"The story goes like this – KUTX Eklektikos host John Aielli himself admitted he fell in love with the music of Shane Cooley one summer when he heard his music at a local coffee shop. Aielli was captivated. 'I’ve worked in radio since 1963, and over the years I’ve learned to recognize talent,” he said recently. “There was something in his sound that made me want to listen…' There’s proof positive to this testimonial with Cooley’s release of Kings Highway, an album rich in roots, Americana, a bit of rock and eclectic touches of pop."
~Laurie Gallardo, KUTX Austin Music Minute
Sometimes the destination is only the beginning of the journey. Shane Cooley's new album, Kings Highway marks the 28 year old singer/songwriter's arrival to musical self-actualization, and promises great things on the horizon.
His first full-length release in over two years, and his seventh official release since he began touring in 2008, Kings Highway is “an absolute triumph” (Mike Holtzclaw, The Daily Press). The album was produced and engineered by Bob Rupe
(Sparklehorse/Cracker/The Silos) at his studio in Richmond, VA. Cooley and Rupe played most of the instruments themselves, with help from Johnny Hott (drums), Bob Wlos (pedal steel), Hayley Rupe (background vocals), and Trevor Nealon (keys). Finishing touches were added by Austin's PJ Herrington (Asleep at the Wheel), who also produced one of songs on the album.
Shane Cooley began writing, recording and performing his original music at age 13 in a rural part of Virginia known as the Northern Neck. He always knew he wanted to pursue a career as a singer/songwriter, and after graduating with an English degree from the The College of William and Mary in 2010, Shane took to the road, booking his own tours throughout the U.S, as well as a European tour in 2012. His previous work has been recognized by songwriting contests such as the International Acoustic Music Awards and Mountain Stage NewSong Contest. His songs have also been placed on television shows including NBC's "The Mysteries of Laura," and IBC's "The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman," and he recently composed the music for the Amazon book trailer for bestselling author Lori Foster’s Tough Love. He has also worked as an extra for commercials for Cirrus Logic, Lori Foster and Texas.gov
After seeing him at an unofficial SXSW showcase in 2013, a friend invited Shane to spend a month in his spare room in Austin, TX, where he ended up writing most of the songs on Kings Highway. He then returned home to Virginia to record the album. The main focus of the album for Shane was to create a sound unique to his own, taking his folky songwriting and wrapping it in ear-catching arrangements. "I liked working with Bob (Rupe), because instead of avoiding weird, we were looking for it," said Shane. "I wanted to color outside of the lines this time."
Shortly after most of the album was tracked, Shane made his way back to Austin to focus on building a presence in the Live Music Capital of the World. Shane spent the following year making a name for himself in the Austin scene, playing at some the top venues in town, both solo and with his new band, Shane Cooley & the Lucky Kings. The band has headlined some of Austin's best venues including Lambert's and The Mohawk, and was has recorded in KUTX's famous Studio 1A, which aired on Eklektikos. Shane was also recently for filmed a solo performance at Utopia Sessions, a SXSW 2015 event featured in Spin Magazine. He will be performing at Utopiafest 2015.
With plans to tour behind Kings Highway this year, the road ahead is looking bright for Shane Cooley.