Primary Wave is acquiring a stake in the music publishing catalog and master artist royalties of Tommy Shaw, the Styx frontman, singer-songwriter and guitar player who has also performed in groups Damn Yankees and Shaw Blades.
The deal includes some of Shaw’s biggest rock hits from Styx, like “Renegade,” “Fooling Yourself” and “Too Much Time On My Hands,” which reached No. 9 on the Hot 100 in 1981. A handful of songs from his solo projects are included, too, along with several compositions from Damn Yankees (“High Enough,” “Where You Goin’ Now”) and Shaw Blades (“My Hallucination,” “I’ll Always Be With You”). Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“I’m very excited to have partnered up with Primary Wave,” said Shaw in a statement. “Knowing their depth of experience, unique style and discovering their enthusiasm about their relationship with me has been an eye-opener and I’m looking forward to all that lies ahead.”
Hew continued, “The music I’ve had the honor of writing, recording and performing over the past several decades by myself and with some incredible writing partners has been the soundtrack of a wonderful life so far. Now to have the Primary Wave behind it all, it’s gonna be fun to see where this new road leads us.”
A native of Montgomery, Alabama, Shaw joined Styx in 1975, replacing former guitarist John Curulewski, who left the band just before their tour that year. The group’s breakthrough album, The Grand Illusion, came in 1977 and went triple platinum thanks to hits like Shaw’s “Fooling Yourself” and “Come Sail Away,” which was written and sung by Dennis DeYoung. In all, he released 10 albums with the band, the most recent being The Mission in 2017.
Along with playing in Damn Yankees and Shaw Blades, Shaw has also released five solo albums, and was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 2008. He made his bluegrass debut at the Grand Ole Opry in March 2011 after releasing his solo bluegrass album The Great Divide.
“Tommy is an incredibly talented musician and songwriter,” added Primary Wave chief marketing officer and general manager Adam Lowenberg. “The songs he’s written as a member of Styx, Damn Yankees, Blades Shaw and as a solo artist have not only resonated with me personally, but have resonated with fans across the world. We couldn’t be happier to have him join the Primary Wave family and are excited for what’s to come.”