Long Winding Road
A versatile musician, Shawn Cole, has a reputation for playing several instruments - at the same time. He is an accomplished harmonica player, drummer and guitarist. His ability to play those three instruments at the same time has led many people to call him The One Man Band. His live shows are an energetic combination of several genres of music. His success on the stage has been mirrored by his success in the studio. Cole has recorded and played with several artists. Most notable was his work on the Bright Eyes album 'Lifted'. Long Winding Road seems long overdue. Cole's debut solo C.D. On My Mind was released in 2002. 'I have been content to make my reputation as a performer' says Cole. His 2008 touring schedule has him on pace to play over 200 shows. This intense schedule seems to have strengthened his voice and improved his skills as a musician. 'I write most of my songs while on the road. After years of performing other people's songs it has been rewarding to find an audience for my own material.' Cole's C.D. blends Folk, Country and Bluegrass sounds and pleasant melodies. His lyrics in the title track 'Long Winding Road' are honest, and reflect the solitary nature of a life on the road. The bouncing mandolin sounds on 'Swing All Day' create a tropical vibe. Cole credits musician Steve Hanson with 'changing the direction of that one.' There are slow sentimental ballads. And there are fast-driving fun songs. Cole's words create images and bring poetry to ordinary settings. This is very evident in 'Bonfire', the C.D.'s second track. It talks of pick-up trucks and coolers of beer, yet speaks of rural expression and cosmic connection. Several of the songs reflect the rural life that Cole now enjoys. While Cole's friends add to the quality of Long Winding Road, his songs make the album memorable. Cole's ability to infuse emotion into the songs makes them accessible to a large audience. It is a refreshingly original album - a welcome addition to the body of American art.