Hailing from the outer suburbs of Australia’s music capital Melbourne, multi-award winning blues/soul troubadour Shaun Kirk has been labelled “one of the finest blues voices this country has ever heard” (Buzz Magazine) and “one of the most explosive solo acts this country has to offer” (Mixdown Magazine).
With an impressive list of achievements including two chart topping albums, Kirk’s profile as a talented performer has steadily grown, supporting artists such as Joe Bonamassa, Beth Hart, Allen Stone, JJ Grey & Mofro, Big Bill Morganfield (son of the late great Muddy Waters), Diesel, Ash Grunwald and Mia Dyson as well as appearing in the line-up at many of Australia’s top festivals; Woodford Folk Festival, St Kilda Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival, Queenscliff Music Festival and Byron Bay Bluesfest where he has been billed with the likes of Robert Plant, Taj Mahal, John Mayer, Ben Harper, Bonnie Raitt, Gary Clark Jr and Santana.
He was voted the ‘Youth People’s Choice Award’ at the 2012 Blues at Bridgetown Festival, as well as winning the public’s vote for ‘Best New Artist’ at the 2013 St Kilda Festival.
The latest album ‘Steer the Wheel’ debuted at #1 on the Australian Blues iTunes Charts and is Kirk’s most electrified record to date, seeing him explore beyond the blues influences that have characterised his previous work.
He attributes the recent purchase of a record player and a rapidly growing vinyl collection to the shift in his song writing. With influences ranging from rock, soul and rhythm and blues, ‘Steer the Wheel’ is a collaborative record, which has enjoyed an inclusive approach from conception to completion.
Not only did Kirk gather an abundance of talented musicians to assist in the recording process of the album, he also drew together many of his loyal fans to be a part of the album’s creation through a crowdfunding campaign.
As well as assisting with the financial pressure of producing an independent album, crowdfunding allowed Kirk to donate a proportion of the sales profit to Orphfund, a not-for-profit charity helping abandoned children across the globe.
The project target was reached well before it’s cut-off date, and saw participants pledging towards a variety of exclusives, including a feature role in one of Kirk’s ‘Stitches’ film clip, and having their ‘selfies’ included on the album’s booklet.
Recorded at the Wick Studios in Melbourne, ‘Steer the Wheel’ is Kirk’s first recording with a band. As well as collaborating with ARIA award-winning rhythm section of Danny McKenna (drums) and Grant Cummerford (bass) to lay down the core of all tracks, Kirk brought together some of Australia’s finest musicians and vocalists to produce his most diverse release to date.
Songs such as ‘Give to the Needy’ and ‘No One Gonna Love You When You Love Like That’ are a true example of the raw energy in his music whilst ‘Twenty Two’ is a ballad with a clear message.
Country blues number ‘Two Hands on the Wheel’ features Kirk’s good friends Kyle and Dan Lizotte (Halfway to Forth) and sounds like the soundtrack for many a road trip.
His blues influences are far from neglected, with songs like ‘Blues for My Birthday’, ‘Find Me A Lady’ and Tony Joe White’s ‘As the Crow Flies’ reflecting the sound he has become recognised for in his relatively short but impressive time as a performer.
Shaun Kirk returns to Merimbula by popular demand and will appear at Club Sapphire on Friday, February 12 in a free show. This is an 18+ event.