Song Spotlight 9: Deep Dive

Deep Dive is the 9th track on “Better Off This Way”.

My parents rented a cottage each summer near Havelock, Ontario. A short canoe ride away is a rock that you can jump off of into the lake. I’ve never really been the brave or risk taking sort, and so I climbed up to the top and took a long time before jumping in.

Years later, I drew the correlation between getting into a new relationship, and taking that jump into the cold water. There’s a risk associated.

“Better Off This Way” by Andrew Shedden

Digital Release on December 16th 2016

Song Spotlight 7- Freight Train Blues

Track 7 of “Better Off This Way” is called Freight Train Blues.

Several years ago, I got a call from my good friend Brock Stonefish. He asked if I wanted to play in his band. I told him I wasn’t good enough, and he told me that I soon would be. He was right about that.

I began soaking up a lot of blues and rockabilly influences around this time, and it wore off in my songwriting. Freight Train Blues is unapologetically a straight forward rockabilly/blues number. I’m so excited with how it turned out (especially the extra flavour Alan Black brought to it).


“Better Off This Way” by Andrew Shedden

Digital Release on December 16th 2016

Song Spotlight 5- Let It Go

Track 5 will be “Let It Go” (no not a Frozen cover, I named it this before)!

When I was 16 I was an exchange student to India. While there, I had many wonderful experiences.

One of the most powerful and moving moments of my life was visiting Anandwan (Google it). I had no money to give a young beggar, so I took my watch off and gave it to him.

This song also talks about my struggle with spirituality. I grew up in a Christian household, but have a lot of issues with organized religion.

“Better Off This Way” by Andrew Shedden

Digital Release on December 16th 2016

Song Spotlight 4- Old Tattoo

Old Tattoo is the fourth track on Better Off This Way.

Old tattoos sometimes need to be covered up. However, sometimes it’s good to keep them around as a reminder. We are a sum of our scars, we grow from our mistakes, and I wouldn’t change that for the world.

“Better Off This Way” by Andrew Shedden

Digital Release on December 16th 2016

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Song Spotlight 3- Better Off

Better Off is the third song off of Better Off This Way.

This song is the most recent tune I have finished. I was in my living room in Kashechewan, and found the main riff. I couldn’t put my guitar down until I hammered this one out. Sometimes the songs come easy.

This tune is a little more mature look at failed relationships. Sometimes things just aren’t meant to be.

“Better Off This Way” by Andrew Shedden

Digital release on December 16th 2016

With a Little Help From My Friends

Alan Andrew and Sam

To me, music is both a solitary and collaborative pursuit.

When I write music, it’s usually by myself. I’ve tried cowriting a few times, but it’s never turned out the way I wanted it to, other than “Killing Time”, which I wrote with Kate Suhr.

I guess it’s easier to write a duet where there are two distinct voices. Two different people singing together.

I would say the majority of my performances have been as a solo artist. When I was working full time as a musician, most of the gigs I was able to get were solo shows. The pub singer thing can be incredibly draining. Trying to carry four hours of music as a solo guitarist and singer can leave your throat raw and your fingers sore. Worse than that, many of the pub singer gigs I’ve gotten weren’t really performances at all. I was more like a jukebox or a radio, and the crowd was ambivalent to what I was doing.

I knew in December of 2015 that I wanted to do a full length record. I’m lucky enough to have access to a great little project studio at the school where I work. I have access to excellent instruments, interfaces, microphones, etc. Initially, I decided I would play every instrument myself, record and produce everything. I thought that this would give me creative control, and the opportunity to make something great.

Oh how wrong I was.

I laid down the bed tracks, recorded scratch vocals, bass and then drums. From the moment I started listening to the playback, I knew that I needed something more.

Could I have done this myself? Sure, I’m a reasonably good drummer, guitarist and bassist, and I have produced other records myself in the past. But the results wouldn’t have been close at all to the final product coming out December 16th.

Alan Black absolutely killed it on the drums and the harmonica. He’s a veteran player who has been playing music for longer than I have been alive! Check him out here:

Alan Black

Sam Quinn was a member of “Rural Soul”, one of my old bands, and we have played many shows together. He’s an incredible bassist who brings so much to my songs.

Sam Quinn

These guys make me look a lot better than I actually am. So glad they are on “Better Off This Way”, and I look forward to sharing their work with all of you on December 16th!

Thoughts on Physical Media as a DIY Musician Who Can’t Tour

Andrew Shedden

So right now I’m trying to figure out the best way to share my music with the world.

Full disclosure, my “day gig” as a Grade 7 teacher takes up most of my time. I work full time for 10 months of the year, with only limited time to get out on the road. I work in an isolated community (Kashechewan, Ontario), where it’s impossible for me to even do the weekend warrior thing. My situation is a little different than most. I’m not complaining, just explaining.

I’ve completed all of the front end for my record. I wrote the songs, recorded them with a great band and an amazing producer. I sent them off to be mastered by an excellent mastering engineer. I received my final masters back in May 2016, and I’ve been sitting on them since then.

After some careful research, I finally decided to use TuneCore to handle my digital distribution. There are many other options, but based on my circumstances, TuneCore seems to make the most sense.

In terms of physical distribution, I’m currently looking into a couple of different of options. It’s harder to make a decision that makes sense in this regard.

I bought my first new vehicle earlier this year, and it didn’t come with a CD player. A sign of the time?

What’s your opinion on CDs, Vinyl or Tapes. I’m interested to hear your opinion.

“Better Off This Way” digital release on December 16th


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“Better Off This Way”

By Andrew Shedden

Available wherever music is streamed or downloaded on December 16th 2016.


James McKenty- Guitar, Piano, Pedal Steel, Percussion and Harmonies

Sam Quinn- Bass Guitar

Alan Black- Harmonica and Drums

Recorded, Mixed and Produced by James McKenty

Mastered by Harris Newman

Cover Photo by Jessica Lee Latone