Interview and Photos by Scott Preston
The Andy Shaw Band weaves elements of reggae, rock, blues, and a mix of others, to create a fresh and original sound. Within the crew is a mastery of over 30 instruments and the participation in over 30 bands. Each is a kindle to the others fire that fuels the epic groove to their romantic reggae rock. The Andy Shaw Band will be performing at The Mad Frog here in Cincinnati on Friday December 10 with Green Light Morning.
Cincy Groove: Did the band have a good time at hookahville this year?
Andy Shaw: We had a great time at Hookahville. It was actually our first time attending the fest too. We have a lot of admiration for what ekoostik hookah has done throughout their career, creating great festivals like they have, and staying independent. It’s something we try to live up to all the time. And who doesn’t love Sweney’s awesome guitar solos?
Cincy Groove: What venue does the band feel most comfortable playing at?
Andy Shaw: We actually love playing at Ruby Tuesday on Summit, here in Columbus (no relation to the chain restaurant). We spent a lot of time building our sound there when we were the Monday night house band for about 2 years. It really turned us into a live band. On top of that Dan Mesnard and Kenny Caterer are two of the best sound people I’ve ever worked with. They make the music sound good, and we keep going back because of it.
Cincy Groove: Is there a new album in the works?
Andy Shaw: Our new album Own Resolve should be out early 2011. It’s an EP, and we are just trying to decide between 5 and 7 tracks. It’s a step up from the last album, giving a good mix of our sound from reggae to rock to some slight afro-cuban stuff. Truthfully we’ve already started working on the next album too, so we are ready to release it.
Cincy Groove: When did the Andy Shaw Band first get together?
Andy Shaw: We started in 2005 as myself, Andy Shaw, and Chris Shaw our drummer, and my brother. We later added bass and keys, and in 2007 added a lead guitarist. I still feel we really started in 2007 when we started our Rubys house gig.
Cincy Groove: Who else is in the band?
Andy Shaw: The band consists of me, Andy Shaw on guitar and vocals, Chris Shaw on drums and vocals, Jim Shaw on keyboards, Matt Paetsch on bass, and our lead guitarists are Theo Perry, and Eric Zelinski.
Cincy Groove: Who are your influences?
Andy Shaw: Chris and myself really love rootsy reggae music from Toots to Marley to the guys no one has ever heard of. We also find a lot of influence in Ben Harper, State Radio, RX Bandits, the Beatles, Ray Lamontagne, No Doubt, lots of songwriters, and anything that can groove. Our music is kind of about groove, truth, honesty, love, and healing. And of course our dad is a huge influence.
Cincy Groove: When and where did you first play in front of an audience?
Andy Shaw: I was probably 10. I used to play trumpet and violin, and I was in orchestra when I was in 5th grade. So probably then, but 18 was about the first time with a guitar and singing, and that was in Chicago, IL at an open mic when I was in college.
Cincy Groove: What was the first concert you ever attended?
Andy Shaw: Probably when I was 15 or 16. I think it was either Dave Matthews Band or No Doubt back in the days of Polaris Amphitheater in Columbus.
Cincy Groove: What has been the most unusual gig for you?
Andy Shaw: Honestly, there are some weird ones. But I guess the most recent one was a gig at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. There was a college rugby tournament in town, and a local promoter hired some local bands to play in the courtyard of the stadium. Our drummer Chris ended up getting extremely sick the day of the show, and our guitarist Theo Perry ended up playing drums for us. He had never played a note of drums with us, and he had about 2 hours to prepare. It ended up being pretty fun, but I was sweating bullets.
Cincy Groove: Are there any upcoming shows you are excited about?
Andy Shaw: December 10th we are playing Mad Frog in Cincy with Green Light Morning. The venue has great sound, and I’m excited to hear Green Light Morning.