Shane Hunt
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Shane Hunt

Phoenix, Arizona, United States | SELF

Phoenix, Arizona, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Acoustic

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"You Asked for It - Shane Hunt: Another Awkward Silence Between Friends EP"

Artist: Shane Hunt

Title: Another Awkward Silence Between Friends EP

Basics: I'll admit that I chuckled upon seeing the name of this particular EP. Now, that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's perhaps one of the most ingenious, cleverly-titled EPs I have received thus far, so bonus points for making me smile, rather than dread, whatever music I was about to hear.

More bonus points for having the tracks, artist and album title all show on Gracenote upon putting the CD in my computer. So far, so good, Shane Hunt. So far, so good...
Best Song: Gracenote also labelled the EP as "Country & Folk," which I find to be a fair representation of Hunt's style. There's a good amount of acoustic guitar to go with his contemporary country/melodic pop singing style. In fact, I hope you love acoustic guitar, because that's all Hunt brings to the table with Awkward Silence. No percussion, no bass, no backing band -- just him and his guitar. The song that best captures this aesthetic is "Revolver," the EP's third track. He's had two songs, if you will, to warm up, and Hunt really hits his vocal stride with "Revolver," even daring to hit a small falsetto during the chorus. Gotta love that.


Worst Song: "Just Another Star-Crossed Tragedy" fails to evenly capture what it is Hunt does best. It's got all the elements there, they just don't quite mesh together. Hunt's vocals are at their most ambitious here, but it comes off as trying a bit too hard -- as if he's trying to overcompensate for a rather bland song.

Suggestions: Put together a band around the guitar playing and vocals. I'd be surprised to really hear Hunt's sound fleshed out in full. He has the singing chops to pull it off. Awkward Silence is a good enough effort to merit a drummer and some bass. I know this is all easier said than done, but you never know how it all might turn out unless you try.

Grade : B-

If you're a musician from the Phoenix metro area and would like to have your music reviewed in You Asked For It (our first-come, first-served and often harsh record review column) please send it in an envelope marked "YAFI" to:
Michael Lopez - Phoenix New Times - reviewer Michael Lopez


"Second Supper serves up Shane"

The Designer’s Drugs

Medium: Album
Stimulus: Shane Hunt – Another Awkward Silence between Friends
Anno: 2010

It’s been well established that I’m rarely a friend of the acoustic guitar. This isn’t due to any structural defect of the instrument or any criticism of the sound it makes (on sheer annoyance, I usually go with brass instruments). To be blunt, it comes from the legion of white boys who master a chord or two and feel empowered to rain proto-sensitivity all over the rest of us at the party. While I’ve found exceptions to the rule, the rule still stands, and I remain distrustful of most people who pick up a hollow six-string.

What sets Shane Hunt apart from his acoustic-plucking peers is the force and range of his voice, qualities which punch his songs of love and loss up a notch. The guitar playing and lyricism on his new EP are at worst quite serviceable, but the singing on Another Awkward Silence is what keeps his music from getting lost in the singer-songwriter shuffle. There are a few moments when Hunt’s voice breaches the barrier between poignant and pubescent – particularly in the chorus of “Just another Star-Crossed Tragedy,” a subdued song which just didn’t grab me – yet these moments are rare.

Hunt’s finest moment on Another Awkward Silence is his comparatively poppy opening track, “Serendipity Doo-Dah.” Like a few of the tracks, the opener features a little backing bass to propel the music along, and this one has the added benefit of a backup singer. The best lyrics of the collection are also found here, with lines like “You are the greatest thing that never happened to me” sure to catch in the listener’s brain. The sum total is a track in which everything comes together just right.

The final three tracks buoy the EP with various shades of romantic longing. “Revolver” is a fast-paced tune about an uneven romance in which the short straw ponders the turning of tables. “Undone” is the collection’s second best, a sad, pretty song which features some of Hunt’s best guitar work on display. The end comes in “Spin,” which is a pretty standard uptempo acoustic guitar song. It’s not as captivating as some of the better songs, but it’s not at all unlistenable, either.

While there are a few moments on Another Awkward Silence which fall prey to the usual conventions, most of the music is quite diverse and attractive. Which brings up the big question: what could Shane Hunt do on a full-length?

You win this round, acoustic guitar. But keep your nose clean. - Second Supper


"Another Awkward Silence Between Friends Review"

Shane's CD is fantastic... Great songs, great voice, great guitar playin'. He's incredibly talented. - Jen Powelson- (singer/ songwriter for Haven James- 2008 Phoenix Music Award winner for Single of the


"Transcendence Review"

Now, unless your head's been under a rock, or you're new to the music scene here in Havasu, you've heard of Shane Hunt and probably heard him play at least once. He has been a mainstay at the open mics since day one.

Trancendance is Shane's first full-length recording; it carries material from his previous demo, and a whole slew of new songs. Shane's singer/songwriter style has it's signature element in his warm, deep vocals, reminiscent of early James Taylor. Excellent lyrics are supported by solid acoustic guitar. It's his voice, however, that draws you in.

