Longtime Southern California singer-songwriter Rick Shea got his early musical education in the bars and honky-tonks of San Bernardino where he grew up. With ten critically acclaimed albums, he’s performed all over Southern California, the West Coast, across the country and in Europe, and built a solid career for himself as a solo artist, singer, guitarist and songwriter. Shea's songs reflect the folk, country, rock and Mexican influences he grew up with. "Songs tell our stories and our history and songs were how those stories were shared in the past, I like to feel like I continue that tradition."
60 miles east of Los Angeles where the urban sprawl starts to thin out and the desert starts to take over sits the old railroad town of San Bernardino. Shea says, “Growing up there were a dozen or more honky-tonks and truck stop bars on the outskirts. They were kind tough places but as a sideman and singer I could work 6 - 7 nights a week. That's where I first heard a lot of those old songs - Merle Haggard, Lefty Frizzell and Buck Owens - every night.”
Shea’s recently released album Love & Desperation has gained a lot of praise as have his earlier albums. He is a deeply evocative singer and a formidable guitarist who doubles on steel guitar and mandolin. On his songwriting influences Shea says, “When I was younger Merle Haggard cast a long shadow, but since then Dave Alvin, Jim Ringer and a lot of other music has found its way in.”
If your tastes run toward hard working, literate, back 40 folkies like Tom Russell, Chuck Pyle, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and others like that, Shea is sure to be another that you're going to dig. With a very personal edge to his writing and singing, this is classic folkie/troubadour stuff that cuts right to the chase and delivers moves that others can only turn into clichés. Check it out, it's the real deal.
- Chris Spector MIDWEST RECORD
A hauntingly nostalgic vocalist, imperative guitarist and literate, detail-rich songwriter, do yourself a favor.
- Gary von Tersch, Sing Out
Read the Conqueroo Press Release for Love & Desperation
One Sheet For Love & Desperation