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The best kept secret in music

Press



BY TIM SHELLBERG
Times Correspondent

To describe Shurman frontman Aaron Beavers' experience at Willie Nelson's birthday party in Texas last weekend as surreal would be low-balling it.

"It was a great time. He brought ZZ Top up there to play a few songs. And all of the sudden he brings Jessica Simpson onstage," he said. "It was so weird."

"My girlfriend looked at me and said 'it might be your time to leave,' and I said 'we will never talk about this again.' It was crazy."

Scheduled to perform a 21-and-over show Saturday at Gunther Murphy's on Chicago's north side, frontman and guitarist Beavers laid down the roots for what would become Shurman when he was a teenager, reared outside of Atlanta, with future drummer Damon Allen.

They both eventually left Georgia for sunnier skies, Beavers in Hawaii, where he penned more than 100 songs ranging in influence from Willie Nelson to AC/DC to the Clash, and Allen to Los Angeles. In 2001, Allen talked Beavers into returning to the mainland and joining him in L.A.

The first Shurman lineup came together shortly after Beavers' arrival, and the band made waves in the city rather quickly.

"I think sometimes you get lucky when you meet the right people," Beavers said.

"Within a year that the band was together, we were headlining at the Viper Room, which was a place that we always wanted to play."

The band self-released a pair of EP's, "5 Songs to Tell Your Friends About" and "Superfecta" Word of mouth stretched far beyond L.A., and the band made friends with artists ranging from Lucinda Williams to Los Lonely Boys to Blues Traveler, who each took the band on the road.

Eventually courted by a plethora of major labels, the band, which today consists of Beavers, Allen, guitarist Jason Moore and bassist Keith Hanna, signed to Vanguard for what became their first full-length set, "Jubilee," which was released last month.

They spent no small amount of time, Beavers said, being courted by labels big and small before signing with the respected indie.

"It's such a game that you play, and each label is extremely different," he said. "We had (label) guys come to our shows and take us out for dinner at the Four Seasons, and we saw the ugly side to it. The reason we went with Vanguard because they basically gave us (artistic) control of our album, and no one else would do that for us."

They were joined in the studio for "Jubilee" by a list of Americana all-stars, including chanteuse Garrison Starr and guitarist Doug Pettibone, who most recently accompanied Lucinda Williams. Keeping in tune with their varied musical influences, they also were accompanied by Dashboard Confessional jack-of-all-trades John Lefler.

"If it doesn't sound good with all of the people that we have on it -- then we're not good," Beavers said, laughing. "I think we got the vibe of what we do live (on ‘Jubilee'), which is what we were going for."

Beavers expects the band to spend a hearty chunk of 2005-2006 on the road in support of "Jubilee."
- Indiana Times


MUSIC REVIEW Orlando sentinel
Shurman: Jubilee (4 stars out of 5)


This Los Angeles band developed its reputation as an opening act for Whiskeytown and the Old 97s, which is reflected in the twangy, rock-rooted material on Jubilee.

When Shurman hits its stride on rollicking songs such as "Red Eyes," it's nearly as good as the Old 97s. Lead singer Aaron Beavers has a raspy, road-tested sound that mixes well with the percolating rhythm section anchored by drummer Damon Allen and bassist Keith Hanna. Lead guitarist Jason Moore doesn't get too fancy, but his solos find the middle ground between Pete Anderson and the Heartbreakers.

If there's a drawback to Jubilee, it's the way the album strays occasionally from its country DNA. The midtempo rocker "Impossibilities," for instance, sounds too much like a cross between Counting Crows and Hootie & the Blowfish. That's not horrible, but it's better when the band restricts imitation to the Bakersfield sound.

Or Tom Petty, whose style is saluted with "Petty Song." The musical track, with its jangly electric guitars and Beavers' harmonica, is wonderful even if the lyrics are a little clumsy in expressing the band's devotion.

