Shovelbelt Chats of Summer and the Fall!

SHOVELBELT is a band that are truly their own creation. A single is out with an album expected come the fall of this year. Even a summer time tour will be taking place in a few month's time with so much more in-store. The band chats about these things and more below.

1. Please tell us about the history of your band.

The history of Shovelbelt starts back in 1994 when Russ Mickel moved to Portland Oregon from Eugene. Russ joined up with guitarist Rich Cornelison and formed LID, a solid Pacific Northwest band playing all over the region. This lasted 14 years, then Russ relocated to Bend to create Shovelbelt (2009). Rich would travel back and forth from the valley to the high desert to record and play shows with newly created Shovelbelt. Russ spent the last 7 years playing, writing, and recording Shovelbelt material. Not always following the general guidelines of being an average band. Shovelbelt has now become a Central Oregon regularly played band across the local radio networks. Commonly referred to as the high desert band that wants to bring good music to everyone worldwide. Thanks to Damon Moreno and the Innerlight Agency, this is really happening for Shovelbelt.

2.  What’s the origin of the bands name?

 The origin of the bands name comes from an apparatus created by the French in the early 1900’s. Some 8.5 million French were mobilized to fight in WW1. Following the conflict, the wounded were mobilized to work. A 1918 Red Cross report put it bluntly: “Disabled men will have no difficulty in obtaining employment immediately after the war when there will be the greatest of good-will... the difficulty will come... when the way in which the disabilities were acquired has been forgotten.” Amputees were fitted with a Shovel Belt and trained to compensate for their lost limbs. Essentially, it is a belt so a one armed man or woman can dig a hole.

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

Shovelbelt is based out of Bend Oregon USA.(“High Desert”). The music scene is all over the map. A lot of singer songwriters playing the local breweries and clubs. Bend is a great place for National touring acts to stop and play outside to 14-20,000 fans. Either they are heading north to Seattle, and several outdoor venues in central Washington. Or they are heading south to Northern California. The other direction would be East towards Idaho and Utah, then Colorado. Shovelbelt has used Bend as the starting point for all their past tours going in all 3 directions. Kris at 92.9 FM has been a great support and positive voice, playing Shovelbelt tunes for the past 7 years. The bands that are releasing new stuff locally are: “Beyond The Lamplight” a Rock Blue Grass feel. “Black Currant” a trio with a hauntingly indie pop feel. Another singer songwriter is “J Meast”, the music has a really close relationship with roots of central Oregon. Those are just a few of the ones that have really pushed through the pandemic and made music to reflect on the last 2 years.

4. How would you describe Shovelbelt’s style?

Shovelbelts style is made up of several key ingredients. Thick guitars, created with Gibson Les Paul, VOX, and Marshall. Smooth drums that flow with solid rhythm throughout stories that have deep meaning and purpose. The kind of music you can roll the windows down, catch the sun on your face and take in the moment.

5. What have you released so far and what can someone expect from your works?

Shovelbelt has just released the new single “Memories In Stone” This is the first song off the upcoming album do out this fall 2022. People can expect a deep, driving, solid sounding LP. With stories of life experiences and the people that have created our world we live in today.

6. Do you have any new music in the works?

Yes. We are finishing up the full length album this spring. So far 3 songs have been completed and released for people to get an idea of what's to come with the next 11 tunes off the album.

7. How about playing shows and touring, have anything planned out?

We will be starting out our summer tour in Bend Oregon, and heading southwest. This tour will depend on what venues are available to new Covid restrictions. Shovelbelt will be concentrating on festivals and outdoor venues. Then taking the tour oversees is the second stage of the plan.

8. What plans do you have for the future as a band?

The future plans for Shovelbelt is: Finishing the recording and finalizing the remaining songs for the album. Structure a tour through-out the United States, concentrating on festivals, and outdoor venues. Within the next few months we will be releasing more songs. We have decided to release a single every 4 months. Playing shows in 2022 is a big priority. We would like to take Shovelbelt to the next level, reach out to a broader audience, and facilitate in anyway we can in playing for organizations helping out the greater good of our society.

9. Where can we listen and where can we buy your stuff?

You can find Shovelbelt at: 

a. AppleMusic

b. Spotify/Shovelbelt

c. YouTube

d. Facebook

e. AmazonMusic

Bend Oregon Radio Stations:


KTWS 98.3 fm

KLTW 95.7 fm

10. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

We would love the listener to listen closely to the lyrics and let their mind ride the rhythm and soul of harmonious tones of the 70’s brought to the year 2022 with influences of the 80’s and 90’s. Hopefully relating and feeling a tearful moment of compassion for our fellow humans. Thank you, SHOVELBELT.

Post a Comment

[facebook] [blogger]