VH1 Classic is proud to present the upcoming U.S. headlining tour for Shaw Blades-Styx/Damn Yankees guitarist/vocalist Tommy Shaw and Night Ranger/Damn Yankees bassist/vocalist Jack Blades. It will launch March 16 in Dewey Beach, DE and conclude in April 14 in Agoura Hills, CA.

The duo is making the cross-country trek to promote their sophomore Influence album--which is due out March 6 on VH1 Classic Records--without the support of a back-up band. Songs from both Shaw Blades albums, as well as a selection from Styx, Damn Yankees and Night Ranger, will be performed completely acoustic. An intimate evening of music will be heard at each stop courtesy of Tommy, Jack and one other guitarist.

For a taste of what to expect at their shows, fans should check out the band's Myspace page (www.myspace.com/shawbladesinfluence), which features a video clip of the duo performing "Too Much Time On My Hands" (Styx) and "High Enough" (Damn Yankees).

Influence is the duo's first album since their recently re-released 1995 debut, Hallucination. Like the debut--and unlike their history-carving decades as icons in the more hard-rock minded Styx, Night Ranger and Damn Yankees--the latest release is rooted in acoustic guitar and organic production, harvesting a decade of musical influences into 11 tracks (on which Blades and Shaw played all the music except for drums and the occasional keyboards). With classics from the '60s and '70s including the Mamas and the Papas' "California Dreamin'," Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth" and Steely Dan's "Dirty Work," Influence offers a track-by-track chronology of the musical era that helped define modern rock.

In an early album review, Greg Prato of All Music Guide raved, "Impressively consistent from beginning to end, Influence is certainly one of the better 'all covers' albums of recent times."

High praise is on the rise from the original artists who are covered on Influence. To wit:
"I want to thank Tommy and Jack for keeping our music alive. They honored us with 'California Dreamin'." --Michelle Phillips, The Mamas & The Papas ("California Dreamin'")

"How absolutely fabulous...what an honor to see someone so 'into it' that it sounds and feels so much like our original record.congratulations." --Graham Nash, The Hollies ("On A Carousel")

"Just wonderful...it was just great to hear your recording...you captured the song so well..." --Jon Anderson, Yes ("Your Move")

Meanwhile, Shaw/Blades will be the featured guest on the nationally syndicated radio show "Rockline" on Wednesday, March 7 at 8:30pm Pacific Time. They'll chat with host Bob Coburn about Influence, the U.S. tour and everything else happening in their world. Jack and Tommy will also be performing a few songs acoustically, and fans will have the opportunity to call in with questions for the duo at 800-344-ROCK (7625). For local listings, fans should check out www.rocklineradio.com.

In further radio news, Jack and Tommy will be heard on the nationwide "The Bob & Tom Radio Show" the morning of Tuesday, April 3, live from the show's studios in Indianapolis. For a complete list of affiliates, fans should log onto www.bobandtom.com.

Here are the confirmed tour dates:
Fri 3/16 Dewey Beach, DE The Rusty Rudder
Sat 3/17 Atlantic City, NJ House of Blues
Sun 3/18 Philadelphia, PA Theatre of the Living Arts
Wed 3/21 New York, NY B.B. King's Blues Club
Thu 3/22 Boston, MA Paradise Rock Club
Fri 3/23 Allentown, PA Crocodile Rock
Sat 3/24 Buffalo, NY Tralf Theatre
Mon 3/26 Alexandria, VA The Birchmere
Thu 3/29 Annapolis, MD Rams Head Tavern
Fri 3/30 Pittsburgh, PA Rex Theatre
Sat 3/31 Columbus, OH PromoWest Pavilion
Sun 4/1 Akron, OH Tangiers
Wed 4/4 Indianapolis, IN Music Mill
Thu 4/5 Chicago, IL Joe's
Fri 4/6 Milwaukee, WI Pabst Theater
Sat 4/7 West Des Moines, IA Val Air Ballroom
Wed 4/11 San Jacinto, CA AC's Lounge
Thu 4/12 West Hollywood, CA Key Club
Fri 4/13 San Juan Capistrano, CA Coach House
Sat 4/14 Agoura Hills, CA Canyon Club

Visit Starpulse's Shaw Blades page for a gallery of photos, biography, recent and archived news, and much more!