The Andy Shaw Band is a reggae-infused rock band from Columbus with deep family roots. Led by Andy Shaw (lead vocals and guitar), the band includes his brother Chris Shaw (drums), dad Jim Shaw (keys) along with Ryan Sullivan (guitar) and Jeff Bass (bass).
Performing since 2005, the band brought their folk-rock sound into the WOSU studio to perform their latest single, Ohio, as well as Promise Land and Give It Up.
“Ohio” expresses the struggles of identity and origin through the experience of Andy Shaw’s life as a musician. “It’s a unique thing for everyone, and for me there have been times where you wonder if what you do really matters,” says Shaw.
“Promise Land” encapsulates a difficult time during Shaw’s life that resolved into an unplanned, destinationless, solo road trip which lead him on a journey of self-discovery and healing.
Give it Up
“Give it Up” continues the theme of personal growth from the “Promise Land” album. The song explores the feelings of self-consciousness and doubt and “standing up to the ones who push you down,” says Shaw.
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Meet The Musicians
The Andy Shaw Band consists of from left to right: Ryan Sullivan (guitar), Chris Shaw (drums), Andy Shaw (lead vocals and guitar), Jeff Bass (bass) and Jim Shaw (keys).
Interview with lead singer and guitarist of the Andy Shaw Band, Andy Shaw.
What is the origin story of Andy Shaw Band?
The band started in 2005 after I returned home from college in Chicago. I moved back to collaborate with my brother Chris, and early on we were doing mostly acoustic gigs.
At the time Chris hadn’t really written songs, but after collaborating for a couple of years he started adding some songs to the setlist, and we became the Shaw Brothers. We have been performing under that moniker ever since.
Out of that kind of spurred the more full band, reggae, rock, and American roots sound of the Andy Shaw Band. Instead of Chris on violin and guitar, it featured him on drum kit, my dad Jim on keys, and me on electric guitar. We also have bass and lead guitar.
Give us the lowdown on your sound?
This has always been a struggle for me. Our sound is a mix and blend of a lot of genres we love. Reggae, rock, American roots, folk, soul…So the quick answer is reggae, rock, and American roots.
What’s it like playing with family members? Does it lead to any interesting outcomes (or present unique complications)?
It always leads to interesting outcomes. But seriously, it’s really rewarding. It’s just like anyone’s family in that you have your normal struggles, and challenges, but in the end there’s nothing like family. No one understands and connects with you more naturally, and it’s great to be able to share the experience of creating music together.
Was your dad a musical influence growing up?
Growing up our dad was a music teacher, and being around that all of the time certainly influenced and inspired us. Also, he never pushed it on us. But when we wanted to do music he certainly nurtured our creativity.
Where is your favorite venue to play in Columbus?
Hmm. There are a few. I love Rumba, Woodlands, and Brothers Drake. Any place that has good sound I’m a fan of.
What about your favorite local Ohio beer?
Homestead obviously! Ha. We just did a beer collaboration with them called ShawHio. It was delicious. I also love Dank House, Rhinegeist, and Columbus Brewing Co.
And lastly, your favorite reggae singer/band?
That’s a very hard question. Beres Hammond is my favorite. Jah Cure is one of my younger reggae artist favorites. And of course, Bob Marley, Toots, and Morgan Heritage. I’d say honorable mention goes to Tarrus Riley too.