Chasing the Song is the new Howlin’ Dog Records release from the much beloved Texas troubadour Shake Russell. Shake, widely known for writing deep, beautiful, and poetic ballads and waltzes, gives us a rich and varied landscape on Chasing the Song, once again showing the breadth and depth of both his influences and his expression.
The journey of Chasing the Song begins with a bit of a JJ Cale vibe in Travelin’ Dog, but with Shake’s wry sense of humor thrown in. Never Miss a Chance is an observation of our shared humanity and the preciousness of each moment and the connections we make. Dream Big is a good-time rollicking romp of positivity. Shake’s beautiful ballads are well represented, with Sit With Me and The Answer Is Love. There’s the Celtic shadings of the philosophical Wishing Chair and a little bluegrass in Sweet Water. Shake’s gift for evoking place, time, culture and history are well displayed in Me and Mark Twain and Grand Daddy’s Silver Dollar. There’s the rockin’ John Lennon-inspired New Blue Peace, and the acoustic soul of the Clint Black co-write of You Don’t Need Me Now, all capped off with Shake revisiting his old tune You Wouldn’t Know Me, recently covered by Miranda Lambert on her platinum The Weight of These Wings.
All of the songs are written or co-written by Shake, several with the help of his frequent writing partner Chuck Hamrick, and three with Michael Hearne, who often performs with Shake and contributes some fine guitar work here. Co-producer Don Richmond is also a co-writer on a couple tunes, and his and Shake’s carefully crafted, mostly acoustic arrangements hold these gems up to the light to sparkle and shine, while Shake’s deep, resonant voice delivers the beauty and messages straight to the heart.