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Singer/songwriter Shane Hall put Oceanside on the map with his ode to the seaside city

Shane Hall

In 2020, Shane Hall put Oceanside on the map with his ode, “The O,” a soulful, feel-good anthem celebrating the landscape and the culture of the city. “Cali always felt surreal to me/O’side just kept it real for me,” Hall says.

While Oceanside is where Hall lays his head, for much of the year, you’ll find him playing stages anywhere from his own backyard to Washington, D.C. The singer/songwriter has played blues jams, and he’s played reggae fests.

He’s played raves and opened for Mike Campbell of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. Shane Hall’s been everywhere, but he’s not the kind of artist to limit himself to just one sound.

“When I started listening to music, I didn’t have anyone telling me what was cool. I just liked what I liked,” he says. “So I just kind of do a lot of different stuff. I have a country record. I have a blues record. I have a hip-hop record. I have a soul record.”

Since transplanting to Oceanside from Pennsylvania after joining the military in the late ‘90s, Hall’s never stopped moving, experimenting with different styles, all carrying his distinctive bluesy and soulful sensibility.

The coming year promises to be a big one for the San Diego Music Award-winning artist, including the release of his new album Howl and Sway, which he describes as “fuzz funk voodoo blues.” And later in the year, he’ll release a documentary, The Tide, which examines the relationship between artist and community. Hall admits that his muse doesn’t fly in straight lines, but he doesn’t know any other way. “I just want to soundtrack people’s lives.”

By Jeff Terich

Jeff Terich is the music critic behind the blog The Setlist. His writing has been published in Stereogum, Bandcamp Daily, American Songwriter, Fodor's and Vinyl Me Please.

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