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‘Cool honor’: Shane Wallin is Albuquerque the Magazine’s best vocalist

Shane Wallin is slowing down a little during the holiday season.

And it’s much-deserved.

Wallin performs more than 300 shows a year.

He also picked up Albuquerque the Magazine’s readers’ choice award for best vocalist.

“That’s always a cool honor, because the people vote for it,” he says. “It’s really about other people that support me. It’s very special.”

Although he receives accolades, Wallin doesn’t let the hype get to his head.

He remains calm and continues to write and perform regularly.

“I’m actually currently in the stages of recording a new album,” he says. “Ryan Martino and I are about 10 songs into the basic tracking of the album. We’re about 30 percent into the record. I hope it will be out by fall 2018.”

Wallin says he had about 20 songs to choose from.

“As a musician, you primarily play at night,” he says. “I kind of stay focused and try to be disciplined. I try to write every week … at least an hour or two for three days a week. Then I have to take a few days off because I’m usually playing a bunch of shows on the weekends.”

Wallin’s writing process hasn’t changed that much over time.

“I try to challenge myself in a different way,” he says. “Now I write from sampled beats from other instruments and from the piano. It’s evolved somewhat, but I’m always remaining very personal with my writing. It’s the only way I know how to write. That’s a big reason people continue to come out the shows and buy my music. It’s always 100 percent personal.”

Over the past year, Wallin stretched his reach by traveling to Chicago for a series of shows.

He discovered how similar every local music scene is.

“You think going to Chicago is going to be different,” he says. “It’s interesting, because people are people wherever you go. Other than it just being a giant city, people respond to my music similarly. Music is a felt experience. If somebody feels my music, that’s is the most rewarding thing.”

Wallin also prefers smaller venues to perform.

“I prefer venues where music is one of the focal points,” he says. “Then you get listeners who are there for the music. They are more engaged and that makes me more engaged.”

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