His father was Red Shea, the man who wielded the axe behind our seminal Canadian folk singers: Gordon Lightfoot and Ian and Sylvia.
So it’s little wonder that Scott Shea’s debut album already sounds like the kind of stuff Canadian classics are made of.
It’s literally in his DNA, and he’s coming to the Holy Trinity Anglican Church on April 18 to share it with our community.
The songs on Let it Storm, which releases next month, feel instantly familiar. Their combination of memorable hooks and rugged authenticity have been the hallmarks of Canadian radio mainstays for decades.
It’s a stunningly-crafted, mature collection of numbers about maturity itself – specifically, about arriving at a place of contentment in life, learning to live with one’s “issues,” valuing close relationships with loved ones and searching for spiritual meaning in life.
From the title track – a triumphant celebration of hard-won self-acceptance – to the tear-inducing “When She Prays,” about Scott seeing his father in his daughter and the wistful “Beverly Lane,” with its clever turn of phrase about driving a woman “to the point where a woman walks away,” Scott takes listeners on an emotional journey, his versatile voice delivering the rough-hewn lines of the title track as easily as it soars to mournful high notes on “Any Day Now.”
The album was recorded in Austin, TX and produced by Gordie Johnson of Big Sugar. The almost orchestral arrangements feature keyboard by Willie Nelson’s sister, Bobbie Nelson, and drums from Nelson’s nephew, Freddie Fletcher.
Scott wrote the album on the vintage Martin D-28 guitar that his father played on all the early Lightfoot recordings.
It may come as a surprise to some to know that Red Shea played almost no direct role in his son’s musical development.
Scott’s early talent as a songwriter was recognized when a song he wrote as a teenager was featured on a compilation from the Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent on Recordings (FACTOR).
As a young adult, he and his brother Brett partnered in the successful duo The Shaes and provided a song for the soundtrack of the film Universal Soldier II: Brothers in Arms. The pair also opened shows for Iris Dement, Blue Rodeo and Big Sugar, and released an album called Zero to One.
Now, at last, Red Shea’s son has an album to call his own. And it’s everything you’d expect from the offspring of Canadian folk royalty.
The doors of open at the Stick in the Mud Coffee House open at 7 p.m., and tickets are available for $7 at the door.