You don’t have to be from the south to feel a deep connection with country music. We learn from its stories and its musicianship inspires us with its earthiness and dazzling technicality.
Shotgun Wedding isn’t from the South. They’re two of New York City’s finest professional musicians who got together out of reverence for country music’s lineage and out of a desire to further the tradition. On Shotgun Wedding’s debut release, South Of Somewhere, the duo reimagines country’s genre geography with swaggering musicianship and honest accounts of city living.
“You don’t have to be from the South to love country,” confirms Shotgun Wedding’s hotshot guitarist-vocalist, Dennis DelGaudio. “Catherine grew up in Carmel, NY and I grew up on the south shore on Long Island…both are south of somewhere. No matter where you live, we’re all south of somewhere.”
Shotgun Wedding is Dennis DelGaudio, guitar/vocals and Catherine Porter, vocals. The duo has the rare distinction of being full-time acclaimed musicians with impressive resumes pursuing a passion project out of sheer love of the music, their chemistry as a creative unit, and the deep bond of friendship they share. They draw from a wellspring of country, Americana, alt-country and rock n’ roll. With reverent intentions and restless creativity, the duo has boldly settled its own authentic homestead.
Dennis DelGaudio held guitar duties for the entire run of the Broadway smash hit Movin’ Out, was the musical director for the London production of Movin’ Out, and he has the rare distinction of being tapped to play Billy Joel’s historic “Last Play at Shea concerts.” After those epic nights, he became a touring member of Billy Joel’s band. Most recently, he performed with EDM artist Kygo on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. He’s an eclectic virtuoso on guitar, and a warmly expressive vocalist with a hint of twang. Sultry vocalist Catherine Porter has an astounding range of creativity to pull from. She can conjure mountainous emotionality, down home sass, and slow-burn subtlety. She’s toured and performed with the likes of Brian May (supporting Guns-n-Roses), Queen, Chaka Khan, Sam Moore, Mel B and Kiki Dee, among others. She’s also a captivating performer with resume that includes her starring opposite Michael Crawford in the Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Hugh Jackman in Sunset Boulevard. She also was the lead in the Tony Award-winning musical, Next to Normal.
South Of Somewhere is a country album like no other. It’s slick, chops heavy, refreshingly eclectic, and yet it retains hallmarks of classic country such as everyman, everywoman narratives, fiery twang, artful songcraft, and breathtaking harmonies. “We come from the suburbs and big cities so there’s an immediacy to our sound,” figures Catherine. “But one sure thing we share with country is the earnestness of our stories. Our everyday life is life in the city and contains the bustle of that--that’s what we write about.”
Standouts like the rollicking, “City Boy” and the album title track snapshot Northern living with the panache and warmth of classic country. There’s an inviting feeling to these tracks that melts away preconceptions. The title track’s chorus anthemically spells it out: We're from the South, south of somewhere/City country, common ground/I'm from the South, south of somewhere/I live up North on the Southside of town. “City Hall” boasts classic, almost swing-like harmony singing and zingy lyrics about big city shotgun weddings (Bring your passport and your MetroCard). The achingly beautiful ballad, “Hurtin’ Songs” conjures Willie Nelson’s “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain,” but offers a feeling of redemption. Here Catherine sings: I used to sing poor, poor pitiful me/I'm so lonesome I could cry/I couldn't make you love me/But don't think twice, it's alright Cuz, I'm moving on now.
In closing, Dennis says: “When I listen to the record and look back on the couple of years it took to make it, I think “Wow, look at what we did!’ I had an affirmative feeling from day one, I was determined, but this is music I’ve cherished since I was a kid, and this collaboration reminds me of that feeling I had as a kid when I first started playing music. I’m so passionate about this and can’t wait to support it with upcoming live shows.”