Sometimes, the band could stand to put a little more distance between itself and its influences. For instance, that old reliable "Gloria" riff sounds a little tired in the rowdy "I Got U Babe, Pt. 3."

Still, most of Jubilee hits the mark, including the chugging break-up anthem "So Happy." It's just three chords and equally simple lyrics about a guy willing to "change everything like you asked me to, except maybe getting over you."

Shurman is most promising when it sticks closer to its country roots on songs such as the steel guitar-tinged title track and hard-charging "Tonight I'm Drinking." That's when Jubilee is really worth celebrating.

Jim Abbott
- Orlando Sentinel



By CHRIS HANSEN ORF
Get Out

Despite living and working in Los Angeles, Shurman singer and guitarist Aaron Beavers has strong ties to the Tempe music scene, where shows at the Yucca Tap Room and playing dates with Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers have built a huge local following for his band.

“We're really excited to be getting back to Tempe,” Beavers says of Monday's show at Martini Ranch, opening for Texas singer-songwriter Bob Schneider. “I've gotten a lot of e-mails about the show, that's for sure. And we'll definitely be coming out to do our own headliner in the next month or two.”

Beavers played in a band with Nick Scropos and P.H. Naffah of Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers before drummer Naffah joined Clyne's pre-Peacemakers group, the hugely popular 1990s Tempe band The Refreshments. He invited Naffah and Peacemakers guitarist Steve Larson into the studio while Shurman were recording their debut full-length album, “Jubilee.”

The record was partly recorded at former Peacemakers bassist Danny White's Formula One Studios (which have since moved to Nashville) and Naffah played congas on the disc. Larson is credited with “couch.”
“Larson was in the studio the whole day we were doing ‘2 a.m.,’ and he was on the couch the whole time just giving us (expletive),” Beavers says. “When we'd walk out of the vocal booth he'd be like, ‘You're rushing it, man,’ and I was like, ‘Shut the hell up!’

‘‘So I said, ‘We've gotta give him some kind of credit,’ so it was, like, ‘Well, what did he do?’ He was leaning up against the couch all day, so — ‘couch’!”

“Jubilee,” recorded live in the studio, captures the passion and energy of a Shurman show and the band's trademark crunchy heartland rock ’n’ roll mixed with country twang. The record is the band's first for the Vanguard label, and Beavers has been pleasantly surprised by the artistic control.
“One of the things I can say about Vanguard,” Beavers says, “is that we went and did a record on our own, paid for everything on our own, got the producer we wanted and we basically turned in to Vanguard and said, ‘Here's the record mixed, mastered; here's the idea for the artwork,’ and they never once said anything like, ‘That song should go' or 'This song should be first.’”

The band formerly toured on their own dime, crashing on fans' floors along the way, but with big-time tour support from the label, the band can stay in hotels when they venture into new cities.

“People have helped us out our whole career,” Beavers says. “We started out sleeping on people's floors, people having barbecues for us, parties so we could drink or whatever, and now with the label paying for rooms and getting people out to the shows . . . We'd never played Park City, Utah, before, and there was a bunch of people there, and we just turned them all on. And it was a ... Monday!"
- Get Out Magazine (AZ)


The music of the Los Angeles quartet Shurman is kind of like the piñata on the cover of their album. It's not totally predictable what you're going to find inside, but it's pretty certain to provide a good time regardless.

It's easy to throw out a handful of Americana or roots rock acts to compare Shurman to; from Counting Crows to Tom Petty to The Wallflowers to John Mellencamp. They could quite easily mold into any category from alternative country to blues. But, as with any artist who could be compared to another, it's the personality that Shurman exudes that makes them different.

The band's country flavor and overly exuberant happiness makes Shurman's statements easy to swallow. "So Happy" is a classic done-me-wrong song with a newish twist. As with "Red Eyes," the sadness of the messages is buried in the happy-go-lucky drums and guitar that surround them. Granted, there are still a few notable ballads on the album like "Down" and "Jubilee." But, the songs still leave you with an "everything is gonna be all right tomorrow" kind of certainty.

