JEFF SHATTUCK MUSIC

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Hearing voices.

I believe that most songwriters are good singers. I have no idea whether that’s true or not, but it’s what I believe.

More important, I believe that singers who can sing around the note (sharp and flat, kinda randomly) create the most evocative tracks. For me, imperfections are where perfection lies.

Most important, I believe that the best vocal performances are delivered by singers singing their own words.

So, given my predilection for imperfection and singers singing their own stuff, why don’t I sing my own stuff? Well, there’s imperfect and then there’s lousy, and I tend toward the latter.

As a result, ever since I penned my first tune I have been in search of singers. Mostly, I’ve been lucky, especially lately. I found Larkin Gayl for Here Comes The Weather (click on the player to the right to hear it!), RodDamnit for Love and Hate (player on right!), Josh Fix for Yo Yo. Of course, longtime collaborators have also been behind the microphone on these newest efforts, especially Toby Germano, who sings Demons and Saints.

But when I started a search for a tune I had written with my friend Dave Tutin, my luck seemed to have run out. Despite my best efforts, I could find no one who could both do justice to Dave’s words and create the right sound. Dave’s lyrics describe a life well lived, of triumph and loss, joy and sadness, hope and resignation. No young singer could handle the song, I was convinced (still am). No, Dave’s words and the melody I penned needed a voice that had laughed and cried and shouted and whispered and threatened and joked, a voice that had some real years on it. Sadly, when you tell someone that this is what you’re looking for, you tend to get folks who have smoked and drank a lot. They’ve got that raspy tone, you know? Whatever. Any idiot can drink and smoke himself to within an inch of his life, and I do not equate hard living with talent.

I was getting desperate. But then The World’s Greatest Guitar Player, Tim Young, told me about his friend Dave Brogan. Dave gave me his CD and after a few listens, I was sure I had the voice the song needed. Dave’s delivery is soulful and true, and his tone is exactly what all those guys who drink and smoke seek but never find because it takes a lot more than a Bud and a pack of Camels to sing.

I believe I have found the singer I seek. This time.