Originally from the Albany, New York area, 21 year old Shane Guerrette draws from a variety of rock and blues influences, transmutes those sounds through his own experiences and artistic sensibility, with an eye towards producing a varied and individual release rather than a tasty riff on past glories not his own. His recently released new single “Nomadic Soul”, should position this young guitarist singer/songwriter as one of the major young talents working within traditional forms/
The moody acoustic guitar introduction sets an early tone reminiscent, in the best possible way, of the ability possessed by bygone blues legends to inhabit an emotional landscape for listeners/ The production surrounds Guerrette’s playing with a warm, inviting sound despite the tenor of the piece. The rock theatrics kick in when the guitar playing expands into bigger, bolder sound than before and Guerrette’s band falls in behind him. The rhythm section gives the song a steady pulse with a bit of flash thrown into the mix, but so understated it never really calls attention to itself.
Some touches of slide guitar work themselves into the mix near the chorus and recur throughout the arrangement, but the song largely confines itself to an acoustic based sound without sacrificing any of the expected grit. The electric guitar fills throughout “Nomadic Soul” are thoughtful and thankfully avoid the heavy handed nonsense so common to many such “retro” minded recordings. When Guerrette steps into the spotlight for a solo, the tastefulness defining the best guitarists in this style clearly stands out as a strength in his presentation.
The vocals can, likely, benefit from a more straight forward recording approach, There are some light post production effects, namely gossamer-thin echo and a bit of double tracking, but Guerrette’s voice is good enough to carry the performance without needing such touches. There’s a slightly weathered quality to his voice, unadorned, that dovetails nicely into the track’s sound and emotional gait. His lyrical content for “Nomadic Soul” doesn’t remake the wheel, per se, but he takes a well-worn subject for the style and makes it his own.
Shane Guerrette’s “Nomadic Soul” proves this talented young musician and songwriter is more than adept at pouring old wine into new bottles; his new single finds the Albany based newcomer working far beyond his years and we can expect future songs and recordings will glide along with the same genuineness and spiritual depth.
By J Hillenburg