West Valley Shakers
West Valley Shakers’ broad appeal lies in the refreshing, relatable, and exquisitely crafted songs that touch the vulnerable truth in each of us, and yet somehow, don’t take themselves too seriously. Combining the animalistic passion of Jimi Hendrix, the simplistic purity of The White Stripes, and the truth and timelessness of the old folk singers, West Valley Shakers create a live show that gets folks up and dancing. While catchy melodic and musical hooks combined with Delta blues-style repetition and the occasional blistering guitar work surprise and delight fans from all backgrounds.
“I guess I really just want people to leave our shows feeling a little more hopeful and encouraged, a little more connected, and maybe a little sore from dancing” says frontman Brent McLain.
McLain, Eric Lucas, and Jed Vinson originally hail from Texas, West Virginia, and Oregon respectively, and all three independently spent time in Oregon’s indie music hub of Portland. Somehow fate intervened, and they all eventually settled in Oregon’s rural west Willamette Valley.
McLain met drummer/multi-instrumentalist Eric Lucas, at an open mic at the infamous Wildwood Hotel in Willamina, OR and they decided to join forces. With the release of their debut EP Sparkle and Thump, West Valley Shakers was born and sprang onto the scene in the summer of 2017, playing music festivals, venues, and house parties around the region. This helped to attract upright bass player Jed Vinson shortly after and has expanded their sound even further with Vinson’s rolling bass grooves and vocal harmonies.
“The West Valley is where it’s at for us;” says McLain, “it’s a great base of operations, we can create our music full time and still afford to travel with it all over the Northwest. Now we’re excited about being able to expand our circle and make new friends and fans.”
West Valley Shakers’ foundation lies in the songs prolifically and exquisitely crafted by guitarist and vocalist, Brent McLain. Brent was born in the musical jambalaya of Austin, TX and grew up mostly in Lampasas, a small town about an hour north of Austin. Surrounded by the strange mix of Austin’s weird underground rock scene and country music everywhere else, McLain has come to appreciate the ability to draw from all different sources and genres of music. “I would have to say my top three musical epiphanies in life were: first time I heard the O Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack, the first time I heard Jimi Hendrix (which was also the time I smoked my first cigarette; home-rolled in a Post-It note), and the first time I heard The White Stripes in a friend’s basement.” says McLain.
In 2008, after graduating from renowned South Plains College Creative Arts Department in Levelland, TX Brent McLain packed it up and moved to Portland, OR. He cut his teeth playing all over the Portland metro area with his band, The Cutthroats. After some time in Kansas City, he found his way back to Oregon and the slightly counter-intuitive impulse to settle and continue his music career based in a more rural area of the state paid off, connecting him with like-minded bandmates Eric Lucas and Jed Vinson and creating the perfect conditions for the band to perfect their sound and focus on their goals.
West Valley Shakers are currently recording their new full length album in their home studio (nicknamed Electric Babyland). They will be hitting the road promoting their album all over the Northwest in the Spring and Summer of 2018 in festivals and venues and homes near you! Keep in the loop.