Mick Shaffer has an impressive resume. He started practicing the guitar again at age forty but first picked it up when he was fourteen. Before getting into music he worked in the entertainment industry.
Shaffer appeared on network television, off-off Broadway theater, the stage of Radio City Music Hall and various comedy clubs in NYC performing with the likes of Robin Williams, Bruce Willis, Alan Arkin, Dennis Leary and Gilbert Gottfried. On the music side he has been playing in the San Francisco bay area for over twenty-two years and recently released Thoughts & Ruinations.
The album contains ten songs and is around forty-two minutes long. I would say the music is rock based with a strong proclivity towards’70s Americana based sounds. The first song entitled “Amiga'' was a highlight. I loved the opening guitar and slight country twang on this song. Johnny Cash came to mind but with more electric guitar and atmosphere.
Next up is “Low Hanging Fruit’ which sheds most of the country flavor. There’s some really great work across the board when it comes to the instrumentation. The warm and inviting “Lay It Down” lays down the Americana thick and the first time Neil Young came to mind. “Another World” is stripped down with just acoustic guitar and vocals while “Glimmer” features a new vocal style - spoken word. “True” was one of the more single-worthy songs. The song drives and has memorable vocal melodies.
Some of the best vocals are also on “Same Old New Thing.” I thought “Imagining” has more of a contemporary country quality. It wasn’t my favorite song in the batch but contains warm melancholy and hope. “My Green Thumb” is a fun one. It’s loose and playful. Shaffer closes with “In the Moonlight” which is atmospheric and misty.
This was a really well produced and written album. I liked most of the songs and thought some were exceptional. Recommended.
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