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‘Focusing on the craft’: Touring helps rising country star Red Shahan enter new markets

When Red Shahan isn’t on tour, the country singer is on dad duty.

And he’s perfectly fine with that.

“I enjoy all the time I have at home,” he says in a recent phone interview.

Shahan is touring in support of his album “Culberson County,” released on March 30.

The album came together sporadically, because Shahan and his band were going on tour.

“We were in the studio for about for days before we had to put it on the shelf,” he says. “I wrote about 25 or 26 songs and narrowed it down to 12. It was difficult at first until everything comes to fruition. Then the process became seamless, because we were working with the same exact people.”

Shahan lives in Bluff Dale, Texas, and was recently named one of the “10 new country artists you need to know” by Rolling Stone.

Despite the accolade and newfound attention, he is still proudly rooted heart, mind, and soul in the West Texas earth from which he sprang.

And yes, he’s still got a thing for coyotes, hearing in their wild cries not just the music of wide-open spaces, but a defiant note of stubborn resiliency that speaks to his own instincts as a hardscrabble independent artist compelled to write about the all-too-often unsung – and unseen.

“If anybody ever had a ‘spirit animal,’ I would definitely say mine is a coyote,” he says. “It’s just a very resilient animal – something that thrives off of the bottom rung of what people leave behind.”

Before “Culberson County” was released, there was a moment of apprehension for Shahan.

He says that as an artist, you never know how anything is going to be received.

“Then we released the album and had an immediate response,” he says. “I felt proud because there has been a lot of growing up and maturing since the last album. That’s all we want to hear. It’s about getting better, and I don’t want to become complacent. It’s only my second record, and I’m barely scratching the surface.”

Shahan is continuing to enter new markets with his music through touring.

He recently finished a tour opening for Cody Jinks, and for the show in Albuquerque, he will be opening for Turnpike Troubadours.

“We really want to build tours in a sense of going out for a month and then taking a few weeks off,” he says. “At this point in my career, I’m more about focusing on the craft. I want to create great experiences for everyone who comes to a show.”