Helping add to the fun style, Jubilee involves friends of the band, including Doug Pettibone, Gia Ciambotti and Garrison Starr. The additions make it seem like there's always a house party going on in Shurman's world.

When it comes down to it, Shurman is a great rock band. It's obvious that their love lies in their job. As their title track "Jubilee" states "it' ain't a jubilee without a six-string telling stories of how it used to be."

Heather Croteau, Orlando CityBeat Writer
- Orlando City Beat


Shurman: Jubilee

by Amanda Skinner at lewis and Clark College Pioneer

I’m trying to think of the last time a country music review was published in the Pioneer Log and I just don’t think I can pin that date down. Luckily, this review just can’t quite be classified as country.

Shurman, comprised of Aaron Beavers, Damon Allen, Jason Moore, and Keith Hanna, refuses to be classified. Beavers lists ZZ Top, Neil Young, Tom Petty, Willie Nelson, Aerosmith, and the Cars among his influences.

The first song on their debut album Jubilee, “Drownin’,” is a strange little mix of Lynyrd Skynyrd and something almost Weezer-esque. Then there’s “Red Eyes,” my favorite, which could be an Old 97s song if it had more synaesthesia in the lyrics. But beware: there is twang involved. While not overly prominent, listeners from states north (or west, for that matter) of the Mason-Dixon line may be taken aback.

Lead singer Aaron Beavers and drummer Damon Allen met in a town outside of Atlanta, GA when they were young and began dreaming of forming a band. In 1999, that finally became a reality and in 2001 the band sold 20,000 EPs (5 Songs to Tell Your Friends About and Superfecta) and played more than 400 shows in 2003 and 2004.

After producing the CD themselves, the band signed on with Vanguard Records, based in Santa Monica, Calif. Jubilee was released on April 12.

So give yourself a break from all the emo and quiet stuff you’ve been listening to. Shurman will change your expectations of alt-country, rock, Americana, or whatever you want to call it.
- Lewis & Clark College Pioneer


Shurman's blend of pop and country is as catchy as anything being played today. The band's flavor falls a little closer to the country end of the spectrum, kind of a surprise given the Los Angeles roots the band has planted. Aaron Beavers' vocals are solid, giving way to episodes of unabashed screaming on tracks such as "2 a.m." Beavers also wrote the tunes on this disc, a mix of heartbreak and drinking songs which no country record would be complete without. I love it when a band throws something I'm not expecting, and that's just what Shurman has done with Jubilee.

Lance Loop highbias.com - highbias.com


It has been a while since Mcintosh High School graduates Aaron Beavers and Damon Allen, members of the band shurman, performed music in Peachtree City.

“I think the last concert we played was at a canned food drive at the school,” said Beavers. “Maybe it was at a party at someone’s house.”

The wait will be over next week, when Beavers and Allen bring their band, shurman, to The Red Room, Thursday, Oct. 5. The band, which found success with their first album, Jubilee, and touring nearly non-stop around the country, recently released a live album and has toured their way from Los Angeles to Nashville, Tenn. for a music conference and to record a new album at the legendary 16 Tons Studios.

Beavers, the lead singer for shurman, was very excited to get into the studio and record the new material.

“It’s a more personal album,” said Beavers, who feels he has grown as a lyric writer. One song, “Here’s to Rock ‘N Roll,” is about the soldiers fighting overseas, while “Small Town Tragedy” is about the crazy lives of the people that the band grew up with.

“There are no wasted words this time,” Beavers added. He also stated that while the lyrics may be more serious, the band is rocking. “There is just so much energy around this music and we are determined to make a record that sounds like the ones we grew up with.”

To that end, shurman is planning on using older equipment and will be singing live to tape. They are also working with some of the most gifted session players in music, people who have worked with The Rolling Stones and Elvis Presley.

