The promo behind this guy slots him with Bruce Springsteen, which isn't mistaken, but there's a lot of Bob Seger as well, especially the early days, where things were stripped down to basics and dependent on heart, muscle, and a rock and roll two-step that couldn't be easily dismissed. Even the ballads, such as Why You're Gone and Hello, have biceps to them, including the dark sweetening of a restrained orchestra underscoring. In fact, well-indexed symphonic bolstering appears more than once, but producer James Perrenot (LeAnn Rimes, Taylor Swift, etc.), whom I suspect had a strong hand in the arrangements, keeps things subdued, subtle.
Shafer could definitely open for The Boss, might even put a moment of anxiety or two into the sweaty guy, probably a note of admiration and remembrance as well. Resistor is definitely American rock and roll, shoves Sammy Hagar to the side, and gets back to the simplicity of the 60s, when Paul Revere & the Raiders, the Dave Clark 5, and others were treading the stage with good tunes and great delivery. My favorite cut? Stand Up. It sits in the same arena with Tom Cochrane, Rik Emmett, and others. Shafer also knows how to insert hooks, especially in that strange but very attractive refrain in "Traffic", sounding like an attackless chord progression though I couldn't quite nail precisely what it was for certain. Very cool in any event. As far as I can tell, because the promo doesn't say either way, this disc is his debut, and it speaks of a future.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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