Interview by Scott Preston
I had the pleasure to speak with David Shaw, lead singer of The Revivalists, ahead of The Big River Get Down, taking place on 9/7 at Riversedge Amph in Hamilton, OH. The lineup includes The Revivalists, The War and Treaty, Brent Cobb, Southern Avenue, Neal Francis and Gelbuda. Doors are at 2pm with music starting at 3pm. Local artisans and vendors will be operating “Get Down Street” in Marcum Park adjacent to the amphitheater on Saturday from noon to 7 pm. Food vendors, local artisans, art exhibits, and street performers (fire breathers, jugglers, etc) performing throughout the day. More details can be found at bigrivergetdown.com
All of the proceeds from the festival will be donated to the City of Hamilton’s 4th of July fireworks and RiversEdge Concert Series. Since its inception in 2015, David Shaw’s Big River Get Down has donated more than $80,000 to these events and has helped attract other talented musicians to perform free concerts at RiversEdge Amphitheater.
Cincy Groove: So I’m sure you are excited about the show this weekend in Hamilton.
David Shaw: I’m definitely looking forward to it. Its a great homecoming, I get to see all my friends and family and see some great bands that I don’t get to see very often. It will be good for the soul.
Cincy Groove: So what are your duties as mayor of Hamilton for the day? Any proclamations?
David Shaw: There will be no parking tickets issued for the day (laughing). Not really. In all seriousness, I was surprised and humbled. A very cool thing. They also gave me the key to the city.
Cincy Groove: I see that you also just opened for the Rolling Stones recently. What was that experience like?
David Shaw: What can you really say about something like that? We grew up listening to these guys, it was definitely a surreal experience. We also got to meet them about 15 minutes before they took the stage. I was asking myself “Is this really happening?”, its something that I won’t soon forget.
Cincy Groove: The band has done so much over a relatively short period of time, how do you all stay grounded?
David Shaw: We really try to keep things in perspective. What is happening to us, doesn’t happen to everybody and it very easily could have not happened to us . There are bands out there that are technically better than us in a lot of ways, but are still playing to 30-40 people a night. I just feel really lucky and grateful for everything that has happened to the band.
Cincy Groove: Whats one of the first things you do when you get back to Hamilton/Cincinnati for the weekend?
David Shaw: First thing I do is I go visit my mom and aunt. Then I go get a 4 way from Gold Star with extra onion and hot sauce. I don’t mix it all together, I eat it front to back. I know there is a lot of talk about which place is the best. I grew up about 2-3 blocks away from a Gold Star. So I have an affinity for them over anywhere else.
Cincy Groove: Do you have any pre-show rituals to get yourself ready to perform?
David Shaw: Sometimes I like to meditate. But really I just want to feel as normal as possible when I hit the stage. If I feel like myself when I hit the stage, thats all I need to get myself in the right frame of mind to perform.