By MIKE CHAIKEN
If you have caught up with Bristol band Spirit Shaker in some of Connecticut’s favorite watering holes, you probably already are a fan of their set list chock full of classic hard rock.
This weekend, however, the band—which is Shawn Norris on guitar and vocals, Joe Aparo on drums and vocals, and bass player Mark Andrews on bass and vocals—can be found in a concert setting rather than a bar. And it’s an all-ages show that will give the teenage fans of classic hard rock a chance to get a taste of the Spirit Shaker experience.
Spirit Shaker will be playing Trinity-on-Main in New Britain Friday, April 4 at 8 p.m.
Shawn said this isn’t the band’s first venture into the refurbished church that is now a music venue. The band played at Trinity-on-Main last fall as an opener to Last Licks. The venue liked the Bristol-based act so much they sent out an invitation to Spirit Shaker to headline.
Spirit Shaker has been bringing its take on classic hard rock to area fans for the past 15 years, said Shawn. They mix a little bit of the different eras into its set list, with everything from Aerosmith to Led Zeppelin to Alice in Chains to Godsmack.
“We carry the torch for classic heavy rock fans,” said Shawn, noting the band has played at local venues such as Bristol’s City Sports Grille, Bleachers, and Legends, as well as the Hungry Tiger in Manchester.
The band has seen its audiences grow over time, pulling in 80 to 90 people a night after starting at just 20-30 people in a club. “We definitely have a hardcore following. There’s a lot of people who want to hear this type of music.”
Shawn said there’s a great deal of pride in Spirit Shaker that its reputation is strong enough to bring in good sized club crowds.”
Shawn and Joe, who are from Bristol, have known each other for about 20 years. Shawn said Joe used to be in the band Connecticut legends Joined Forces with guitar wiz Jimi Bell. Mark is the newbie, having come from East Hartford.
The band has a pretty busy schedule, said Shaw. “If I had my way, I’d play every single weekend.” But, as musicians in their 40s, they have other obligations to address other than music, such as family and home.
For the Trinity-on-Main gig, Shawn said the band is trying to draw up a set list appropriate for the nature of the concert venue. The band will play some of the fan favorites—and the band’ s favorites. One of the band’s favorites is the hard rocking chestnut, Ram Jam’s “Black Betty,” said Shawn. “It’s a really dynamic song.”The band also likes to play some more challenging hard rocking tracks such as Blue Oyster Cult’s “Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll” or Golden Earring’s “Radar Love.”
“We like to give (fans) a good handful of deep cuts,” said Shawn.
Spirit Shaker plays Trinity-on-Main, 69 Main St., New Britain on Friday, April 4 from 8 to 11 p.m. Lost Hollywood, which opens plays classic 1980s music, opens.
For more information, go to TrinityonMain.org or look for Spirit Shaker on Facebook.
By MIKE CHAIKEN