1. When did you realize you wanted to be a musician?
I must’ve been 5 when my mother sang at The Washington Monument in D.C.
2. What are your favorite kinds of music to play and to listen to?
I tend to be rather eclectic in that I like a little bit of everything.
3.What has been your best experience as a musician so far?
I played a series of dates in Romania and it was for thousands of people who didn’t know who I was and they learned the songs and just blew my mind.
4. Who have been the best people you’ve worked with?
I have had so many great experiences with so many wonderful artists.
5. What sort of challenges have you faced as a musician?
I thought my music and life was over when I got 04, I was in the hospital for almost a year, I went on June 2nd and got out in May of 05, with many surgeries and near-death. The Drs thought I would never perform again and it to me a long time to get back to some sense of normal.
6. How did you overcome them?
I went through many surgeries and rehab as well as life changes.
7. What’s one quirky thing about you?
I’m drawn to many foreign accents
8. Have you learned anything really cool or interesting while researching your music or songwriting?
I have been exploring and studying the origin of religion.
9. What’s been the weirdest research you’ve ever had to do?
I’ve been researching sound in outer space and its effects on the cosmos.
10. What advice would you give to new songwriters in the field?
I would tell them that there is no such thing as a bad idea or wrong way to write music and to maintain a belief in yourself no matter what?
11. What project are you currently working on?
I am producing a record for the new Al Green and Anne Nesby project.
12. What’s next for you?
I am hoping to get back on stage with the play I was in prior to Covid?
13.Tell us a little about your new release:
My new record is untitled but I am really excited to be doing my 3rd recording, with sonaBLAST! music, and also developing my own label in partnership with them, which will be SamShakeSongs Music.
Often referred to as the “Super Sideman,” Shake is a well-traveled artist who began his career as a multi-instrumental musician and singer. As a 22-year-old, he had already become the music director for The Impressions. Soon he was performing as backup musician and collaborating with such musical talents as Earth Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Bruce Hornsby, Bonnie Raitt, and Static Major!
He spent years as a staff writer for Warner/Chappell Music, co-writing original music alongside musical giants such as Ray Charles; later with Michael Bolton, Static Major, Ruben Studdard among others. He collaborated on gold and platinum movie soundtracks for big-screen features, including Dr. Doolittle, Blue Streak, and Austin Powers.
Shake is currently leading an internationally-acclaimed group of artists nicknamed “The Sideman Super Group.” This group is composed of award-winning, multi-talented artists, including Victor Wooten, Chester Thompson, Darrell Tibbs, and Thomas Cain, who form a nucleus that rotates various players depending upon availability. Some of the other talented musicians in the group include Dez Dickerson (Prince), Steve Cropper (Blues Brothers Band, Otis Redding, Booker T & the MG’s), JD Blair (Shania Twain), and Phil Keagy (guitar virtuoso), so every show is a fun-filled, unique experience to the audience.
Shake has been performed in many of the great music venues around the world like Carnegie Hall, The Apollo Theatre, Radio City Music Hall, The Ryman Auditorium, Bourdon Theatre, Heineken Music Hall, and Symphony Music Hall to name a few. He lives in Fort Worth, TX, but still calls Louisville, KY home.