Happening Musicians to Take the Stage: An Interview with Steve Shive (of Brooke Shive and The 45s)


Over the years Bucks County has developed an impressive local music scene, having been home to a number of artists who have seen both regional and national success.  One such band is Brooke Shive and the 45s.  The group is known for their strong vocals, solid lineup, and distinct vintage vibe.  Moving effortlessly between rock, blues, and soul – the band offers live energy in spades.

Their devoted fans propelled Brooke Shive and The 45s to winning the coveted “Most Happening Band” category in Bucks Happening’s 2012 competition! To celebrate the win, the band will take the stage at our upcoming Happening List Bash on April 26th.

Recently we had the chance to talk with Steve Shive (SS) about the band’s roots and what it’s like to create music with the family.


BH: So Steve, can you talk a little about how Brooke Shive and the 45’s came together?

SS: Well, I have been a professional musician for about 47 years.  Hard to believe.  And I’ve worked over the years with some very talented artists.  I’ve recorded and played with Daryl Hall, Tim Moore (2nd Avenue), Skip Scarboro(EWF), Robbie Dupree and the Striders, David Lindley and Rose Butler among many others, and also one of the most legendary record producers, Ken Scott.  Ken worked with the Beatles on the White Album and he either produced or engineered some of the biggest acts in music history, (Elton, Jeff Beck, Supertramp, David Bowie to name just a few), so that was a high point for me as a studio musician.  Then I have this little daughter who grows up and expresses an interest in acting, dancing, and then MUSIC…it took a lot of cajoling and begging on my part, but she finally agreed to work with me despite the fact that I was always “Dad”.   At that point we started building a rhythm section, found a great bass player in Jim Gilheany and the rest is history.   Our guitarist Randall Thompson recently had to leave because of medical reasons and his brother Jamie is now playing guitar with us, and doing a great job.   We also have some really great guest players on the record as well.  Jay Davidson form Steve Winwood, The Funk Bros. and Amy Grat to name a few is on Piano, Organ, Harmonica and Sax and Andy Goessling from Railroad Earth, a hugely succesful band on the jam band circuit playing acoustic guitar, mandolin, dobro, banjo, national steel and lap steel.  And if that wasn’t enough he also plays a killer tenor solo on the Etta James tune, W.O.M.A.N.!!!


BH: Sounds awesome.  How long have you been playing as Brooke Shive and the 45s?

SS: About 4 years.


BH: What, would you say, are the other artists who have inspired your sound?

SS: Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, The Stones, Etta James, The Band, Madonna, Brandi Carlisle, and many many more.



BH: Well, it definitely translates.  One of the great things about your sound is that “vintage” vibe.  Great job on the new record, by the way.  What was the writing and recording process like for you guys?  Was it a collaborative effort from the beginning or did Brooke write the songs and bring them to the band to create the different parts?

SS: It was a very collaborative effort with our writing team which includes myself, Rick Stallard, Brooke, Jim Gilheany, and lyricist, George Tiboni.


BH: Where did you record the new record?

SS: Drums and some bass were recorded at Racetrack Sound Studios Gettysburg, PA. And the rest of the overdubs, vocals and final mixes were done at Racetrack’s South Philly location (the Old Indre Studios).


BH: So I have to ask, what is it like to work so closely with your family in the band?

SS: It’s a dream come true and very very fulfilling personally as well as musically.  The whole band is really like a family business.  Everyone involved is part of that family feel.

BH: Thanks Steve, we’re really excited to have you play live at the Happening List Bash on April 26th!

SS: And we’re very excited to be a part of that too!!


Check out a video of Brooke Shive and The 45s performing on NBC’s The 10! Show:


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