By JESSICA A. BOTELHO
After playing guitar on John Waite’s tour last summer, singer-songwriter Shaun Hague will be opening for him Jan. 26th at the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River, Mass. Hague said he’s excited to reunite with Waite, as well as perform at the Narrows, as it’s located across the river from his hometown of Somerset.
“I love the Narrows,” he said. “They have a lot of great acts that come through there, and it’s a special place for me to play. The stage has a big window in the back of it, and when I’m there, I look out across the river at the town I grew up in and first learned guitar. I can reflect for a second and look back at that. It’s a good feeling and I love coming back there. It’s going to be good to see everybody.”
As opposed to playing with a full band, he’ll be doing a solo acoustic set. He promises songs from his 2011 debut album, “The Time is Now,” plus a few new songs he has written, but is yet to record. He might even whip out a harmonica.
“It’s going to be a storytellers kind of a deal, with me playing guitar and talking about the songs.” Hague said. “It will be a more intimate show.”
While he grew up in Somerset, Hague lived in California since he was 19. In April 2011, he relocated to Chicago, where he has handled promotions and marketing for Monterey International, a booking agency, since June. The company represents acclaimed artists such as Van Morrison, Bonnie Rait, Buddy Guy, Johnny Lang, as well as a bunch of new bands. At times, he helps set up interviews and works on graphics.
But the best perk is attending free concerts.
“The coolest show I’ve gone to so far was Buddy Guy at the Chicago Theater,” said Hague. “I saw him for the first time when I was 17 at Lupos in Providence. He’s just a huge blues guitar influence on so many people – Clapton, Hendrix, and myself included.”
Speaking of Clapton, “Slowhand,” along with Bruce Springsteen, heavily influenced Hague to become a musician, as he mostly plays blues-based and rock music.
“I always tell people if Eric Clapton and Bruce Springsteen had a baby it would be me,” he said. “I take the Springsteen approach as far as music and lyrics go, and do a lot of lead guitar work influenced by Clapton.”
Guy, as well as The Beatles, are also favorites.
“The Beatles got me started on music,” he said, noting that he not only loves them as a group, but also their respective solo careers. “My dad had all their records. I would listen to them when I was three or four. They are the reason I wanted to play guitar. I just wanted to be able to play their songs. I asked my parents for a guitar when I was 12 or 13, and from there I found out who Eric Clapton was, and got into Bruce Springsteen when I wanted to be a songwriter.”
He also said performing with artists such as Waite, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Amos Lee, and John Fogarty have helped him build his resume and mold his career. From tips on how to be a better performer to business advice, he’s grateful for the opportunities.
“It’s a great learning experience,” said Hague. “I’ve been doing it since I as 19 and it has helped guide my career path. When I was in L.A., I was invited to play with John Fogarty one night. John’s a great act, and he’s had some big hits. It’s always great to work with a legend like that because people see that and then you get a few more calls.”
Being on stage, he said, allows him the ability to express himself in a different way. As a self-described shy, quiet person, he takes on a whole new persona when performing.
“People who know me come to my shows and say, ‘Where has that been your whole life?’” Hague said. “It’s not something people see me doing unless I’m on stage.”
Since releasing “The Time is Now,” Hague has been working on new material. He doesn’t have set plans to release a new album, but is thinking about doing an acoustic tour throughout the mid-west and east coast.
For the time being, he’s focused on the Narrows gig. There, he’ll have a limited edition poster for sale, with a portion of the proceeds going to a Southern New England food bank.
“It’s going to be good to be back there,” he said. “I’m looking forward to seeing everybody.”
The Narrows Center for the Arts is located at 16 Anawan Street in Fall River. Tickets can be purchased online at www.narrowscenter.org or by calling the box office at 508-324-1926. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the box office. Hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 12 noon to 5 p.m. This show is presented by our publisher, JKB Booking. Find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jkbbooking.