Ian Shaw, a mainstay of the British music and comedy circuit, released this new album of soulful, funky, and bold songs that encompass autobiographical portraits of people and places: 1980s London, New York, loving and losing, basement bars, poets, friendships, lovers, near-escapes, and far-away places.
The musical influences are many, including David Bowie, Steely Dan, and Billy Joel. At times, his voice reminds me of Fish, the former Marillion singer who is now a successful solo artist.
The opening track, People Who Go Ta-dah!, deals with people who have fake intentions as Shaw sings over a memorable melody.
Elsewhere To Be Held has its title inspired by a Truman Capote interview with Dick Cavett, as the song expands into a tribute to lost friends, the power of connections, and imperfections.
Say A Prayer For Baby Blue takes the listener back to early Elton John with a lyric that follows an artist's journey through the eighties.
The Rickie Lee Jones track Blinded By The Hunt gets a fresh interpretation here, though those familiar with the song will still recognise the soulful number here, even though Shaw puts his own identity on the track.
Hopefully Shaw will be encouraged to return to the recording studio to give his fans another view of the world, given this successful and entertaining journey.