Christopher Shayne – Ten High EP
Bloody Hell, where does the time go? I dug out my original review for Shaynes ‘Turning Stones’ album to refresh my background on the guy. I honestly thought it was two years ago. Its more like dog years as it was 2016! Back then, that album hit me like a freight train or a Ford F150. (I looked up the best selling car in the Southern states and ‘Nissan Altima’ doesn’t make for a great analogy!)
Southern Rock has been on a roll for the past 5-10 years (although if you’re reading this in the South then its always been in favour) with the likes of The Cadillac Three, Blackberry Smoke, Black Stone Cherry, and Whiskey Myers, all taking great strides in putting the word on the streets. You can truly add Christopher Shayne to this list of luminaries as they stand toe to toe with the aforementioned.
I’ve seen all the above bands in the UK except Shayne, and all of them made me want to go out and buy a trucker cap, drink whiskey from a jam jar, and eat Georgia peaches. Christopher Shayne takes all of these Southern Rock elements and melds them with a pinch of country and some good old Rock n Roll. It’s a simple formula but one that is ever so effective.
‘Pour the Bottle’ is a working instruction than a good time feeling. Its a foot stomping, groove laden song that transports me immediately to a sawdust and chicken wire bar that has Shayne as the resident band playing 7 days a week. His vocals fit the style perfectly and has enough of that gravel and smokiness to make you believe it’s a life lived to the full, rather than just words on a lyric sheet. If you can’t get up on your feet and groove to this guy, then you really have no hope. ‘Ten High’ opens with ‘I throw my twenty down, keep the water brown’ and I assume the lad loves a tipple of the Bourbon and is not talking about IBS. It is closer to classic rock than southern rock and evokes the simple riffage of someone like AC/DC than Skynyrd. KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid, and it works). ‘Getaway Baby’ is my fave of the bunch so far, its goy a Hammond in the background which always gets my excitement levels up, and its a straight up, octane fulled, steroid injected rocker. Theres only one way to play this, and its L-O-U-D!
‘Any Given Sunday’ is a pure party song and I can imagine a crowd yelling ‘AGS’ at the top of their lungs. Its memorable after just the one listen, and that takes some doing. ‘Burn Me Down’ is the most radio friendly track on the EP (shit, they all are, but I can see this one gaining some mileage). The guy knows how to how to write a catchy tune. Also included is the incendiary opener from ‘Turning Stones’, ‘Give A Damn’. It was a beast then, and it still is five years later. The final song is ‘Just Get Drunk’ has a stripped back opening, just Shayne’s throaty vocal and a guitar and shows a different side to the foot stompin’ rebel rousing of everything before. I half expected a Bon Jovi moment where it all went to eleven, but the surprise was it kept it ‘all acoustic’.
All the songs are of a high quality, definite killer and absolutely no filler on this EP. I loved the debut and this is equally as good, if not better. The songs are more of a lifestyle instruction booklet than an EP of songs. Theres one way to live and that’s the Ten High way.
When the world opens back up, please get your ass over to the UK.
Pour The Bottle
Any Given Sunday
Burn Me Down
Give A Damn
Just Get Drunk
Christopher Shayne – Vocals, Guitar
Dave Lansing – Lead guitar
Mark Blades – Bass
Zachary Hughes – Keyboards, vocals, guitar
Eric Bongiorno – Drums