One thing I realized early on is that the more adaptable a musician is, the more opportunities he or she is likely to get. My career evolved in such a way that I wanted to put myself in the position of being able to accept almost ANY type of gig, depending on a venue or client's need. You want solo acoustic or a simple duo show? Got it covered. Need a lilting TRIO? Check. Looking for a tribute band specifically? That's what SHAKEY DEAL is. Are you a venue that only books artists who do originals? No sweat...I have written well over 200 songs. Prefer classic rock covers, or folk and country stuff? Check, we got ya covered.
Every venue or client has their own budget, and while I have to be realistic about fees, especially in the case of our Neil Young tribute band Shakey Deal, I want to remain affordable for as many situations as possible. What follows is a listing of some musical configurations I can offer, and what makes each one special. I hope this will be helpful, and that I can "fill the bill" for your particular music needs. We aim to please, most assuredly!
I perform strictly acoustic tunes as a solo performer, and these are roughly two thirds classic rock covers and one third originals. I always include some Neil Young type stuff and some Beatles, CCR, etc., but otherwise, I pull from my repertoire what I think will work best in a particular setting. What I play at a winery is likely NOT the same as what I will play at a senior center.
Mr. Theodore Moniak has been a bestie and chief collaborator in my life for over 40 years. Ted is one of the co-owners of Top Notch Violins in Maplewood, and he has a vast knowledge of all sorts of music. Ted plays acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin and several other instruments, and his intuitive FEEL for every instrument makes him an ideal performing partner. Any time we play together, someone compliments his guitar sound, as it is always evocative, expressive and totally musical. He has recorded well over half my catalogue with me, and no one is better at instinctively knowing what will sound best on my original compositions.
If you want lilting classic acoustic music for a winery, coffee shop or intimate event, you can't do much better than Kevin Renick and Denise Chappell. The charming Ms. Chappell is an actress, musician and world traveler, and she literally DOUBLES the number of songs I can perform at any show. There is simply no one else I can perform Johnny Cash and June Carter duets with, or pop classics like Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made For Walkin,", Petula Clark's "Downtown" and Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit," just to name a few. Kevin & Denise have proven to be as breezy and refreshing an act as that drink you're enjoying at a winery in spring or fall, and though we haven't yet written down all the approving comments we've received, we ought to start doing so soon!
Sometimes a sound evolves in a surprising way, certainly the case when I team up with the very original Michael Hagmeier. Michael is one of the finest didgeridoo players in the midwest, and while you might not think that is the ideal complement for my folksy narrative songs, we have found a way to make it atmospheric and interesting. When we perform songs such as CCR's "Bad Moon Rising," Neil Young's "Pocahontas" and many of my originals, something quite hypnotic results. There are very few situations anywhere in St. Louis where you can hear a master didgeridoo player at work, and I am proud to do the occasional show with Mr. Hagmeier, who makes planning a set list always interesting for venues open to something a little different!
When Denise Chappell and I are joined by extraordinary guitarist Mark Arnold, the song selection becomes unlimited, the surprises happen easily, and the sound is genuinely versatile and rocking. There is never anything really predictable about what we can do in this combination, such as the sublime occasion on which we successfully paired Pink Floyd's "Have a Cigar" with the Peggy Lee classic "Fever." Arnold himself does a killer Willie Nelson and adds fresh songs by the likes of the Tragically Hip and some of today's younger bands to the mix. You are GUARANTEED a fantastic evening of music if you book the Kevin Renick Trio.
This band is an authentic Neil Young tribute group that plays both electric and acoustic Neil classics. You're gonna hear songs such as "Old Man," Heart of Gold," Cinnamon Girl," "After the Gold Rush," "Powderfinger," "The Loner," "Cortez the Killer," "Like a Hurricane" and many, many other Neil Young gems in any particular performance. I feel fortunate that I sound enough like Neil Young (our ranges are similar) to do a credible job singing his tunes, but it helps when you have people like Mark Arnold and Ted Moniak playing guitar for you, along with the crack rhythm section of Stu Massey and Mark Newcomb, and harmony singer Lisa Jones (a veteran performer in her own right) sharing the stage. We've been told over and over again (not bragging, just telling it like it is) that we sound "just like Neil Young" or "some ultimate version of the Neil Young experience." We can do a two-hour, three-hour or even four-hour Neil show anytime, anywhere. We are proud of what this band has achieved since we played our first tribute show in 2011!
Here is a nice testimonial written about us by Jason Gargus, the then Operations Manager of the Public House Brewing Company in St. James, MO:
"Frankly, I am quite nervous when debuting any and all live entertainment acts. I tend to set the bar quite high when it comes to music and art. In viewing countless shows and musicians over the years, from the classic rock acts of the Beach Boys, Dylan, and Paul McCartney, Creedence, the Rolling Stones Pink Floyd, the Grateful Dead, Neil Young and Crazy Horse to many of the best in contemporary alternative, rock/metal, jam bands, and many other folk and bluegrass greats… There is one thing I have found that appears to hold true in every single great band: Chemistry. Kevin and the guys of Shakey Deal are absolutely no exception. This band has the innate chemistry, talent and that transcendent double dose of the sublime that many bands don’t gain in twenty years of playing together. Shakey Deal is on very solid ground. They should change their name to “The Real Deal."
Consisting of Kevin Renick, Mark Arnold and Lisa Jones, this three-piece offers a scaled-down, more simplified version of the Neil Young experience. As the vocal half of Shakey Deal, you still get all the Neil-istic vocal harmonies you could want, but in a bit more of a consistently acoustic setting. The trio also does plenty of non-Neil songs such as stuff by Bob Dylan, John Mellencamp, Paul Simon and more. Additionally, Lisa Jones brings her special song selection to the mix, which includes tunes by Fleetwood Mac, Linda Ronstadt, Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crow and many others. If you want to hear plenty of Neil Young but maybe can't afford the full six-piece band, the Shakey Trio may be the perfect choice for your musical occasion.