“These people are the best at what they do and we really rise to the occasion when we get a chance to work with them.”

Though shurman has been classified as country by some in the industry, fans of all types of music have found them. The group has opened shows for Blues Traveler and Ted Nugent, but they have also found that they have become headliners in their own right in several cities. The band enjoys the fact that they continue to win fans with their high-energy shows. They also win fans from some of the bands they meet on the road.

“It was just so surreal to watch ‘The Tonight Show’ and see Blues Traveler’s drummer wearing a shurman t-shirt,” Beavers said.

Experiences like that continue to make shurman’s musical career incredibly fun for Beavers and the boys and what makes it more satisfying, according to Beavers, is knowing that they have worked hard and earned it.

“We’ve really come into our own and are playing the best we’ve ever played right now,” stated Beavers, who is eager to show family and friends, who haven’t had a chance to see the band yet, just what they can do. Both Beavers and Allen are also looking forward to returning to their old stomping grounds.

“The first place to go will be Partners II Pizza,” said Beavers, who worked at the restaurant with Allen. “I think I need to tell them I was sorry about the way I quit.” In addition to stopping in for a slice, Beavers said hanging out with family members will obviously be on the agenda, as will rides on the golf cart paths around the lake.

“We are just so thankful and are just making the most of this opportunity,” said Beavers, adding that it was great to hear from so many people rooting for them. “We’ve grown from teenage punks to musicians and are so excited to get home and play.”

shurman will play The Red Room at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10. Singer/songwriter Andy Hersey will open the show. Visit www.shurmanville.com for more information on the band.
- the Atlanta Citizen newspaper


Shurman Band Tears It Up Wormy Dog Style
by Gina Stricklin

Oklahoma City (June 29, 2006) - It was an OKC Friday night and a friend by the name of Ragan Parkerson had told me to get to the Wormy Dog early. The band Shurman was opening for Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, and Ragan was insistent that I check them out.

Shurman might be new to me, but is clearly no stranger to the music scene. Hailing from sunny California where the hair bands once thrived with make-up as thick as the smog that hovers over L.A, these guys didn’t look like your typical band from Cali. With their pearl snap shirts and a twang in their lyrics they looked like the guys we have grown accustomed to seeing in the Red Dirt/Texas music scene. This band was going to fit right in.

With gravel in his voice and a slight Texas twang, lead singer Aaron Beavers drew us in from the start. The rest of the band had an agenda as well, and that was to rock the walls. And rock them they did. Shurman came on stage with a forceful presence as if playing to a sold-out crowd. The energy emitted from the stage was addictive and carried throughout the bar. This band served up a punch from the get-go and never let up.

Following the all-too-short set, the members of Shurman proved they were just a grounded group of guys who appreciate the fans and took the time to let us know. The band had been formed by Aaron Beavers (lead singer/songwriter, acoustic/electric guitar, and harmonica) and Damon Allen (drums and vocals) who had a vision of the band growing in their minds from the early age of 13. It would take years to actually see it all come together, but they made it happen along with the added talents of Nelson Blanton (lead guitar) and Keith Hanna (bass guitar), and formed one of the best live bands that you will truly want to see again and again.

The guys of Shurman have mixed their Americana roots with a little “Are you ready to rock?!?” persona. They have been labeled a heartland rock band with a style of music that has combined the “energy of alternative rock with the sensibility of alternative country.” I would agree; that description is right on the money.

Their new CD, Shurman--A Week in the Life, is a live album that was recorded at the end of April 2006 during the final week of the “Spring Forever Tour.” It has some of the old favorites like “Drowning,” “Red Eyes,” and “So Happy,” but there are also some new songs kickin’ it as well. New tracks include “Small Town Tragedy,” “Big Things,” and “Country Just Ain’t Country.” This 11-track CD belts out a raw energy that is oh so contagious and ignites the feeling of being at a live show. You definitely need to add this one to your collection.

