Shane Henry
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Shane Henry

Los Angeles, CA | Established. Jan 01, 2000

Los Angeles, CA
Established on Jan, 2000
Solo Pop Blues Rock

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Nov
18
Shane Henry @ The Guitar Sanctuary

McKinney, Texas, United States

McKinney, Texas, United States

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Central Oklahoma's Shane Henry, a well-known presence on the local bar and club scene just released what I believe is one of the best albums recorded by an Oklahoma artist in quite awhile.
Henry, in case you weren't aware, is a blue-eyed soul singer who also slings a pretty mean electric guitar.
Building up a following over the past 10 years or so - particularly in Norman and Oklahoma City - Henry released an album a couple of years ago called "Deliverance." And while it was good, his recently released "Beauty in the Struggle" is terrific.
This guy is inspired by everyone from Stevie Wonder to John Lennon to Marvin Gaye to Jeff Buckley. Indeed, those and many other influences are here.
Recorded at Upstairs Productions in Oklahoma City and Co-Produced by Henry and Jeff Silbar, "Beauty in the Struggle" kicks off with "Love Anyway", a modern adult-alternative- sounding tune that helps things get warmed up.
If you dig smooth pop-rock with blues-guitar overtones, "If You Don't Need My Love" is the groovy ditty you're looking for.
Henry's power pop sensibilities come throught during the bridge on "Try to Forget Me" right before a short and sweet blues-guitar break that shows off his admiration of legends like B.B. King and Buddy Guy.
A soap opera. "The Young and The Restless" has already picked up the powerful ballad, "Crying for Change," a song where Henry's voice gets to stretch along with those guitar strings.
"Now or Never" is good, although not as representative of Henry's vocal-guitar strengths.
But a folky, acoustic track like "Portland" is a bittersweet song about a girl leaving home for rainier climes in Oregon: "Her life is as sweet as a cinnamon bun/ And everything's new under the sun." Thing "She's Leaving Home" by the Beatles, another major influence for Henry.
And just as you think Henry is on the backporch, pickin' and grinnin', he comes back into the club and takes Lenny Kravitz esque pose on a sexy song like "Skin to Skin." This is a fun song and one that is bound to get him attention
The life-affirming. "Believe in Yourself" takes a bit of gospel and soul mixed with healthy doses of pop to create a powerful and memorable album ender.
Henry co-wrote all of the songs with producer Silbar and a few other writers. Their writing talents and knack for putting together a pleasantly profession recording is a huge plus and another example of the amazing musical talent that can be found in Oklahoma.
- Norman POP Magazine


Oklahoma's music scene is ripe with talent. Synergy in the art and music industries has culminated in a showcasing of talent enjoyed by people on a local, national, and even international level. Shane Henry, born and raised in Verden, Oklahoma, is no exception to this phenomenon.



Starting his music career at age 17 by playing in local bars a few times a week, Shane was quickly recognized as a unique talent. But Shane's interest and connection to music started much earlier than his late teens; his father introduced him to "the greats"--Stevie Wonder, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, and Stevie Ray Vaughan (just to name a few) at an early age. Shane considers himself blessed to have grown up in such a musically alive environment. With his dad on guitar and mom on piano, Shane's first jam sessions were at home, and at a young age he knew he wanted to perform. He says it was a natural progression to pick up an instrument and play music. But his most inspiring moment of self-revelation came at a B.B. King concert, and he knew for certain that he wanted to seriously pursue music as a career.



Early in Shane's career, dreams and tour dates came true. The experience from his first tour proved invaluable to the next phase of his musical journey and solidified his natural ability to perform and connect with his audience.



Lyrically, Shane's music feels soulful, hopeful, and truthful. Melodically, his songs feel bluesy, with a paradox of retro-rock edge and acoustic intimacy. Shane's latest album release is the anticipatedBeauty in the Struggle. A college tour in the fall along with other notable venues nationwide will reconnect Shane Henry and the fans he won over years ago when he embarked on his first tour at the age of 19.



Shane's passion and drive to make music and perform live in a quickly changing music industry is resolute. This same intensity goes into each stage of the creative process--from the birth of a song in the reflective writing stage, to the collaborative work that takes place in the studio, to the stage where he performs live--a feeling he describes as "the best drug; there's nothing like performing for people who want to listen to your music."



Shane is clear in his philosophy, "You have to be willing to change, take chances, take risks." His new album is proof of this philosophy. He's trying new things and enjoying new collaborations with artists both locally and in L.A. Shane's back to touring across the country, guitar in tow, still wowing crowds with his raw talent, ready to embrace where the road will take him next.



