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Reader Spotlight: Kennan Shaw

Meet Kennan Shaw, our bass player in the spotlight for July 20, 2010.


I play bass; emphasis on “play”. I’ve played bass forever. I can play other instruments a little, but I don’t. My influences have generally been bands more than bassists, but I have several favorites. Most of the places I’ve been around the world, I went to play bass. Most of the friends I have, I met because I play bass. Most of the trouble I’ve gotten into, happened because I play bass. My demons are so far behind me now that, even though they played a role in forming who I am, I don’t feel any need to relate their story. I am stronger than you think. I am harder than you’ll ever know. I am happier than I deserve to be. I am thankful every day. And I’m not nearly this serious. I play bass.


Crockett, California, U.S.A.

Day gig:

Dad, husband, and bass player. Pretty much that order.

Years experience:

Really really really really really long!

Bands & Gigs:

I currently play bass for “Blues Diva” Candye Kane! And it’s a great gig; the band is great, we work a lot, and she treats us really well, and I like all these guys!


Fretless P-Basses! My current main road bass is a 1970 Fender, the first year they did a factory fretless, with new EMG PX pickups. I also have an Antigua P with an aftermarket fretless neck that’s a really good bass, but the ’70 with EMG’s just sounds better through all the supplied backline we see during the summer.

Why I play the bass:

In fifth grade, my music teacher happened to be Bassist Extraordinaire Jeff Neighbor. He said “You’re tall! You play bass now!”

I ran into him at a Jazz Festival in ’09, and thanked him!

My bass superpower/claim to fame

Oh, I have a ton of bass superpowers, but I’d have to go with my humbleness.

Also, I’m making the world a little safer for fretless players. A lot of band leaders look at you funny if you’re sportin’ a fretless, but I work hard to keep all the “fretting” out of my bass playing!

My influences

These days I can’t get enough George Porter Jr., because he plays stuff I wouldn’t think of, and it’s always funky.

The other guy who I love to hear is Bobby Vega. It’s not about trying to straight cop his licks; it’s trying to find that same inner groove-motor he uses, and channel that into whatever I’m playing.

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