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Articles Home » 1988 Articles » Shem - Demos (1988)
Shem - Demos (1988)

ALBUM: 1980's Demos
LABEL: Demos
YEAR: 1988


LINEUP: Shem Von Shroeck - vocals, all instruments

TRACK LISTING: 01 Runaway * 02 You Can't Wait * 03 What Am I Gonna Do * 04 Life Goes On * 05 Fire It Up

The name Shem Von Shroeck might not mean a lot to most. But for hardened trainspotters in the genre of West Coast, his shortened handle of Shem is well known to fans of Christopher Cross, Kenny Loggins and more particularly Ambrosia. Shem played with these bands during the 90's decade, but for those in the know, Shem actually released a handful of superb AOR demos during the 80's, in which year I'm not entirely sure, but I suspect it is sometime between 1987 and 1989.. though I stand to be corrected. The reason why? I received a x-generation copy of these demos on tape many years ago, and to this day I'm still none the wiser about their year of origin. Even the kindly folk at Google have drawn a blank.

The Songs
There are five demo songs here. I understand there may have been more, but these were the only ones I had back in the day. The first track here is the 80's rocker 'Fire Up'. You can pick the eyes out of this one.. Worrall, Sugarcreek.. it's AOR, that's all I can say. The bass popping and eventual guitar solo are superb! 'Life Goes On' is a funky rocker, with Shem sounding a lot like Bob Carlisle out of Allies. Some nice twists in this one, not discounting the fantastic bass popping from this one-man plays all freak! The pick of the tracks for me is 'Runaway', reminding me (coincidentally) of Pennsylvania's favorite sons Dakota. The song is about a prostitute who gets rescued by a kindly man. Yeah right! Excuse the slight audio gremlins toward the end of the audio clip. My tape to mp3 conversions weren't that crash hot back in the late 90's when these were made. 'What Am I Gonna Do' is an atmospheric ballad that kinda reminded me of Planet 3 meeting The Producers circa their third album 'Run For Your Life'. Nice booming guitar solo at the end. 'You Can't Wait' is the closest thing to Toto on these demos. A great track with the right attitude and vibe that is as close to the 'Isolation' sessions as you get without being a band member.

In Summary
As mentioned, the demos were relatively rare, not many that I knew had these at the time. Shem went on to play with the aforementioned bands, plus he released an acoustic CD called 'Son Of Arthur' which is nothing like this. In the 'where is he now' stakes, Shem has since become a budding Opera (or is it Popera) singer, and has made several appearances on stage. Check his Myspace page. But for a rewind as to his 80's material, at least you have a glimpse into his past and wonder why he never made it huge in our beloved genre.

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#1 | englandashes on January 01 1970 01:00:00
In one of the old issues of Frontline, they actually interviewed Shem, I'll try to dig it out.
#2 | englandashes on January 01 1970 01:00:00
Yep, Eric, spot on, issue 19.

Bits from the interview, being in 1995, working on a solo cd in L.A, which seems not to have materialised. One tune being called 'Needful'

Toured with the likes of Kenny Loggins & Ambrosia as GD mentioned in the review.

I seem to remember that some of his demo's actually reviewed in earlier additions of Frontine, I'll try and locate them and compare the tracks to the ones above.
#3 | Eric on June 07 2008 00:01:01
I have that issue too. I think Mark Spiro was on the cover...
#4 | DEMONAOR on July 08 2008 18:04:21
Great music
#5 | gdazegod on November 11 2009 23:15:05
Hidden comment for members..

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