After toiling away just out of the mainstream, singer/songwriter Billy Shaddox seems poised to take another step up the career ladder with third full-length “I Melt, I Howl.” He spreads his musical wings on the 11-track release, effectively dabbling in Americana, pop and folk.
“I don’t think of myself as a folk musician, as I’m sometimes labeled,” Shaddox notes. “My dad was in a bluegrass band, and he was a big influence on me, but I was really steeped in the sounds of country and rock. For me, it’s really about honoring the styles of the past, but taking it to a new level and making them my own.”
Shaddox drew inspiration for “I Melt, I Howl” from personal hardship. An avid sportsman, Shaddox shattered his pelvis in a mountain accident. “All I wanted to do after that was be mobile and run,” he recalls. “So that song, and album title, is about opening up your heart and taking what the world gives you.”
The title track is the perfect lid-lifter for the album, and Shaddox also shines bright on keepers “My Hands Don’t Lie,” “I Believe,” “Story of You and I,” “Golden Coast” and set closer “Not Easy Anymore.” If you haven’t yet discovered the music of Billy Shaddox, here’s a chance to remedy that. (Jeffrey Sisk)