Tommy Shaw, guitarist of legendary rock band Styx, is set to release his debut Bluegrass album, “The Great Divide” on March 22nd, 2011, through Pazzo Music/Fontana Distribution. The album features an impressive roster of guest musicians, including: Alison Krauss, Dwight Yoakam, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Rob Ickes, Stuart Duncan, Byron House, Gary Burr and many more.
With this album, Shaw, a Montgomery, Alabama native, establishes himself as an authentic addition to the Bluegrass community. Born with a unique gift for music, a passion quickly recognized by his parents, he picked up his first guitar at the age of ten. From what his brothers remember, after Tommy’s introduction to the guitar; “We never saw him again…”, as he would stay in his room for hours practicing day and night. His tenacity and intrinsic passion for Bluegrass at an early age implies that this new release isn’t a casual endeavor, but a return to the music on which he was raised. Shaw wrote or co-wrote every song on the album in addition to playing acoustic guitar, dobro/resonator and mandolin.
A perennial part of the rock scene since the mid-70s as a member of STYX, Damn Yankees and Shaw/Blades, Bluegrass may at first seem like a stretch for Shaw, but his transition to Bluegrass is seamless. Having been raised on the genre, Shaw has always been deeply enamored with Bluegrass’ ability to connect to the listener through storytelling. “These are story songs,” says Shaw, an Alabama Music Hall of Fame Inductee. “I think songs that take you on a little journey are the best ones.”
This is the story of a Southern boy who made it “big,” but always held tight to his roots. “The Great Divide is a story of love and life; of happiness and hope; of loss and discovery,” says Shaw. “It’s the story of a journey that spans generations and is ultimately about trying to find your way home. And I’m as proud of this story as any I’ve ever told.”
The legendary rocker proves to his listeners that although this may be his first Bluegrass venture, it certainly won’t be his last.
“The Great Divide” was produced by Tommy Shaw, Brad Davis and Will Evankovich. It will be released on CD, vinyl and digital formats on March 22, 2011.