Jen Schaffer and the Shiners | Games We Play

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Rock: 70's Rock Folk: Progressive Folk Moods: Mood: Intellectual
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Games We Play

by Jen Schaffer and the Shiners

Games We Play, the sophmore album of Jen Schaffer and The Shiners, purveyors of original soulful folk rock music with lush harmonies and heavy bass.
Genre: Rock: 70's Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Garnet Strand
5:24 $1.00
2. Lament
4:43 $1.00
3. Games We Play
3:45 $1.00
4. Gone
4:03 $1.00
5. Hit the Bottom Quicker
4:27 $1.00
6. Jerusalem Fields
4:16 $1.00
7. Panic Life
4:07 $1.00
8. Ominous Change
4:11 $1.00
9. Secret Poison
3:58 $1.00
10. Dream Ditty
3:48 $1.00
11. We Had Our Time
3:23 $1.00
12. Blood of the Lamb
6:12 $1.00
13. Sunday Morning, New York City
3:43 $1.00
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Jen Schaffer and the Shiners hail from Toronto via Montreal, Hamburg, Calgary and the UK! They are purveyors of original soulful folkrock music with lush harmonies and heavy bass. Jen Schaffer is the lead singer, songwriter and acoustic guitarist. She came to music via a stint as a public defender in the Appalachian foothills of Ohio, where she gained a love of alt-country music and a heightened social conscience. Her self-penned works, which have garnered praise from the likes of Ron Sexsmith, speak of love, struggle and injustice and are sharply focused through the lens of her own life journey.
The Shiners are Simon Law, the band’s drummer, keyboardist, background vocalist and producer, who is also a Grammy winning songwriter of Soul II Soul’s Back to Life and original member of that band; Astrid Foster on bass and sweet background harmonies; John Teshima plays guitar, both electric and acoustic – he also plays keyboards and adds background harmonies; Jonathan Marks contributes violin, viola and mandolin as well as background harmonies.

Highlights of the band’s ten year journey include playing the Mariposa Folk Festival, Jen being interviewed by CBC in her hometown of Montreal before a gig there, and gaining kudos from Fred Tackett of Little Feat for our version of Fool Yourself.

On February 10th 2018 Jen and the Shiners release their second full length album Games We Play. The album contains twelve original songs written by Jen Schaffer and arranged by the band. It was recorded over a period of one and a half years at Canterbury Music Company and their own studio, Studio Wolfrey. Produced by Simon Law, it was mixed by Jeremy Darby at Canterbury and mastered by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios in London, UK.

All the songs on Games We Play reflect on the manipulations and machinations of human behaviour - defiant, delusional, dysfunctional, contemplative, fearful or foolish in love! But always a hint towards redemption. Cases in point…
"Garnet Strand" - the opening track. A jeweller's daughter's take on transformative love.
"Lament" - one of the earliest tunes on the record, written in 2009, is the awakening plea of a mother to her distressed daughter.
"Blood of the Lamb" - This song explores the consequences of gun culture. I wrote it several years ago after hearing about the death of Christina Taylor Green, the 9 year old girl killed during the mass shooting that targeted Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tuscon, Arizona in 2011. That this young girl was born on ‪9/11 ‬and died in this tragic way inspired the song. Musically it’s an homage to The Band featuring horn arrangement by Gary Barnacle reminiscent of Van Morrison’s St Dominic’s Preview/Moon Dance era.‬
"Gone" - The underlying story of this song is of a young girl’s rejection of the confines imposed by her extreme religious sect. The very struggles that inspired this song are those experienced, for example, by the “yotzes” or young ultra orthodox Jewish women in Israel. This phenomena was more recently explored in the documentary One Of Us and in Deborah Feldman’s book Unorthodox. Jen also drew inspiration from Linda Grant’s book about contemporary and contradictory Israeli life, People On The Street. She says, "At the very least, I had to write a song about those 'awkward squads’!"
"Games We Play" - The essence of this tune is captured by the self-damning lyric “can I call your bluff, having never called your name.”
Special guest artists on Games We Play include: Lain Gray of UK bands Soul II Soul, Wookie and Nu Colours. He also starred in London’s West End hit musicals We Will Rock You and The Harder They Come. Lain is Simon’s longtime songwriting partner and is featured vocalist on the song "Jerusalem Fields." The idea for this collaboration was born when Lain performed with Jen and Simon in the UK in the summer of 2017 (on Jazz FM and BBC Radio London) whilst promoting Simon’s solo album Look To The Sky ( a UK soul chart no 1 album)
We are also honoured to have Simon’s good friend and long time collaborator Gary Barnacle join us. Gary is one of the leading UK musicians of his generation and adds dazzling brass arrangements and his masterful playing to two tunes on the album: "Blood of the Lamb" and "Ominous Change." This is the first time The Shiners have added horns to their music and its a thrill to hear how Gary’s powerful playing adds fuel to the fire! Toronto master musician
Denis Keldie joins us on accordion, Hammond and Lowrey Organ. The gorgeous accordion playing on "Lament" and "Games We Play" infuses new and beautiful flavours to the Shiner sound. The driving B3 part he plays on "We Had Our Time" injects the song with jubilant power. And on "Gone" he plays full on ska style Lowrey organ to this klezmer/ska mashup!



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