When you look at his career and his discography, Rick Shaffer is one of those artists who seem to have lived multiple lives over time.
Five decades of critically acclaimed recordings and film works, founding member of The Reds, a Philadelphia band with which he released thirteen albums, including film soundtrack albums, songs and scores for TV, major and indie film companies, and directors; as well as, ten solo albums and three singles.
His studio work includes recording guitar tracks on a Marianne Faithfull album (Island), Hilly Kristal’s ‘Mad Mordechai’ (Stereo Society), Peter Murphy’s ‘Holy Smoke’ (Beggars Banquet / BMG), and Marc Almond’s ‘Fantastic Star’ (Some Bizarre / Mercury), while in 2004 Shaffer was recruited by director Michael Mann, to write, produce, and record ‘Looking For Right’, for the film ‘Collateral.’
But fortunately for us, the self-reflective career of this never-resting artist seems to be everywhere but at its end, as the creative vein that Shaffer has cultivated, grown, and developed in 50 years of performances, lived within, outside, and around the world of music, doesn’t seem to have run out.
Many would be willing to sign a deal with the devil in order to get even a little bit of the style, the grit, and the thrust that Shaffer can boast. But what Shaffer shows is precisely pure, naked, and raw panache. It is not something that can be bought or traded. It is a sensitivity, one that is human rather than artistic, that you can make yours and master only when you dedicate your life to something totalizing, like living and breathing music, just like Shaffer did.
Coming to terms with your wrong choices, telling your personal and musical life story, and your own mortality are a demanding exercise of balance that requires knowing how to walk a tightrope made of credibility, put in traction by genuine and pungent emotion.
But it is precisely on this uncomfortable jump seat, on which many would not even dare to climb, that Shaffer seems to give his best, bringing to the table what is probably the most direct album that this inspired artist has released to date.
Ferociously primitive, but never without moderation, with highly distorted tones that are never expressed with haste, ‘Broken Souls’ is a multi-plot proto-garage rock project, in which each song, each element, offers something reminiscent of a sound from the past, something that made great the music of that time and of today, yet filtered through a modern prism.
The result is a compelling collection of melodies, guitars, and voices; loud sounds that fuel Shaffer’s urge to continue pushing his sound forward, while his peers, or even artists with half his age, are creatively exhausted, vanished into thin air, if not forgotten.
Instead, he is still here, reiterating how the power of rock and roll is still infectious; and this is all concentrated inside the 10 tracks of ‘Broken Souls’.
7th track on on Rick Shaffer’s tenth solo album, ‘Like Fire’ is a song that laments the tragic overdose death of two friends:
Shoot in Poznań, Poland, the official video for ‘Like Fire’ was filmed, directed, and edited by Syzmon Kubka, starring the actors Pawel Sakowski (Game Of Thrones), and Magdalena Bledowska.
Listen now to ‘Broken Souls’, tenth full-length album from Rick Shaffer, available for streaming and download on all the major digital platforms. Find your preferred one via tarockmusic.com/2020-bs-buy-options/
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