Paid Driver for Hire
Shane Michael Gooding was born on May 25, 1981 and grew up in Tom's River and Brick, New Jersey. Most people knew Shane through his passion and talent for music. Whether he was on a porch, at a party, a cafe or on the street with strangers, he loved nothing more than to play and sing for himself, and for anyone who would listen. In October of 2004, Shane Gooding left the East Coast for California. He came by train with a guitar in his hand and spent the next two years playing gigs and looking for musicians to play his original songs. He missed the East and his friends terribly, but gained a loyal listenership and devoted friends in Orange County, Long Beach and LA, as he brought his songwriting and vocal skills to a new level of complexity and intensity. In August of 2006, he was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in his tongue. It eventually spread to his neck, throat and lungs. This cancer is common in the elderly, but rare and unusually aggressive when found in younger people. Even with lightheadedness and severe pain in his tongue and ear canal, he resolutely finished recording his album, Paid Driver for Hire in the summer of 2006. He had major surgery that August, and healed quickly. However, despite his efforts with both alternative and orthodox follow up treatments, the cancer returned and he was hospitalized for chemotherapy in January 2007. After three rounds, the doctors decided that they could do nothing more for him. His physical strength and ability to care for himself was dramatically compromised. However, as an otherwise strong and healthy 25-year-old, he exceeded their expectations and continued to awe people with his beauty, intelligence and love. In April 2007, he came home from the hospital to be with his family and loved ones at his grandmother's house in Orange County. With striking grace and dignity he granted his attention to a continuous round of visitors from all over, and passing away April 12th, 2007. Had he lived beyond 25, he would have continued to build a prolific and legendary body of work. As it is, this is what he left us. 'If the bullet from Kurt Cobain's gun ended up in Marvin Gaye's heart, then Shane Gooding might have dressed the wound. After years of playing in different bands with musicians of varied bluegrass, rock, metal and folk pedigree, Gooding's solo debut is ready to play Florence Nightingale to bloodied organs and assorted instruments the world over. 'Paid Driver For Hire' offers a panoramic snapshot of a genuine original at the height of his abilities. Having mined New Jersey for the musical coal he brought to California, Gooding set foot on the West Coast and squeezed that coal until it yielded diamonds. The soot that dripped between his fingers etched itself in the eleven tracks of his final creative statement. Incorporating the country and blues hellfire he had honed in his native state, Gooding took his songs on a bold detour, steering past the flashy pop lights of the City of Angels and toward the Pacific, absorbing the sunny elasticity of the melodic climate out there. His expatriate rhythm & blues served the area to great effect, dancing it's way easily amidst the multitude of styles already prominent in the region, then cranking up the amp and blowing their collective sockets clean. With 'Paid Driver For Hire' Shane Gooding defies all manner of fraudulent musical pioneers with a single verse of his rock 'n' soul hybrid.' - Scott Homiak.