That Friday night I was introduced to a bold, new sound that made an instant fan of me. Great live show, great guys, and a great new album. So, if you want to be country-rocked in a way that only Shurman knows how, go to www.shurmanville.com for info on upcoming shows and check these guys out. - Texas Music Times


SHURMAN
The Los Angeles-based roots rockers incorporate Southern rock, country and pop in a way that gives the songs a distinct musical pedigree. The band is known for energetic live shows that never disappoint! The Jenn Christy Band and Andy Hersey open at 9 p.m. Saturday at Gunther Murphy's, 1638 W. Belmont. Tickets, $10. Call (773) 472-5139. --- Mary Houlihan - Chicago Sun Times



By BOB TOWNSEND
For the Journal-Constitution
Singer-songwriter Aaron Beavers and drummer Damon Allen of the up-and-coming Los Angeles-based band Shurman grew up in Peachtree City and graduated from McIntosh High School.
"We started playing music together in ninth grade," said Beavers, "and we played in a band together all through high school. When we were in Peachtree City, there was only one stop light, a Hardee's and a grocery store. There was nothing really. We had to go into Atlanta and hang out in Little Five Points to get into trouble."
After going their separate ways to attend college, Beavers and Allen joined up again among the bright lights of Hollywood — forming a band called Blue Train, and eventually putting together the current line-up of Shurman, with guitarist Jason Moore and bassist Keith Hanna.
The hard-rocking quartet built a reputation through relentless touring, opening dates for Blues Traveler, Ziggy Marley, Los Lonely Boys and, lately, Ted Nugent.
The diversity of those acts reflects the eclectic sound of "Jubilee," Shurman's country-tinged debut disc on Vanguard Records — a historic label known for recording folk, bluegrass and blues artists and more recently featuring the likes of Camper Van Beethoven and Hootie and the Blowfish.
Though several labels were interested in signing them, Beavers and Allen say they ultimately chose Vanguard because the company allowed them the greatest measure of artistic and financial control.
"We made the record on our own and basically paid for it out of our tour money," Allen said.
"Being signed has changed our lives," Beavers said. "And to have artistic freedom, which I didn't think we'd ever have at a label, has been really, really great."
Since it was released in April, "Jubilee" has gathered a stack of positive notices in daily newspapers across the country, as well as music publications, including Billboard and Paste magazine. And right now, the video for "Drownin' " (the lead track and first single from the disc) is being featured on Country Music Television.
Beavers and Allen are hoping to make it home to Georgia in October as part of a fall tour. "It's definitely time for us to get back," Beavers said, "I'm missing it."
But for all their fond memories of high school days in Peachtree City, the duo agree that L.A. has been very, very good to them.
"I think one of the best parts about being out here is that we've had people discover us who would probably never have seen us," Beavers said. "You'll be playing in a bar and you might look out in the audience and see somebody like Drew Barrymore or Billie [Joe Armstrong] from Green Day. It's so crazy. But that's the fun part about this town." - Atlanta Journal Constitution


Discography

2004 - "Red E.P." (self released)
2005 - jubilee (released on Vanguard Records)
2006 - A Week in the Life LIVE CD (self released)
2007 -"untitled"studio record & companion DVD (spring 2007 release)

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

You can attach many handles to the music Shurman makes---country rock, cowpunk, rocknroll, alt-country, Americana but none of them really nails the bands sound.

Obviously, they've forged a sound that refuses to be pigeonholed. Aaron Beavers, shurmans lead singer, guitarist and songwriter, notes, "We just go out and say, This is what we do."

The band released it's first live CD called A Week in the Life in late summer 2006 and the response has been amazing. Beavers says, "I guess we've always been know for our live shows and that is definitely captured here!" The 11 song CD features a preview of some new material like Small Town Tragedy & Big Things from their forthcoming CD, and a few ol' favorites from the Vanguard Records debut, jubilee.

