Multi-award-winning singer-songwriter Ian Shaw announces the release of his new studio album ‘Greek Street Friday’ and shares the first single ‘To Be Held’ with its accompanying video. The album will be released on CD and digital on September 1st via Ian’s own label Silent Wish Records, with the vinyl to follow in the autumn.
Soulful, funky and bold, these new songs draw inspiration from Shaw’s early musical and lyrical influences — Bowie, Steely Dan, Al Jarreau, early Elton John, Billy Joel – to create 11 autobiographical portraits of people and places: 1980s London, New York, loving and losing, basement bars, poets, friendships, lovers, near-escapes and far-away places.
‘Greek Street Friday’ will see its inaugural performances at four shows over two days on Thursday 31st August and Friday 1st September 2023, at Ronnie Scott’s in London.
As an “utterly brilliant” (Time Out) mainstay of the British music and comedy circuit, Ian has never been one to conceal an often-outspoken view on injustice and equality and details his personal experiences for audiences to share. ‘Greek Street Friday’ sees him do so with typical poetic frankness, as well as pay homage to friends and icons, and muse on our place in a complicated world. Whilst the album’s main focus is a collection of partially autobiographical vignettes, Ian has also chosen to include a new take on a favourite song from one of his musical idols, ‘Blinded By The Hunt’ by Rickie Lee Jones.
The first single, ‘To Be Held,’ has its title inspired by a Truman Capote interview with Dick Cavett, and which later expands into a beautiful tribute to lost friends, the power of connections, imperfections and navigating the strangeness and beauty of being alive on what Ian describes as “this beaten-up planet of ours”.
Expanding his jazz foundations to the realms of blues-rock and pop, ‘Greek Street Friday’ brings to mind shades of classic 21st century songwriters such as Little Feat, Steely Dan, Randy Newman, and of course Rickie Lee Jones. Co-written and produced with Jamie Safir (Kylie, Birdy, Will Young), and recorded at Livingston and Cowshed Studios, the album features an all-star band of session players, including drummer Ian Thomas (George Michael, Van Morrison, Céline Dion), guitarist David Preston (Melody Gardot, Curtis Stigers) and saxophonist Iain Ballamy (Everything But The Girl, Hermeto Pascoal, Loose Tubes).
Ian’s “smart and soulful show” featuring “the quirks and character tics of everyday living” (The Guardian) will be out in full force at one of London’s most iconic venues on August 31st and September 1st. Taking Ronnie Scott’s stage for a series of matinee and evening performances, these unmissable shows will be packed with witty anecdotes and stories, as Ian performs the record with his full band of seasoned musicians.