EXCLUSIVE: Brett Staggs Turns Out Gritty, Playful Country Rock with “Shovelin’”

Brett Staggs by Nick Coppula
Brett Staggs by Nick Coppula

When you listen to lots and lots (and lots) of music, like we do every day here over at Elmore, you learn that great new talent often comes from unexpected places. Like Williamsport, PA, for example, home to the Little League World Series, and birthplace of Brett Staggs, a young singer/songwriter raised on a rural horse farm, where a grab bag of country, folk and rock– the Traveling Wilburys, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, the Clash, Tom Petty – served as his teenage soundtrack to bailing hay and cruising around in an old pickup truck. After a stint in Austin, Pennsylvania called him back home, and he landed in Pittsburgh to pursue a solo career full time, releasing his first EP, Rio Grande, in 2012. Now, the cheeky country rock crooner is gearing up to release his sophomore effort, Nothing Bad Ever Happens To Me, on October 7th.

Today, Elmore is premiering “Shovelin’” a track from his upcoming EP. Staggs says of the song’s snowy inspiration, “Last winter I was shoveling snow and starting singing this tune – had to stop shoveling so I could go inside and write “Shovelin’”! I’m a huge fan of Chuck Berry, and this song was a perfect opportunity to let that influence run free.” The track certainly has the dancefloor ready shuffle that Berry’s famous for, but it also has a serious donkey kick of a rock ‘n roll edge, slamming guitars galloping below Stagg’s raspy twang. He seems to owe a debt to southern country rockers like Lynyrd Skynyrd, with whom he shares a knack for the gritty, playful kind of rock meets country that makes you wanna do donuts in a pickup truck and down a six-pack next to a blazing campfire.

Connect with Brett via Bandcamp and Facebook and catch him on September 30th on the 102.5 WDVE Morning Show and on October 7th at The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls for an album release show! Give “Shovelin’” a listen below.


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