"First Love, Last Love," the debut CD of Trevor McShane, is actually one half of a throughly original soundtrack/novel project...the very first of it's kind in combined mediums! The novel, authored by Trevor McShane, is the story of one man's life and loves...a poetic, quintessential West Coast experience. The musical portion of this singular effort, is a collection of unique California flavored rock, and country-rock based songs penned by McShane, and featuring his cool understated vocal delivery combined with an impressionistic dreamscape of instrumentation offered up by a wonderful band of notable musicians.
Here is a short biography of Trevor McShane in his own words:
"I was born in Wyoming and home-schooled until high school by my Sioux mother. My father, raised on an El Paso horse ranch, was a resourceful hunter and woodsman, and became a top hand and trail master for a large local cattle ranch. He even found the time to earn an induction into the Rodeo Hall of Fame with his work on the bull-riding circuit.
My parents were both gifted musicians and the joyous sound of music constantly filled our home, particularly cowboy ballads and Native American love songs. I was always strongly encouraged in the arts, and upon reaching high school, experienced many happy moments acting in musical productions, consequently learning to love Gershwin, Berlin, and Cole Porter. I also worked hard at the books and was able to garner a full academic scholarship to a prestigious Ivy League university where my trademark buckskin outf islands of Hawaii. This led to a fellowship in Okinawa, where I assisted the local government in developing evacuation procedures for volcanic emergencies, also doing similar work at Mount St. Helens and Montserrat.
However, there are meager professional opportunities available working in volcanoes, so after my experience in Okinawa, I decided to travel the world determined, to "find myself." I spent six months in Tibet as a monk-in-training, but was forced to leave due to the actions of the oppressive Chinese regime which imprisoned my master for demonstrating against the construction of a Holiday Inn. I left a large part of my heart in Lhasa, truly a Shangri-la, notwithstanding it's political problems.
I continued to wander the planet, working as a merchant seaman for two years, learning many a shanty song, seeing many a tattoo, and receiving little mail. Eventually reaching the West Indies, I decided to give up the life of the sea and began playing bass in a wild reggae band working St. Kitts and opening for various local big name acts including Toots and the Maytals, and Bunny Wailer. After the charms of being a poorly paid musician living in a tent on a coffee plantation began to wear off, I decided to return to academia in order to pursue my first love, the sciences.
Curious about the former Soviet Union, I applied for admittance to the University of Bulgaria, obtaining a partial scholarship, and becoming the only foreign student enrolled at that time. In order to help finance my education, I joined a local band that played traditional Eastern European music. My banjo solos became a showstopper, especially to the lovely Marianna, a local peasant girl with whom I fell madly in love. I was able to woo and marry her only after taking an oath never to become a career musician, as her family strongly disaproved.
I continued my studies and received my doctorate while making a small contribution to the research on malaria, tsetse flies, and the therapeutic uses of quinine. After returning to the States, I set about submitting my resume and academic credentials to a number of institutions of higher learning. I was finally offered the opportunity to build and expand the Entomology department at the college where I am presently situated, living a peaceful existence with Marianna and our two young children. My current field of research concerns new strains of the American butterfly. (There have been significant and exciting developments in Tehachapi, where I have spent several months during each of the past few years studying and photographing them.)
A casual campfire sing-along on a butterfly collecting expedition in the Sierra Nevada Mountain range, followed by a dare from a drunken backpacker led me to enter the 'Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Contest', where I won first prize in the Intermediate category for traditional guitar, in the process reactivating my interest in being a musician. At that event, I met legendary guitar pickows:
I met Seattle-resident and McShane Band bassist Bill Hawk during a study I performed on the effect of logging on the insect population in the State of Washington, and asked him to co-produce the album, which he did masterfully.
Septuagenarian Francisco Aguabella, originally from Cuba, had played congas in the St. Kitt's band and, to my surprise, was living in Los Angeles after years of touring with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, and many of the greats of Latin popular music. Once reunited, he found time to contribute his talents to my album, while continuing his solo career fronting his own Latin jazz band, which plays throughout California.
Beth Bergman, on viola, is a graduate of the Harvard Law School and a practicing attorney who approached me after an impromptu gig at Hollywood coffee-house, Lumpy Gravy, and said she could help my singing. She is now an indispensable member of the band.
A dear friend introduced me to Libbie Jo Snyder,a classically trained jazz flutist and distinguished musical instructor. It did not take long to recognize Libbie's talent and enlist her services for my band.
I can't say I know violinist Sister Mary Margaret very well. She is a Carmelite nun who has taken a vow of silence, but agreed to participate in the project. I read of her in a news story about those who were of important and emerging talent in the arts, but who left in their prime. Sister Mary Margaret had been a child violin prodigy, but disappeared to the convent when she was 16. She laid down her parts via a remote recording van. The members of The Trevor McShane Band are very much hoping to meet her in the near future and perhaps jam with her.
You now have my story. I urge all of my fans to respect my privacy and make no attempts to seek me out while I try to persuade my wife to lift her ban on my making music commercially. (She is slowly starting to warm to the idea). My family and my research cannot be jeopardized merely to publicize some record and popular novel."
Trevor McShane floored Cool Records when he delivered the demo recordings to "First Love, Last Love" along with the manuscript of his novel of the same title, a love story in the vein of Bridges of Madison County, When Harry Met Sally and The Notebook. McShane cleverly incorporates the lyrics from the album into the narrative of the book, which contains over 90 poems. The people at Cool Records were so impressed with this soundtrack/novel project, that the book publishing company Cool Titles was born. Cool Titles also publishes the non-fiction best-seller, The John Wooden Pyramid of Success by Neville Johnson, now in the third printing of its second edition, and three titles by New Mexico writer, Jonathan Miller....Rattlesnake Lawyer, Volcano Verdict, and Amarillo in August.
Watch Trevor McShane perform on his video, "Baby Crazy" which features a cameo appearance by long-time McShane buddy, David Carradine.
Listen to Trevor McShane's lyrics on the brand new Michael Jarrett CD, "Journey Into Love", which is also on Cool Records. Trevor McShane has two new CDs coming soon. They are in the final stages of recording. Approximately 30 new songs are on their way!