Singer/ songwriter / percussionist Shannon Gaye is thrilled to present her latest original CD "Little Wonder" - urban music with matter for the mind. "Little Wonder" pays homage to Soul and R&B, an acoustic gem with a modern spin.
The CD cover appears California bright with the sunny pier cover photo and beach stripe motif, but there's a depth and grit underneath it all. No rose-coloured glasses here, though there is optimism in these real-life tales. This is an authentic voice recounting stories of love and loss, trials and triumph. “I’ve been told on several occasions I write like a man, which makes me wonder how far we’ve come, but I’ll take it as a compliment,” she says grinning.
The rawness of the lyrics provides a strong juxtaposition to the textured, sophisticated arrangements on the record. With Soul and R&B at its core, "Little Wonder" incorporates reggae grooves, blues riffs and hip hop elements. There is an undeniable pop sensibility here as well.
“Artists like Bruno Mars (and so many before him) have made it acceptable to write and perform music that is, by it roots related, though not necessarily easily categorized. Music is not created in a vacuum - it is a reflection of sounds you’ve absorbed, musical moments that consume you, and images that linger,” Shannon explains.
Shannon has recorded six solo CD’s and been a featured vocalist on many others; she’s been logging time in the studio writing, singing and producing since she was sixteen. Her approach to songwriting is old-school. These tunes were conceived piano/voice with Shannon’s main collaborator, gifted multi-instrumentalist and producer Kristian Alexandrov, who is as comfortable behind a drum set as he is playing piano.
On stage, Shannon and her exceptional band deliver from the groove on up, featuring Shannon (a chick?!) on percussion. And she can sing with a capital “S”. From the most delicate melodies to sky high, roof-raising licks, Shannon is in full command of her voice. Music writer James Muretich described her as “the slender singer with the big soulful voice – the kind that knocks you for a loop.”
When asked about her childhood, Shannon describes tightrope walkers, gypsy caravans and the myriad entertainers who played and performed in her family’s cafés and dinner clubs in the BC interior. Shannon’s middle name “Gaye” was a nod to brilliant musician and social activist Marvin Gaye. Oddly enough for a young girl growing up in rootsy B.C., Shannon has always had an affinity for Soul and R&B. Early musical inspirations include the masters, powerhouse singers like Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder, as well as jazz greats Ella Fitzgerald and Anita O’Day. Present day influences include artists like Grace Potter, Alicia Keys, and Joss Stone. From a songwriting perspective, Shannon finds herself drawn to classic and modern poets - wordsmiths like Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Citizen Cope, and Ricky Lee Jones.
Shannon has performed her compelling brand of Acoustic Soul at festivals across the country and has completed seventeen cross-Canada tours. She’s also making waves across the pond. Her song Willing & Able was chosen for a critically-acclaimed soul compilation CD "In The Groove" released in the U.K. and Europe. A number of Shannon’s songs have been featured in TV series and films in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. Shannon and Kristian’s most recent collaboration is a live show titled R.E.S.P.E.C.T., celebrating trailblazing women of Soul, Rhythm and Blues.
"The slender singer with the big soulful voice,
the kind that knocks you for a loop"