Shaun Kirk

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Shaun Kirk

It’s been a couple of years away from the scene, and now finally in 2014 Shaun Kirk is releasing his highly anticipated third album, Steer the Wheel. Moving a lot more in the direction of electric blues in relation to his previous albums, it is a welcome return for the now renowned blues and roots performer. Having relentlessly toured the country over the past couple of years, Kirk is about to crack in once again for a two-month national tour (his most extensive to date), which also sees him play at both Deni Blues Fest as well as Byron.
“This album I think is the most extensive thing I have done to date. There is definitely a lot more collaboration than I have done with previous albums and there are also some killer players on the record. I can’t wait to release it for all my fans to hear what I’ve been up to the past couple of years,” Kirk said
With Grant Cummerford on bass and Danny McKenna on drums, also known as part of the rhythm section elite in the Australian blues roots scene and seen most commonly backing Jeff Lang, Steer the Wheel is definitely a lot fuller, fresher, original and funkier than anything Kirk has done before. Other guest performers make appearances, and changing it up with a rhythm section and backing band has really helped create something a little different – something like the proudest set of songs for Kirk.
“I think that I’ve really knuckled down on songwriting and arrangements this time around and there are quite a few awesome moments on this record; places where Danny is just doing some real crazy shit on the drums.”
One of the main tracks to Kirk’s live show over the past couple of years has been ‘Find Me a Lady’, and finally we can get our chops around the studio version on Steer the Wheel. Although described as the ‘piss-take’ song of the album, it illustrates directly the quirky storytelling element Kirk has developed over the years.
Although the writing and recording process has taken a while, Kirk decided to ask his fans for support through the crowd-funding initiative of PledgeMusic. Working exactly like Pozible, the target of the campaign was reached a few weeks before the deadline, which both surprised and astounded Kirk.
“To be able to connect with everyone that digs my music… it was a more interactive approach than ever before and quite eye-opening. There were moments where I was scared that it wasn’t going to happen, and it took a while to get off the ground, but finally everyone got behind it and here we are. People have pledged the money, and so now I’m going to be playing a few rounds of golf and a whole stack of other things.”
American bluesman Gary Clark Jr. was one of the biggest influences on this record, alongside Tony Joe White. If given the opportunity, Kirk would love the opportunity to get up with Clark or John Mayer at the upcoming Byron Bay Bluesfest.
“Gary Clark Jr. is the guy to save blues music and his album of last year, Blak and Blu, was simply killer. If I could get up with him on stage for a track or two, I definitely wouldn’t say no.”
When&Where: Old Hepburn Hotel, Hepburn Springs – March 21 & Babushka Lounge, Ballarat – March 28
Written by Tex Miller