Homebrewed country, folk, and rock.
Multi-instrumentalists and songwriters Mark Lane and Dan Easley lead the helm of the Shenandoah Valley's supergroup The Shakes, presenting homebrewed country, folk, and rock.
Mark Lane writes most of the songs, sings 'em, and plays guitar, tenor guitar, tenor banjo, harmonica, kazoo, and trombone. Classic rock and country, folk, blues, and early jazz all make an appearance, informed by a wide range of listening habits and a few thousand old 78's in his basement. His lyrics ask epistemological questions in a style described by Strunk, White, Waylon and Johnny.
Dan Easley adds support and color to the tunes with an evolving array of instruments (including mandolin, fretless banjo, accordion, hammond organ, and saxophone) and vocal stylings (from Tiny Tim to Cookie Monster). He's devoted much of his life to the study of popular music from the 1600's to today - so as to get a great big bunch of old tricks up his sleeve.
From 2007-2012 Mark and Dan were joined by Crystal Shrewsbury on upright bass, bass clarinet, and washboard.
Dead sober as they may be, their music often sounds a bit drunk. Blame the intoxicating splendor of life itself. Ain't we got fun?
Old high school chums Mark Lane and Dan Easley began recording music together in 2007 - eleven years after high school ended. Their first record, What's Shakin', was recorded in Dan's friend's garage over the span of about a year, and was nearly finished just as Crystal Shrewsbury joined in on upright bass. The track she plays on - the last one, "My Maker", Mark started while Crystal and Dan were standing outside. They snuck in while he was recording himself, and happened to start playing along with him right as he hit the lyric: "What are all these strangers doing here?" This was perhaps indicative of the good thing going.
In late 2008, the band was commissioned by director Michael Trocchia to write and record music for a play: The Blue Hotel. Based on a short story by Stephen Crane, the play, and The Shakes' record, premiered in February 2009 in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
The next few years saw brief bursts of recording sessions spread out across rich and varied personal lives: children born, careers changed; all that goes with being of a certain age. In 2012, The Shakes released their third collection of studio recordings, Shake Shake Boogie.
As Seen/Heard At:
Charlottesville and Surrounding Areas: Dr. Ho's Humble Pie, Schuyler Community Farmers Market
For Booking Information: contact Dan Easley.