The dangerous pitfalls of the music business are something that many newcomers can fall prey to, but Reggie Shaw has stared danger in the face before -- literally.
"I was grabbing onto the back of a grain truck on a two-lane farm highway in Nebraska, and we were going a little fast," he recalls. "I let go of the truck, and it forced me over the yellow line, and I got hit by a pick-up going in the opposite direction. It messed my leg up pretty bad. My ankle and my knee kind of touched. I got to see the bottom of my foot in a way I have never seen before. I don't want to see it that way again. It was quite an experience."
While a traumatic experience, Shaw - who has just released a new album "Living In The Fast Lane" - said the down time he spent while recuperating led him to discover country music as never before. "While I was in the hospital, I stumbled upon country music - Garth Brooks's "The Dance" was one that affected me... I'd been listening to pop and rock as a kid, and none of that stuff struck me as having real meaning to it. My grandpa always told me that country music did, but I didn't believe him until my eyes and my mind were wide open to it. I got to see it, and I wanted to be a part of it."
And Shaw is definitely a part of "it," thanks to his debut single "Someone I Can't Live Without." He feels that the song speaks to many - regardless of gender.
"A real good friend of mine, Eric Durrance, who was a roommate of mine once upon a time, co-wrote the song with Don Pfrimmer and Marc Beeson. I listened to it, and thought it had a great message to it. A lot of women could relate to the song, and a lot of men could too - anyone who is in a relationship that is just going through the motions. We all aspire to meet that one person that we can't live without, and that's what the song is all about."
Shaw is already a veteran of Music City, having lived here for well over a decade before moving back to his native Nebraska. "I moved to town when I was eighteen. I started to learn as much as I could about writing, performing, and playing as I could. I lived there for about fifteen years, learning the craft and playing all the honky tonk's. My grandfather raised me growing up as a child, and then he passed away in 2010. I decided to move back home for awhile because he was the glue that held the family together. When he was gone, I started to pursue country music harder than I ever did, and the doors started to open up."
One of the more emotional cuts on the album is "I Wish We Were Closer," which he admits comes from a deeply personal place. "That's a song I wrote about my son. He lives in Florida, and I live here in Nebraska. It's such a long twenty-four hour drive in between. We really don't get to spend a lot of time together, because he's busy with school, and I'm busy with music. My co-writer felt the same way about his son because he doesn't get to see him a lot. So, we tried to put that in a song, and that's what we came up with."
Shaw is happy with the way he was able to mix up different styles on the album, "I tried to do that. I love southern rock, but I also love the fiddle and steel guitar, and I wanted to try to put that in one album to give the listener a variety of different things."
Look for a new single from Shaw, "Country Music Church," in the coming weeks.