Michael Shaw Releases Acclaimed Debut Album 'He Rode On'

Shaw will be celebrating the release tomorrow (June 4th) with a performance at Bobby’s Idle Hour Tavern at 8PM in Nashville, Tennessee.

By: Jun. 03, 2022
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Michael Shaw Releases Acclaimed Debut Album 'He Rode On'

In these days of forced-or at least, questionable-authenticity in the resurgence of "outlaw" country music, it doesn't take too keen an eye to spot the real deal; Michael Shaw is it.

Without knowing it at the time, working as a horseman and wilderness ranger in Western Montana for more than a decade, patrolling the wildest reaches of Glacier National Park with his two horses, Pancho and Snuff, shaped Shaw's debut album He Rode On in a way which only that unpredictable landscape, and the isolation that along with it, can.

From seven winters as the lone caretaker of a remote horse ranch on the Blackfoot River to a wild weekend at Elko, Nevada's "National Cowboy Poet Gathering," every stitch of Shaw's He Rode On rings true to his life-from living off the land to falling for a bronc riding cowgirl to cheating death. Today, Shaw released He Rode On, finally sharing his truths and tales with eager listeners worldwide.

Fans can stream or purchase He Rode On today. Shaw will be celebrating the release tomorrow (June 4th) with a performance at Bobby's Idle Hour Tavern at 8PM in Nashville, Tennessee.

For He Rode On, Shaw reconnected with producer/guitarist Grant Siemens (Corb Lund.) About the recording process, Shaw says, "I drove to Grant's hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and all the musicians gathered together in the same room and recorded live to tape, trying to capture the feel and warmth of my favorite albums from the '60s and '70s." Guests include drummer John McTigue III (Rodney Crowell) and steel guitarist Robbie Turner (Waylon Jennings.) Shaw wrote all 10 songs for the project.

He Rode On leads with "Bad Honky Tonker," a sly anthem described by Shaw as "the bastard love child of Keith Richards and Dwight Yoakam." That's followed by "Outlaw's Refuge," written when Shaw was living along tribal wilderness on the Flathead Indian Reservation, making homemade wine, hunting, and fishing-harvesting the fat of the land.

Carrying on that independent streak, the song "Billy" is inspired by his long-time friendship with a wilderness muleskinner who leads his life in an inimitable fashion. Through his time living in rural places all across Western Montana, including an off-the-grid cabin without running water or electricity, to his stint as a National Parks Service Backcountry Ranger, to seven winters as the lone caretaker of an isolated horse ranch on the Blackfoot River-and all of the rambunctious extracurriculars in between-Shaw's captivating songwriting can be directly traced to his own experiences in the West.

Yet his stories are universal, whether he's delivering a rowdy barroom anthem or a meditative song about the loss of a loved one. With a swagger in his vocal and a sharp eye for detail, Shaw brings authenticity to He Rode On, as everything he references on the album is rooted in truth.

Listen to the new album here:



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