Good news and bad news... Good- it was just released Friday; Bad- it's already sold out. Shane's CD release party was at the packed-to-the-rafters Java Rush Cafe', and I managed to capture a song on video, hopefully to be released to TV45 for a public viewing...we'll see...

...anyway, on with the CD review.

Track 1 - Silhouette Room - the namesake of the first demo; adding the subtle bass line added a valuable texture to this track; as before, very positive chorus and nice dynamic changes.

Track 2 - Angel - a faster-paced song for Shane, with a cool, dreamy keyboard tone drifting through the background. The vocals are more direct and forward.

Track 3 - Illusions - "...drowning in your shadow; bleeding from the lies you spin..."; a song about loss of innocence with a nice, even groove through it.

Track 4 - Lullaby (acoustic) - With a real joyful strumming riff, Lullaby takes you to a particularly pleasant memory.

Track 5 - Ballad of Simple Selfishness - Coming off with a bluesey vibe, this song lyrically exhibits its namesake perfectly.

Track 6 -Downpour - Cool chord structure for the melody of this track - strong lyrics, with a nice string interlude.

Track 7 - Dulcinea - In this song, you can hear Shane's Alice in Chains influence.

Track 8 - Echo (of a Girl) - A heavily introspective piece regarding a disintegrating relationship

Track 9 - Neverglow - Revamped from the demo - with a bass line and 2nd guitar for additional substance.

Track 10 - Inside Your Eyes - Really nice production on this one, with vocals right up in front.

Track 11 - You - Has a nice slow-ascending quality to it...simple and strong.

Track 12 - Lullaby (band version) - reinterpreted with guest artists Virgil Vendito and Gary Newton - upbeat and anthemic.

Well there it is...overall a great first LP, Shane.

If I(lowell) could change anything, it would be to remove the double vocal tracking that occurred on some tracks...I liked your voice best on the songs with a strong, singular vocal track, like "Inside Your Eyes". - Lake Havasu Musicians Network - Lowell Smith (founder)


Discography

2000 - Silhouette Room EP (Shane Hunt)
2001 - Transcendence LP (Shane Hunt)
2005 - Save Yourself LP (as Would-Be Savior)
2007 - The Hindsight EP (as The LaTTer)
2010 - Another Awkward Silence Between Friends EP (Shane Hunt- available through iTunes, CDbaby, etc.)
2010 - Live From the Vintage Lounge EP (Shane Hunt)

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Bio

A self-taught musician/singer/songwriter originally from Lake Havasu City, Arizona-- Hunt performs with an array of instruments including the guitar, mandolin, harmonica, banjo and bass. He broke into performing by taking up a resident position as the weekly artist at various coffee shops, often playing 3-hour sets every week for a year (frequently playing different material for each performance). Based on this rigorous schedule, Hunt established himself as one of Havasu's premiere performers before relocating to Phoenix in 2004. He has released three albums of solo material to date: 2000's Silhouette Room, 2001's Transcendence and 2010’s Another Awkward Silence Between Friends.

“Shane was the first guy to bring a guitar to Sir James' and play music - up until then, it was only poetry reading. So it's safe to say that Shane was a pioneer performer for the LHC music scene. When we first started bringing a P.A. system to the patio, it was Shane who principally broke the ice and brought original music to the table.”
– Lowell Smith: The Lake Havasu Musician’s Network

Interested in expanding his musical horizons, Hunt has been involved in various side projects with friends and local musicians, playing shows aiding Would-Be Savior, Lauren Z, Sydney Sprague, the Dorsets, Delcoa, Joey Arroyo, Kate Ball, Carrie Lynn and After the Break over his last 6 years in the valley.

During his tenure as a Phoenix-based performer Hunt has also shared the stage with various national acts and local favorites, including Authority Zero, Michelle Branch, Obadiah Parker, Kaiser Cartel, Curtis Peoples, Keaton Simons, Tony Lucca, Joe Firstman, Lovers in Arms, Sacha Sacket, Nick Tiliacos, Tiff Jimber, Micah Beverly, Ten Dollar Outfit, Brian Blush, Mojave, The Dorsets, Thousand Yard Stare, Matthew Reveles, Leaf, Haven James, The Joey Arroyo Band, Sarah Vanell, February State and others.

Hunt is currently performing shows in support of his first solo release in ten years, an acoustic EP containing songs spanning the last decades' worth of his material recorded with producer Otto D'Agnolo (Soulfly, Alice Cooper, Waylon Jennings, DMX, Kenny Rogers). Entitled Another Awkward Silence Between Friends, the EP was created as a means of showcasing Hunt's individual songwriting efforts. Spanning from the sadly saccharine pop-tune "Serendipity Doo-Dah," to the gritty and declamatory "Spin," Hunt's material probes personal heartbreak with a surgeon's precision. Displaying a wide array of styles, moods and influences, the album is littered with hooks that you're sure to snag your ear on.