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.

More on the web:


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Share your thoughts

  1. …rock on, brother!

  2. Yeah, this guy is an EXCELLENT player and can play any kind of song really well without much rehearsal time. Highly recommended!

  3. Bone

    I always knew you had it in you.
    Keep on bassin’.
    Greetz Bone

  4. eb

    Kennan ALWAYS holds the line.
    on top of that, he’s a genuinely good guy.

  5. We knew this guy was going somewhere back in high school–and not just because of his bass playing, but because he was (and is) a genuinely neat guy. Way to go, Kennan! You’re my bass hero!

  6. P. Maan

    Nice K-maan!! Although I’d say your humbleness might be out-shined by your humility… :-p
    How great that you got to thank the person who intro’d you to your calling.
    You’re awesome!!