Shawn Lane’s Legacy

By Andrew Catania

Shawn Lane was an American musician who had a short but illustrious career which ended suddenly with his untimely death in 2003.

Shawn released 2 studio albums Power of 10, recorded live in 1993, and The Tri-Tone Fascination released in 1999. He also worked in collaboration with a number of musicians including Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, and Johnny Cash among others.

Although having formally studied the piano since the age of eight, he soon mastered the guitar and became one of the renowned guitarists known for his exceptional speed while playing guitar.

Shawn had a struggling time in his initial years trying to make a mark in the music world. One of his best-distributed works which were 1993’s released Power of Ten wasn’t very successful in the market. For many years, Shawn spent his time playing piano and guitar in the small clubs of Memphis, his hometown. In his struggling days, he only got work at few studio sessions for artists such as Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings’ the Highwaymen.

The last decade of Shawn’s life was more eventful and brought him the much-desired success. He did tremendous work with Swedish bassist Jonas Hellborg and the duo created exemplary work in mystical and improvisatory music. Shawn gained recognition for his work and soon became popular in many parts of Europe, US, and other parts of the world.

One of the qualities which formed a great fan following for Shawn was his talent of playing high-speed guitar. Many of the speed-obsessed guitarists were thoroughly impressed by his effortless virtuosity and versatility in playing guitar. With an incredible technique, Shawn’s work was remarkable with a unique grace and ease of playing music.

Shawn Lane, undoubtedly, was an extraordinarily gifted musical talent who had to struggle in his quest of seeking the truest, most pure musical expression during his lifetime. His musical career was not an easy road and he saw a lot of setbacks in life. Shawn’s life came to a halt abruptly when he suffered a lot of pulmonary complications and succumbed to this life threatening disease on September 26, 2003, at the age of 40.

Shawn Lane will always be remembered as a brilliant guitarist who was doing something different, unique and true to himself in his own unique style. He will remain as one of the biggest musical inspirations for the future generations.




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