“The blues is one of those funny things. We all have our ideas about what the blues is but as soon as we think we have a handle on the music, where it’s come from and where it’s going along comes someone like Shaun Kirk who blows away all our preconceptions.”
– Matthew Fredericks (PBS FM, Melbourne)
Growing up an enthusiastic and successful sportsman, it wasn’t until a badly broken ankle at the age of seventeen forced him to sit still for a while, that Shaun Kirk discovered his passion for music. Having written his first song in a hospital bed whilst waiting for surgery, Shaun decided to experiment with his new-found love at many of Melbourne’s blues jam nights. Though at the time a folk singer, watching the more experienced artists jam their 12-bar tunes would later see Shaun realize an irrefutable feel for the blues.
Since the independent release of his award winning debut album ‘Cruisin’ in 2010, Shaun has been captivating audiences across the country with his charming style of boogie blues & soul. With a bevy of new material, Kirk’s first full-length album, ‘Thank You for Giving Me the Blues’ sees the twenty-four year old troubadour take a leap in musical maturity, with press labelling him as “One of the finest blues voices this country has ever heard” (Buzz Magazine) and “The most interesting blues talent this country has seen in a long time” (Matthew Frederick, PBS FM). The album, which offers seven original tracks and three covers, has all the passion and vigour you can ask for in a contemporary blues/soul record. Shaun’s blood, sweat and dedication to his art shines through; from slow and soulful ballads like ‘Find Somebody To Love’ to witty tales of life on the road in ‘Chicken & Corn’; raw, stripped back instrumentals like‘The Howlin Harp Boogie’; and hard-hitting yet energetic grooves such as ‘The Drug Got a Hold Onto You’. His innovative arrangements of old blues standards by the likes of Willie Dixon and Bo Diddley show his inclination to take the genre to places it hasn’t been. This production delivers not only emotive guitar playing and animated blues harmonica but enough thick drum/percussive grooves to inspire even the most docile listener to boogie. Topped off by a cameo performance with Australian blues legend Lloyd Spiegel and Shaun’s resilient, grinding vocal abilities, this is undoubtedly Kirk’s most accomplished work to date.
Now a seasoned performer, Shaun is taking the ‘one man show’ concept to an exciting contemporary level. Surrounded by a stomp box, tambourine, high hat, cymbal, kick and snare drum, Shaun’s flair for playing six percussive sounds with his feet, whilst delivering quality guitar and blues- harmonica performances, is undeniably impressive!
Dedication and hard work has seen Shaun earn numerous TV appearances and consistent airplay across Australia on Triple J, ABC Radio National, ABC Local and internationally, with ‘Thank You for Giving Me the Blues’ climbing to #1 on the Australian National Blues/Roots Airplay Charts in January 2012. His talent and expanding profile has led to recent billing with the likes of Eric Bibb, Ian Moss, Tex Perkins, Ash Grunwald, Dallas Frasca and Lloyd Spiegel as well as appearances at renowned festivals such as Bluesfest, Blues On Broadbeach, Australian Blues Festival, Queenscliff Music Festival, St Kilda Festival, Blues at Bridgetown, Cairns Blues Festival and Darwin Blues Festival. Shaun’s popularity and achievements, including the 2010 VIC/TAS Debut Blues Artist of the Year, look set to soar on what promises to be a very successful and prominent career.
“Shaun Kirk is the real deal – a young bluesman in the tradition of the greats. Killer songwriter, great singer and can wield an axe, a harp and feet beats with the best of them. He’s only going to get better and better. Long may he run!” – Mark Holden
“One of the finest blues’ voices that this country has ever heard” – Buzz Magazine
“Something different from the glut of indie, Triple J inspired pop out there, very enjoyable and refreshing from a very talented young man.” – Tonedeaf
“Simply astounding.” – Tsunami/Forte Magazine
“Shaun is no doubt a talented and inventive young artist, it’s possessing the right attitude and sense of tradition that makes him stand out.” – Lloyd Spiegel
“Shaun Kirk’s youth belies the depth of his music, his soulful tone and feel draw from a tradition beyond his days. And yet, I still get the feeling that something new is happening when I hear him play.” – Jimi Hocking
“Shaun Kirk shows the oldies how it’s done. My faith in this generation’s music has been restored. Blues fans rejoice.” – DearHead Press
“Some people are just born to do something whilst others have to work all their life to achieve the same. Shaun’s music is authentic, exciting and compelling. His stripped back feel sounds like it ferments in the muggy back blocks of Louisiana and not Melbourne’s urban fringe. This man is the real thing.” – John Carver (PBS FM, Melbourne)