88.5 KCSN-FM’s Jim Nelson is back with another entry in our Turn Me On category, this time shining his light on Shane Alexander…
“Do you think of me once in a while?”
That’s it. That’s the line where Shane Alexander reels you in on the lead single from his sixth and latest CD, Bliss.
Rendered, as it is, at the climax of another of Alexander’s seemingly endless parade of hooks, you hear it several times during Something Real Never Dies. In those nine words, Alexander nails songwriting nirvana—relatability; universality—that sweet spot where a phrase can connect with absolutely everyone who listens.
“Do you think of me once in a while?” We all wonder that about past relationships. And because of that, Alexander’s lyric gets in your head every time you hear it.
The Pennsylvania and Maryland native brings that relatability to a palette already splattered with cues from musical mentors Cat Stevens, Harry Chapin, The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, The Moody Blues, and Neil Young. (Look for him to pull out a reverent rendition of Nights in White Satin onstage.)
These cues, filtered through Alexander’s acoustic guitar and experiences carved out of the LA music scene since his early-’90s move west, make Bliss one of those albums that stick with you, that linger long after you’ve finished listening.
With a nod to the Laurel Canyon sound, and anchored by Something Real Never Dies, Heart of California, Hold Me Helpless, and In the High, Bliss triumphantly embodies the halcyon days of early 1970s Los Angeles.
Like so many before him, Alexander escaped his childhood circumstances by falling into music at a young age—for him, it was Black Sabbath’s Iron Man when he was five and listening to the vinyl his father left behind. Self-taught at 10, Alexander was playing guitar in bands by the time he was 12. Who knows how many teen bands he played in around his Butler, Pennsylvania, home but he quickly hooked up with a psychedelic instrumental band when he got to LA, which led to a variety of studio session work and a first-rate education on song crafting and recording.
A couple of more ’90s bands and a turn working at Giant Records, furthering his first-rate education, and he was ready to hang out his own shingle: Shane Alexander, Solo Artist and Sole Proprietor of BuddhaLand Records. That was in 2003, and since then he’s issued six full-length CDs and an EP, performed in Canada, the U.K., all over Western Europe, and across the United States—sometimes supporting Bon Iver, Jewel, John Hiatt, Suzanne Vega, Seal, Styx, and Yes—and he released an album with the trio The Greater Good.
With Bliss now finished and out, Shane Alexander has also been busy coloring outside the lines as he recently produced an EP for Ventura, California’s Shelby Figueroa, which took all of a week to hit #1 on Amazon’s singer/songwriter chart, and he wrote the songs for the currently-in-pre-production new musical The Freedom Machine, from Emmy-winner Larry Carpenter.
Official site: www.shanealexandermusic.com