July 28, 2013

Music City Success

Dalton native Shoates performing with rock band The Low Down

After playing everywhere from Las Vegas to Miami, Dalton-born guitarist Schylar Shoates is returning to his hometown with his new band, The Low Down, Aug. 10 for a performance at The Dalton Depot.

Shoates, who now calls Nashville home, is making his mark on Music City as a songwriter, producer, singer and guitarist, alongside vocalist Brian Bandas, drummer Will Sanford and bassist Brandon Onstad.

“This is the first time in nearly a decade I’ve had the opportunity to play original music where it all began,” Shoates said. “After playing in some of the nation’s best venues, I’ve discovered how great the acoustics are at the Depot. Sometimes you have to go away to appreciate your own grass.”

Shoates and Bandas, previously of the Top-10 country band Love and Theft, formed a songwriting partnership in 2010 with a vision of creating unlikely original rock’n’roll in a city known for its glossed-over pop-country draw. The Low Down released their first EP, “Cut Loose,” which Shoates co-wrote and co-produced with fellow band members and producer Erik Hellerman in April.

The band is currently recording a full-length album and working with fellow Dalton native, Hunter Myers, on a documentary about their quest for authenticity in the new paradigm of the changing music industry.

A 1998 graduate of Dalton High School, Shoates began his journey as a musician at age 11, inspired by heroes such as Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and David Bowie. Self-taught, with an ear for sound, the natural-born musician followed the trail of Ziggy Stardust to Middle Tennessee State University, where he graduated in 2004 with a recording industry degree.

Having studied the licks of Jimmy Page, Keith Richards and Mick Ronson and the sounds of producers ranging from George Martin to Sam Phillips, Shoates has experimented with influences from Chic to The Scissor Sisters to bring a new sound to classic blues-inspired rock. It’s his love for chasing sounds that led him to start Sound + Sight Production, a company that takes burgeoning artists to their first recording and established artists to their next hit.

“The name was inspired by one of my favorite Bowie songs titled ‘Sound and Vision.’ I changed it to ‘Sound + Sight’ because it matches my initials,” Shoates said. “Bowie talks about ‘the gift of sound and vision.’ Truly that’s what music is — a gift.”

Also, since 2006, Shoates has taught private music lessons at Gene Ford Music, where he started Rock Band, a program that places students in bands and gives them the opportunity to perform at Nashville’s top music venues. As a guitarist, Shoates works with new artists, offering live and session work, and occasionally playing with The Jaggered Edge, a Rolling Stones cover band. Shoates had the privilege of closing the Bamajam 2012 festival alongside acts such as Kid Rock and Sheryl Crowe.

The Low Down recently starred as the on air guest for Hunter Briley’s Local Buzz program on 102.9 The Buzz, with the song “Low Man”  featured as the local cut of the week. They will record their next single, “If I Had a Gun,” an original song by Shoates, Aug. 16 at the legendary Sun Studio in Memphis, Tenn. where greats such as Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash blazed trails for new styles of music.

“There’s a line in ‘If I Had a Gun’ that I got from a John Lennon lyric, which he nicked from an Elvis recording. Aug. 16 also happens to be the 41st anniversary of Elvis’s death. The historical significance of recording at Sun represents what The Low Down is all about. In today’s over-processed, mediocre music industry, we strive to create records that have a real spirit and timeless energy captured in the recording,” said Shoates.

“Sometimes to move forward, you have to go back.”

Shoates looks forward to returning to Dalton where his journey began. The Low Down can be seen and heard at www.thelowdownmusic.com.

Text Only
  • Le Miz 3 mlh.jpg Do you hear the people sing?

    Sometimes referred to as “the world’s most popular musical,” “Les Miserables,” an adaptation of Victor Hugo’s 1846 novel, has been performed around the globe in more than a dozen languages for nearly 30 years.

    July 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • Bryan Collins: God so loved

    In John 3:16, Jesus spoke of the Father’s love of the world, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

    July 11, 2014

  • The Rev. G. David Henderson: Those who help also serve Christ

    If the reader wrongly believes Christ can’t use you because you’re too timid to sing, pray, speak publicly, play musical instruments in worship services inside a church sanctuary, today’s devotional will greatly encourage you.

    July 4, 2014

  • New pastor for First Presbyterian

    The Rev. William McMullen “Will” Scott, currently of Indianapolis, Ind., has been called to serve as the pastor of Dalton’s First Presbyterian Church. Scott is only the 19th senior minister to be called by the congregation in the church’s 167-year history. His nomination was approved by the congregation Sunday, June 15, following a yearlong search.

    June 16, 2014

  • Bryan Collins: Men, step up

    On Sunday, our nation will celebrate Father’s Day. The observable differences in the way Father’s Day and Mother’s Day are celebrated could be attributed to several different factors.  Mother’s Day is typically a more sentimental occasion than Father’s Day because our moms are usually a little more sentimental. Moms are typically more nurturing and so we think of them differently than we think of our dads. It is too often the case that moms have to play the role of mother and father to the children.

    June 13, 2014

  • The Rev. G. David Henderson: The powerlessness in aloneness

    God knows the fragileness of every human he has created. The first time God graded something as “no good” within his new creations is when he created the first human, Adam: “It is not good for any man to abide alone” (Genesis 2:18). God then created Eve.

    June 6, 2014

  • DLT play features bluegrass gospel music, comedy

    It is October of 1945, the war is over, and the gospel-singing Sanders family is back together again.

    June 1, 2014

  • O.N. Jonas Memorial Foundation plans for future

    The yearly meeting of the O.N. Jonas Memorial Foundation was recently held and plans for the future were discussed. The foundation (administered by the Creative Arts Guild) began in 1968 with friends of the late Oscar N. Jonas uniting with business, civic and educational leaders to establish an organization that could perpetuate Oscar’s aspirations for the cultural enrichment of all children in northwest Georgia. The foundation sponsors visual, performing and literary arts in Dalton Public Schools, Whitfield County Schools and Murray County Schools, and also Crossroads, Mountainbrook and the Dalton Regional Youth Detention Center. All programs are free to students.

    June 1, 2014

  • Robin Richmond Mason: Sit down for a season but stand firmly on your roots

    Proverbs tells us that a woman can live in such a way that her children will rise up and call her blessed.

    May 10, 2014

  • The Rev. G. David Henderson: Christ-like power from devilish thorns

    Today’s devotional is to the readers who have asked God many times to rid Satan out of their life, but as of yet he hasn’t  removed him. The Apostle Paul also experienced such heartbreaking misery.

    May 2, 2014