Shaye is a singer, a sometimes songwriter, but a full time singer, and an exceptional one – a throwback to the era when great singers lent their voices to the best material and built their careers on the backs of these great songs. To see and hear Shaye Zadravec in concert is (as one noted radio personality commented) “like listening to the greatest radio show you ever heard”. Her repertoire is familiar and unfamiliar at the same time, including songs written by Bobby Darin, Mary Margaret O’Hara, Lynn Miles, Willie Dixon, Shelby Lynne, Gus Kahn, Chip Taylor and Doc Pomus, just to name a few. She sings with an ease and comfort that washes over the listener…. so subtle, so graceful – no big notes, no overwrought star search theatrics, just pure, unaffected performance beauty.
In November, 2019, Shaye entered the studio with Hall of Fame Songwriter Ian Tyson and together they recorded one of Ian’s songs called “Silver Bell”. The song is a Christmas song, but more so a rodeo song with a Christmas twist and not that far removed from Tyson’s classic “Someday Soon”.
January of 2020 found Zadravec holed up in OCL Studios (just east of Calgary) with a band comprised of Western Canada’s top musicians. Russell Broom – guitars (Jann Arden). Mike Lent – bass (Jann Arden, kd lang), Tim Leacock – guitars (Beautiful Joe, The Burners), and Chris “The Wrist” Nordquist – drums (Colin Linden, Colin James). Adding to the mix, Goran Grini was brought in from Norway to play keyboards and produce the sessions. Shaye was introduced to Grini through their mutual friend, Hall of Fame Songwriter Chip Taylor.
The 5 day sessions delivered 8 songs… songs by Jesse Winchester, Lynn Miles, Paul Westerberg, Pat McLaughlin, Joan Besen, Ian Tyson, Roy Forbes and Jay Farrar made the cut and these songs have provided Shaye with a sophomore album of substantial beauty. Now and Then has become a record both fragile and muscular and rich in textures. A brilliant collection of material sung by one of the purest voices of this generation.
This record is among the best Americana released in this nascent decade. What a voice! Last time that I heard a voice this mesmerizing in the genre was when I first heard the legendary Neko Case. Uncompahgre Records