After time and experience in the music industry, Shane says it's still all about the grassroots. The magic of the moment between listener and performer at a live show is what it's all about for him. Released on itunes in July, Beauty in the Struggle describes the last seven years of Shane's journey as an artist...and in life.



"I'm really happy with Beauty in the Struggle both musically and lyrically. It sums up what this record is about and what it took to make this album a reality. It's about taking the approach of looking at things as the glass half full instead of half empty."



At times when it seems as if the world is trying to convince us that our glasses are half empty, Shane Henry's heading out into that world with melodies that infuse optimism and honesty--one venue at a time. - So6ix Magazine, July 2010


"I'm pretty lucky to be where I am," admits Shane Henry, "but I still feel like I have a ways to go." The Oklahoma-bred-workhorse started touring roadhouses as a teenage, and put out an indie record when he was just 16. Shortly after that, Henry hooked up with management in Minneapolis. One open door led to another and soon he was setting the stage for B.B. King. Next, Henry scored Double Trouble as the backing back for his proper debut, Deliverance (Shanachie). "I think there's a big hole for honest guitar-driven blues and blues-rock." Henry says. "There's a definite demand for it, and the fans are relentless; they won't let the music go away." Neither will Henry, whose style combines the brawn of youth with the wisdom of elders. "Lots of guitar players learn SRV licks" he says, "because that's all they've been exposed to. If you're listening to the same three records, how can you not sound like that? But SRV went back to Albert King and Jimi Hendrix. You have to borrow from you influences and then set them loose." This openness is precisely what sets Henry apart from his contemporaries; he's not hemmed in by slashing blues-rock stereotypes. "I'm evolving," he explains, " and I'm constantly seeking out new things, to keep the ideas fresh. I'm not the same player now that I'll be 10 years from now." - Guitar One Magazine


Shane Henry has been playing music professionally for a decade now — a fact made all the more impressive by the fact that he’s only 26.“I feel lucky to have been introduced to music so young,” he said. “Music has been at the core of who am I for a very long time.”

Henry recorded his first album at a time when most of us are just worried about getting a driver’s license. He started performing in bars at 17, and just after his high school graduation, he struck out for Minneapolis to start a full-time career in music.

It was there that he got his first big break, opening for B.B. King. A gig like that would be great for anyone, but the opportunity was especially sweet for Henry, considering how the Oklahoman got into music in the first place.

“There was always good music being pumped at my house,” he said. “I grew up on stuff like Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and The Beatles from a very young age.”

But when Henry’s dad took him to see King, the young musician was inspired to pick up the guitar and master the art of blues.


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Shane Henry brings his blues back to Oklahoma, adding pop and soul to 'Beauty in the Struggle'

Wednesday, June 23, 2010
By Joshua Boydston

ShaneHenry_7-06x5-29cm.jpgShane Henry and Marcy Priest
7:30 p.m. Saturday
the Blue Door
2805 N. McKinley
www.bluedoorokc.com
524-0738
$10

Shane Henry has been playing music professionally for a decade now — a fact made all the more impressive by the fact that he’s only 26.

“I feel lucky to have been introduced to music so young,” he said. “Music has been at the core of who am I for a very long time.”

Henry recorded his first album at a time when most of us are just worried about getting a driver’s license. He started performing in bars at 17, and just after his high school graduation, he struck out for Minneapolis to start a full-time career in music.

It was there that he got his first big break, opening for B.B. King. A gig like that would be great for anyone, but the opportunity was especially sweet for Henry, considering how the Oklahoman got into music in the first place.

“There was always good music being pumped at my house,” he said. “I grew up on stuff like Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and The Beatles from a very young age.”

But when Henry’s dad took him to see King, the young musician was inspired to pick up the guitar and master the art of blues.



Almost a decade later, Henry, fresh off the King tour, was signed to Shanachie Records, among the largest indie labels around, and recorded his first nationally distributed album, “Deliverance.” He has been touring and playing music festivals ever since.

But Henry had started to grow a little restless.

“You are limited in blues, so I wanted to take my foundation in blues music and make it into something more universal,” he said. “It seemed natural for me.”

So he began to incorporate the pop and soul elements he had grown up to, filling his sound with horns, keys and radio-ready melodies. That evolution can be heard in Henry’s newest album, “Beauty in the Struggle,” which will be debuted Saturday at The Blue Door.

Much like that of John Mayer, Gavin Degraw or James Morrison, Henry’s sound has swelled into a blend of rock, pop, soul and, of course, blues.

The ballad “Crying for Change” caught the ears of suits at CBS, who featured the song on its long-running soap opera “The Young and the Restless.”

Henry hopes that this is the sort of thing that will allow him to do what has been at his roots for most of his life.

