Artist Introduction and Music Review
By Joseph Timmons
Alt / Folk Singer, Songwriter and Socio-Environmental Specialist Shane Palko has performed before royalty, toured over 25 Countries Internationally, Played everywhere from Living Rooms to Stadiums and works to develop communities around the world.
Shane Palko’s compelling new collection Pick Me Up is his ninth studio album of the decade – speak volumes about the indie alt/folk singer-songwriter’s unique life as a musical citizen of the world and in demand global socio-environmentalist.
In Review: Pick Me Up by Shane Palko is a dreamy collection of life lessons, whimsical and innocent visions of secret smiles and delightful daydreams. Shane’s lyrical prowess is evident, the right word at the right moment riding a silvery bust of magical melodies and the listener experiences the feeling of dreaming. Like artists that have preceded him, Dylan, Harrison, Lennon, Donovan and Richie Havens, Shane Palko has a voice that touches you deeply, makes you think and wonder. I would feel that this insightful spirit he shows in his art is also what drives him in his humanitarian actions, and his desire for seeing a unified world drives his desire to make the music the children of the future will dance to.
Shane Palko and his bandmates have drove over 10,000 miles from his small farm / home base in Pennsylvania to Panama for a recent tour that hit multiple spots in U.S. and every Latin American country along the way except El Salvador. He performed free concerts in seven countries over three months. In these current political times, music has long been Shane’s way of showing love across all the beautiful boroughs of what he considers a truly global neighborhood.
Shane has been playing music since he was six years old and got the overseas performing bug at 17 when he gigged as a tour drummer in Thailand. The attitude that defines his inspiring, maddening musical wanderlust is “If I’m gonna be four hours away from home, it may as well be four days.” As such, he has performed his music across five continents in more than 25 countries. He’s been invited to perform his original music as a cultural representative to China. He was asked to partner with Busoga Kingdom in Uganda on social projects centered around developing musicians. He has sung for the King of Uganda in a full stadium (at the Nege Nege Bayimba Festival) and in small churches, in the streets and in the trees.
Shane also just wrote and recorded a yet-unreleased commissioned album for the Tanzanian government. Shane recorded his next two albums in Tanzania and Uganda. One is a collaboration with Maro, Uganda’s King of R&B, and one is a mobile folk album he recorded while crossing Tanzania in challenging conditions with mobile recording gear with Uganda’s “banger” of a producer, Zuli Tums.
As an artist, Shane likes fast-picking intricate guitar music and loud rock n’ roll lke post hardcore bands Thursday and Boysetsfire. Yet there’s another aspect to Shane’ life that dovetails perfectly with his role as a musical ambassador, uniting communities with song.
He is a socioenvironmental specialist and has worked with a number of not-for-profit organizations to strive for positive change in the world. He recently spent nearly three months touring across Africa, Asia and Australia to perform his original music, at the same time working with film and writing to examine and document the importance of place and the functions of music. Currently completing his Masters in Applied Community Development, he is also employed by Future Generation University, where he is working on a project called Biomeridian, which documents the world’s biodiversity using sounds. The overall scope of Biomeridian involves measuring the effects of global climate change on natural environments.
“I have no goals, just gratitude,” Shane says. “I could hang up my tour hat today and be happy, because I have had one hell of a journey already. It is amazing to me that songs I wrote in my basement and in my sadness were able to pull others through personal darkness. I don’t strive to be the best musician; I just want to be a real person, and help other people know that it’s okay to be a real person too. It’s the little stories, the small connections, the random smiles and late-night-tour-gone-wrong stories that make it all worth it.”
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