Shaw/Blades – Influence

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2007, Frontiers Records/Zink Music

Rating: 3.5/5

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The two friends Tommy Shaw (< ?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Styx, Damn Yankees) and Jack Blades (Night Ranger, Damn Yankees) are now releasing a new album together where they do covers of their favorite old tracks. The duo plays all of the instruments except for drums and keyboards. Blades says that they grew up singing harmonies and songs with massive vocals, so it’s a wonderful thing to have that freedom with this album. This was a complete labor of love. Amongst the covered artists, we have Mamas & the Papas, Buffalo Springfield, Steely Dan, and Simon & Garfunkel. Shaw and Blades share the lead vocals, but I’m not sure on which songs they sing lead respectively.


I can’t say that I’m a big fan of the songs, but a few of my personal favorites are “Summer Breeze” that is in mid-tempo and is a really summery song. “Time of the Season” and “I’m A Rock” are two other great songs, and “Lucky Man” is an acoustic song that really fits the duo’s voices perfectly. The Simon & Garfunkel song “The Sound of Silence” is a great song covered with tenderness, and they to make it into an even more magical song than the original. “California Dreaming” is another magical song that the duo covered well; the tempo is a little slower compared to the original, but that doesn’t take away from the song at all.


Shaw and Blades have produced the album by themselves, and because of that it sounds perfect. I guess they knew exactly what they wanted the album to sound like. They have enormous respect for the originals and have done a worthy production for sure. This is definitely an album that ought to appeal to any fans of either Shaw or Blades, and if you grew up with these songs then it’s even better. This album may also give you the opportunity to discover another side of Shaw and Blades.


Jack Blades – lead vocals, bass, guitar

Tommy Shaw – lead vocals, guitar, keyboards

Michael Lardie – keyboards

Brian Tichy – drums

Randy Mitchell – loops

Kelly Keagy – drums on “Dirty Work”

Ben Krames – drums on “Time of the Season”

Colin Blades – b-voc on “Your Move”



More info about the band





Summer Breeze

Time of the Season

Your Move

I am a Rock

Lucky Man

The Sound Of Silence

California Dreaming

On a Carousel

Dirty Work

For What It’s Worth

Dance With Me