Guerrette with Grammy Award-winning producer Bob Cutarella (left). Shane Guerrette / instagram
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LATHAM — The landscape of today’s music scene is more Bitcoin than whitewall tires these days. The hustle to gain attention from the right people is still there, but it involves more computers than miles on the road.
Shane Guerrette has logged in the time online. The 21-year-old started playing the guitar as an early teenager. He later took to sharing videos of his guitar play on YouTube. Five years ago, he uploaded a modest video of himself playing an acoustic version of The Neighbourhood’s “Sweater Weather.” Just him, his guitar and — as one person observed — his “perfect” eyebrows. No compressed mic or a high-quality camera. No fancy background or pseudo-professional graphics display. Just him. It’s since garnered more than 2 million views.
Today, Guerrette is pushing his self-titled debut LP. Four songs he recorded at New York City’s Eastside Sounds with Grammy Award-winning producer Bob Cutarella. The serendipitous relationship with Cutarella started through his sister, Brigette. While she was pursuing her own singing career, she was invited to the West Coast for a television appearance. There, she and her family were introduced to the sound man who is associated with scores of acclaimed artists — Eric Clapton, Billy Gibbons and Jeff Beck, just to name a few.
Guerrette said he grew up with music always playing in the house. Not the usual Top 40 brand you’d expect to be played in Secrets nightclub at Guptill’s. The youngest of three kids, Shane often times heard his sister belting out lyrics, or his brother Brandon playing drums.
“As a young kid, I always remembered him banging away on the thing,” said Shane. “He never stopped. My older sister, from a young age, she was always singing. She played piano, and then guitar. … Every day in the house, there would always be music.”
Shane developed a penchant for playing guitar, too. He took a few lessons before he started scouring the internet for inspiration. He said he was first turned on to John Mayer. Interest in Mayer spooled off into different directions that lead into his discovery of the “old” blues of B.B. King and Howlin’ Wolf. Two names often foreign to a teenager growing up in the age of Al Gore’s internet age.
Shane started developing a style of guitar play he thought could progress with Cutarella’s help. The producer’s experience with Beck and Slowhand, he thought, would help while recording. Behind the strength of nearly 100,000 YouTube subscribers and millions of online views, Shane decided to the next step was due.
The Guerrette family made contact with Cutarella and traveled down to Manhattan’s Lower Eastside to record at Eastside Sounds. Cutarella has earned multiple Grammy’s throughout his career, which includes more than 3,000 songs and more than 160 platinum records. The studio itself has been used by a long list of Grammy Award-winning artists and pop culture icons. Shane produced four tracks from the Gotham studio and just recently released his self-titled LP.
The former Blue Bison said music is his full-time career. He spent most of this past summer playing gigs in Saratoga Springs. Despite the marketing of that famous racetrack, the Spa City is the summer place to be.
“Because of the track season, it’s just so popular,” said Shane. “You never know who is going to be there. It’s just a great environment to be in during the summer.”
Guerrette’s self-titled LP is available at shaneguerrette.com.
Michael Hallisey is managing editor of Spotlight Newspapers.