Bay Area songwriter Shawn Byron
has released his second single
in the lead up to his debut album. The follow up to his original called "Money on the Moonshine", this new offering is actually a cover of a song by fellow songwriter E.G. Phillips
called "The Lighthouse At the Edge of the World." The two met at San Francisco's Bazaar Cafe
, a haunt of up and coming talent as well as old hands on the the local music scene, nurtured by its all acoustic, no covers music policy. They were actually sitting at the same table when Phillips came up with his "Ducks With Pants" moniker for his so-called fake band as he doodled in a notebook.
When Phillips decided to invite other artists to perform covers of his songs to celebrate his birthday (an event he dubbed "EGPhest"), Phillips asked Byron to perform the newly released song based on the Byron's own fondness for visiting lighthouses. In point of fact, the song came up when E.G. suggested that might make a good topic for a song for Shawn, which the latter dismissed as "so cliche" (at which point E.G. sheepishly admitted he had such a song of his own).
Byron developed his own finger picking arrangement of "Lighthouse" using a double capo and after its initial performance at EGPhest, he incorporated the tune into his repertoire as he played other Bay Area haunts such as the Hotel Utah Saloon and the now sadly defunct Doc's Lab. As he was putting together his debut album with producer Ryan Clark (whom he actually recommended to Phillips for his first album, "Fish from the Sky
") Byron chose to add the song to the overall set as one of two covers.
Though he spent most of his life in Virginia and Southern California, Shawn Byron (alias of one Sean Cody) presently resides in the San Francisco Bay. Working as an attorney and moonlighting as a folk balladeer, Byron has now found a place among friends and fellow artists in the community. It is hard to miss his biggest influences—the singer-songwriters of yore: Paul Simon, Gordon Lightfoot, and Van Morrison. Dig deeper, and you will no doubt hear the likes of Stevie Wonder and Sam Cooke as well.
As for his own music, Byron aims to write about hope, particularly in the face of hopelessness—the dark clouds with the silver lining. His songs are reflective in tone, and always written with purpose. Given these parameters, it's little wonder that he was drawn to Phillips' tale of a man imagining exile at remote and fantastical "edge of the world" — a place that seems even more real than ever in these days of ongoing and accelerating pandemic where social distancing has become a necessarily requirement. Be assured that there are keepers out there maintaining the lanterns to keep you from falling over the edge.
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