Things I Used to Know
In 1997, Shannon Cain went back to college and put aside all aspirations for a music career. He explains, 'Music-songwriting and performing-had a pull that was just too strong; it wants to dominate... to eclipse everything else in my life. That's what an artist needs to do and, for a long time, I didn't think it was responsible of me to let it take over. I didn't feel I had permission to be an artist.' It's been over seven years since Shannon shelved his demo and let go the momentum created by a country-rock song he wrote in 1993 called 'La-di-da'. When he'd played the song live on HOT 93.3 in Austin, the station started getting upwards of 50 calls per show and numerous requests throughout the day in several time slots. He was invited back every week the next two months, to play more of his songs and take calls from listeners; the train was rolling. Still, Shannon decided to go back to West Texas and finish college. 'I went 2 ½ years without even changing the strings on my guitar. I forgot chord progressions for my songs... It was really sad; I couldn't even finish the songs because the lyrics were gone. My music was rotting.' Then, while preparing for law school, the prospect of studying entertainment law brought back the same old questions about whether his music was unfinished business that needed another shot. Dusting off the demo and handing it to a few friends and industry people, the response was overwhelming; 'get your butt to Nashville!' Shannon and his wife decided that, once and for all, he needed to see what was possible when he let music take over. It was time for a move to Nashville. When he played his first writers' round in Nashville last year, he'd been on stage a total of 5 minutes since 1997 and it took a few months to get his performance chops back. Though Shannon hoped to work toward professional songwriting by pitching his songs to publishers, people were taking notice of his voice and live performance even more than his songs. (A fellow Nashville songwriter and blues artist introduced him one night as the Texas Rocket and the name stuck.) With the realization that performing is his first love, Shannon is starting to play venues around the country, getting back the part of him too long forgotten. 'I just wanted to be a part of the music again. My wife and I agreed that if I could just make a living at music-as a songwriter, performer, sound technician, or even a manager-it would be enough. It was never about fame or money... otherwise I'd have gone to law school!' With a style that's part blues, part acoustic rock, and a little bit rockabilly & country, Shannon hopes to connect with audiences and carve out a niche for himself. And, if it all goes right, maybe the only bar he'll ever have to pass is the one in the club where he's playing.