If you’re looking for a recharge this week, consider heading out to Buellton’s Standing Sun Winery for an intimate solo performance by David Shaw, lead singer of the New Orleans folk-rock band The Revivalists. With his voice of soul-bearing honesty and his band’s ability to deal powerful emotional deliverance, he’s built a career around raising good times and remediating bad ones.
In fact, the Ohio-born singer moved to New Orleans in 2007 to revive the then-recently-flooded city from the ground up, working as a pipelayer for two years to restore its degraded gas lines. It was a “big, big job,” he said, and necessary work, what with the Big Easy’s soil foundation sinking about an inch lower every year. “New Orleans has definitely shaped our sound, and we were coming up at a time when the city was in a period of resurgence — the name Revivalists was a little piece of that,” he said. “We’re definitely growing with the city, and the city is fast coming back.”
Shaw has also helped revive his hometown of Hamilton, Ohio, with a festival he cofounded, Big River Get Down. Shaw said he felt inspired to inject an extra level of celebratory culture and music appreciation to his Ohio birthplace, where he returns to every year. “I thought, this town kind of certainly could use something that really brings the people together,” he said. “When a town starts doing a festival or something to do with the arts, it gets other people to take notice, and it can really rejuvenate an area that may or may not have had a chance to come back otherwise.” Proceeds for the festival have funded the city’s July fireworks displays, for example, and Shaw said he and band are “excited for the future and to see what it holds.”
Playing solo gives Shaw the chance to connect deeper with his audiences and let some emotional truths lie all the more bare. “It’s naked, and it’s vulnerable, and I think that’s what people gravitate toward,” he said. “Sometimes with a big, big band, the message of the song can get lost — not that it always does, but solo, you have a more clear-cut, concise path inside somebody’s … soul.” Hear Shaw’s message channeled directly tonight, and feel your spirits rise.
David Shaw plays Thursday, July 28, at 7:30 p.m. at Standing Sun Winery (92 Second St., Unit D, Buellton). Call (805) 691-9413 or visit standingsunwines.com.