Born and bred in Melbourne, Australia, blues & soul troubadour Shaun Kirk’s rapid growth as an artist is the result of a determined spirit and pure hard work. A relatively ‘late bloomer’, Shaun began playing as a quiet acoustic singer/songwriter to small audiences in Melbourne’s boutique bars and cafés before quitting his part time job at a music store to hit the road in 2010. Three years later and Shaun has fashioned his craft into one of the most impressive and entertaining one-man displays Australia has to offer, playing to increasing numbers on some of the paramount festival stages, and working with the likes of Lloyd Spiegel and Mark Holden.
Shaun’s grooves are addictive, and his capacity to connect with his audience also stems from his reflective song writing ability which is heartfelt and seemingly comes from a place beyond his years. His sound drifts between soulful tones and a robust vocal range which has been described as “one of the finest blues voices this country has ever heard” – (Buzz Magazine). Taking full advantage of modern technology, Shaun’s live shows see him surrounded by electronic drum triggers and various guitar pedals, whilst staying true to his blues, folk and rock influences from yesteryear, through the acoustic tones of his guitar and harmonica. Although he plays an array of instruments simultaneously there is also a simplistic feel to Kirk’s sound.
Undoubtedly 2012 was an impressive year for Shaun, with his album ‘Thank You for Giving Me the Blues’ climbing to #1 on the Australian Blues/Roots Airplay Charts. Such is the regard that Shaun has earned, reviewers have since labelled him as “the most exciting blues talent this country has seen in a long time” – (Matthew Frederick, PBS FM), and Shaun has been billed alongside such names as Joe Bonamassa , Big Bill Morganfield (descendant of the late great Muddy Waters), Ash Grunwald and Mia Dyson at some of the Australia’s most prestigious venues. Shaun is also emerging as a consistent inclusion on the festival scene, performing at Woodford Folk Festival, Queenscliff Music Festival, St Kilda Festival, Caloundra Music Festival, Sydney Blues Festival, and Blues on Broadbeach. His popularity with audiences saw him voted as the ‘Youth People’s Choice’ at Blues at Bridgetown 2012 and has recently been included in what many are calling the biggest line-up in Australian festival history, with the likes of Robert Plant, Ben Harper, Rodriguez, Santana, Xavier Rudd and The Blind Boys of Alabama, at the world famous Bluesfest in Byron Bay.
Recorded and filmed at Wick Studios in Melbourne, Shaun’s brand new album & DVD ‘The Wick Sessions’ was inspired by Freddie King’s “In Concert: Dallas, Texas – 1973”. Fenced by more pedals and gadgets than one can poke a stick at, this record is hard-hitting, warm and honest , capturing all of the intensity and exhilaration that comes with Kirk’s live show. His immense voice wails whilst channelling his influences of the Delta blues era. His harmonica playing seesaws from placid to at times reckless as the energy of the song lifts, and his guitar work is coming of age as the influence of his devotion to the talents of artists such as Tony Joe White, Eric Clapton and BB King begins to shine through. The new record showcases four original tracks from previous albums ‘Cruisin’ and ‘Thank You for Giving Me the Blues’, three covers written by the likes of Howlin Wolf, Keb’ Mo and Dutch Tilders, and a freshly penned track ‘Every Dog Will Have its Day’ , which reflects a rollercoaster story of adventure, vulnerability and faith.
There’s is no sign of slowing down in 2013 for Kirk, with plans for another full length studio album to be released later in the year, and the likelihood of taking his music overseas.