Sure, there's twang in the 11 songs on 2005's jubilee, which was produced by Beavers, Dusty Wakeman (Lucinda Williams, Dwight Yoakam), and Andrew Williams (Five For Fighting, Old 97s). Thats only natural, considering that the groups founding members grew up in Texas and Georgia. But theres a lot more to it than that......

for the full bio PLEASE goto www.shurmanville.com

HERE IS SUMMARY OF WHAT'S BEEN GOIN ON LATELY (updated 11/06):

--Shurman has just finished a new recording at fabled 16 Ton Studios in Nashville. The CD was recorded and mixed in just 10 days to retain the jagged “live sound” the band has become known for with their magnetic live performances. Danny White, fresh from working with Chris and Rich from the Black Crowes, was brought in to produce the record. The recording also boasts some impressive guests such as longtime Eagles/Dylan/Gram Parsons/Stones sideman, Al Perkins, on pedal steel. Multi-grammy winning artist, Robert Renyolds, from the Mavericks lends a hand on harmony vocals, and longtime Wilco drummer, Ken Coomer, adds percussion to the CD. Look for a Spring/Summer 2007 release for the recording and the companion DVD.

--Country Music Television did an Up Close feature on Shurman that ran from November 1st to Novemeber 10th, 2006. The 30 minute feature program ran twice a day for 10 days and featured 5 videos from Shurman and 4 band interview segments from the last year. Recent Up Close profiles have featured such notable acts as: Jack Ingram, Los Lonely Boys, Billy Joe Shaver, Cross Canadian Ragweed & Shooter Jennings.

--Shurman was picked by House of Blues as “Ones to Watch” for 2006. The House of Blues program has recognized artists still in the early stages of their careers (artists like Kanye West, Linkin Park, Coldplay, Radiohead, Travis, Gavin DeGraw, Hoobastank, O.A.R. and New Found Glory). They started out playing small gigs at House of Blues club venues and in many cases, graduated to achieve superstar status performing at amphitheatres and arenas.

--Billboard Magazine ran a 2-page story featuring a picture and interview with Shurman in their January 28, 2006 issue. The feature focused on the DIY ethic, independent spirit, and constant touring schedule of the band.

--Shurman was featured on television in a National news story about “top undiscovered talent” on 3/10/06 on over 150 FOX News Affiliates across the Country. The story includes an interview with Shurman’s lead singer, Aaron Beavers, and an acoustic performance at Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles.

--The LA Times recently wrote an article on the Burgeoning Country Rock Revival in Los Angeles, calling Shurman “ LA’s undisputed favorite,” featuring an interview with the band and Lucinda Williams.

--Shurman is the “Artist of the Month” for December on KAZAA, the World’s largest Peer-To-Peer music sharing website. The promotion includes a free video download and placement on KAZAA’s homepage, which receives millions of hits a day (on average, 13-20 million people are connected to KAZAA at any given time!).

--Shurman’s video for “Drownin’” is in rotation on the Edge of Country program on the Great American Country (GAC) Video channel. The video was directed by MTV award winner, Nathan Cox (Foo Fighters, Keane, Queens of the Stoneage,) and debuted on CMT’s Wide Open Country program as the biggest seller on CMT.com (ahead of Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, and Johnny Cash). The video is also being shown nightly at all House of Blues venues and hotel channels across the Country.

--“I Got U Babe (Pt. 3)” off of Shurman’s Vanguard Records debut, Jubilee, was used by as the theme music for Country Music Television in commercials for their 2006 CMT Music Awards.

--Shurman’s debut CD, Jubilee, was picked by the Alt-Country magazine No Depression as “No Depression Recommends” with endcap placement and featured listening stations in over 30 major markets. As part of their subscription offer, Jubilee was given to new subscribers of the magazine.

--Shurman’s song, “Drownin’”, was chosen by Paste magazine for their bi-annual music sampler (alongside Ryan Adams, Lucinda Williams, Willie Nelson, and others). 100,000 copies of the