“I’m just hoping to make a living playing music, doing what I love and having success in whatever capacity that should be,” he said. “People have different ideas of what success is. For me, success is just writing songs and putting out records for people who want to hear them. I’m just trying to do music and put something out there that means something to people.” —Joshua Boydston - Okgazette.com - Joshua Boydston


Discography

Deliverance - (Shanachie Records, 2004)

The Love EP - (Independent, 2008)

Beauty in the Struggle - (2010)

Happiest of Holidays - (2015 with Maggie McClure)

Light in the Dark - (2017)

Photos

Bio

Passion and purpose tend to go hand in hand, so it’s little wonder that in the case of Shane Henry there’s an indelible bond that fuses his music to his message. One is intrinsically linked to the other. As a singer, songwriter and guitarist, he’s made it his mission to impart the emotion and inspiration he’s accumulated through the sum total of his life experiences.

Henry’s stunning new album, Light in the Dark (due for release April 28), conveys that intent without hesitation. Over the course of its eleven songs, it seals the divide between blues and pop, resulting in a sound that boasts elements of both, while also retaining a freshness, spontaneity, and yes, an instantly infectious and accessible sound that expands his boundaries as both a songwriter and a musician. It brings his career to new heights, the accrued accomplishment derived from a fifteen year journey that spans six previous independent releases -- You’re Comin’ Home (2000), (2004), The Love EP (2007), Beauty in the Struggle (2011), and a pair of holiday EPs with Maggie McClure, First Thing on My Christmas List (2012) and Happiest of Holidays (2015) -- a steady diet of touring and solo performances, and continuing praise from his peers.

That’s an impressive accomplishment, especially for a musician who began his musical quest in a small town in Oklahoma. His father played guitar and made a point of exposing him to the likes of the Beatles, Stevie Wonder and Jimi Hendrix. When he was twelve, his dad took him to 2 concerts that changed his life: Tom Petty at the Civic Center in Oklahoma City, and B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Bonnie Raitt at the Tulsa Blues Festival. That inspired him to learn guitar, a skill he pursued with a passion. That, in turn, led him to the blues and the soul sounds of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Otis Redding, and Donny Hathaway.

“My music has always reflected my reverence for soul music and for the blues,” Henry says. “It’s all about sharing songs that originate through authenticity, from the heart and from the soul.”

 At age 19, Henry made the move north to Minneapolis to work and record with songwriter/producer Kevin Bowe (Jonny Lang, Etta James, Joe Cocker, etc.), and began gigging steadily around the Twin Cities area before returning home in 2006 to ponder his next move. In 2012, he moved to Los Angeles in search of greater opportunities to further his career and bring his music wider exposure. Along the way, he racked up an impressive list of accomplishments -- 30 dates supporting B.B. King, a signing with the influential independent label Shanachie Records, work with Stevie Ray Vaughn’s renown backing band Double Trouble and recordings with guitar great Kenny Wayne Shepherd, plus touring with the likes of Etta James, Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang, Joe Bonamassa, George Thorogood and the Destroyers, Johnny Winter, Edwin McCain, the Neville Brothers and Grand Funk Railroad and playing such notable venues as the Hollywood Bowl, Madison Square Garden, the Santa Barbara Bowl, and Jones Beach Amphitheater. In addition, many of his songs have received international exposure, courtesy of placements on NBC, CBS, Discovery Channel, Hallmark Channel, and the E! Television network, as well as through feature films, radio airplay and retail sales.

“I’ve experienced the highs and lows that accompany a career involved in making music,” Henry admits. “The songs I’ve included on Light in the Dark express that range of emotions -- the struggle, the spiritual journey, the excitement and the enlightenment, all while trying to offer some thoughts about what it takes to find one’s place in the world and the steps we need to take to realize our dreams.”

Produced in part by David Ryan Harris (John Mayer, Dave Matthews, Santana) and Justin Glasco (The Lone Bellow), Light in the Dark boasts songs that effectively reflect an upward gaze while offering hope and comfort in a world where challenges abound and confusion often reigns. A mix of the occasionally dark underbelly, some instantly accessible grooves, a host of ready refrains and fiery fretwork, it carries a persistently uplifting theme throughout.

“I’ll keep on fighting until the battle is won,” he insists on the song “Running Towards the Sun.” He bases his beliefs on eternal optimism, as echoed in “Turn on the Lights,” and the search for salvation, persistent themes found in “Find My Rhythm” and “Save Me.” In fact, the entire album is flush with drive and determination, the result of Henry’s evolution as an artist, an advance that he’s quick to point out.

Ultimately then, his goal is simple. “I want to make a positive impact on my audience through my music,” he says. “If I can shine a little bit of light, then maybe others will find some comfort there as well.”