic in form but easygoing in delivery. Armed with an elastic set of pipes, Shain picks'n'grins his way through an incredibly diverse set." - No Depression


"review of Fools and Fine Ladies"

"Even longtime followers of Shain from his days with Flyin' Mice and WAKE should be knocked out by the ambition of this great album of original tunes...Call it musical maturity, or an intangible intersection of solid tunes and solid musicianship; Fools and Fine Ladies marks a giant step for Jon Shain, from folky tunesmith to artist to be reckoned with."
- The Independent


"performance preview"

"A fine North Carolina singer-songwriter steeped in Dylan and Delta blues, Shain returns to town with a new album, Fools and Fine Ladies. You can hear Jorma Kaukonen in his guitar playing but he's well on his way to carving out his own patch of Southern Americana."
- The Village Voice


"live review"

"Shain's intricate work on the fretboard is always a pleasure, and the tightknit backing group frees him to soar. Shain smoked through Porcupine Rag, glided smoothly with the flighty Chincoteague Chick-a-dee and rattled the windows with Pawn Shop Girl. Bassist Ventre even brought some Louisiana swamp pop into the mix with his rousing version of Just Because."


- The Spectator


Discography

Brand New Lifetime, Flyin' Records, 1999
Fools and Fine Ladies, Flyin' Records, 2001
No Tag, No Tail Light, Flyin' Records, 2003
Home Before Long, Flyin' Records, 2005

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Attending Duke University in the late 80s, Shain was a student of American history with a dedicated interested in southern musical traditions. This led him to a gig with piedmont blues legend Richard "Big Boy" Henry. After a short apprenticeship in the blues world, Shain cut his touring teeth from 1989-1998 founding the Chapel Hill, NC folk-rock group, Flyin' Mice and their spin-off group, WAKE. While sharing stages with luminaries such as David Grisman, Tony Rice Unit, Leon Russell, and the Dave Matthews Band, the band released four CDs and played clubs, schools, and festivals up and down the East Coast, building a legion of fans.

After his band's breakup, Shain went solo, returning to his roots in the folk and blues circuit. He released Brand New Lifetime in 1999 to positive reviews and solid airplay in the US and abroad. Spring 2001 brought the release of Fools and Fine Ladies, which garnered the best reviews of Shain's career, from papers such as the Washington Post to national magazines like Relix and No Depression. Critics are hailing Jon's latest CD, No Tag, No Tail Light, as his best yet. No Depression calls it a "beacon of sonic serenity", Dirty Linen dubs it a "vastly appealing listening experience," while Belgium's Rootstown raves that it's "nothing less than fantastic."

Rob Turner from Relix magazine adds, "Shain takes us on a breezy, open-air train ride through the history of American music, moving seamlessly through folk, swing, ragtime, piedmont and country blues. His approach is equal parts humorous, love struck and world-weary, all with a homespun flair."

This easygoing approach pulls audiences in and creates the perfect laid-back atmosphere to enjoy this Durham, NC resident's musical creations. Expect to hear some serious fingerstyle guitar-picking underneath Shain's story-telling approach. Perhaps the Music Monitor's Rick Cornell sums Shain's work up best, "These are the kinds of songs that you should be sharing with your good friends."

In addition to festival slots and headlining club dates, Jon stays busy giving private instruction in Piedmont blues fingerstyle guitar, and teaching group workshops in songwriting, blues guitar, and "jamming".

Whether in the one-on-one atmosphere of the teaching studio or onstage sharing a song with a roomful of strangers, Jon Shain is a natural communicator, keeping students and fans coming back for more.