Renowned musical artists and Delaware natives Ed Shockley and Keith Mack are releasing their first single, “I Wanna Feel Alright,” Friday, July 8, ahead of their impending new album, “What Happened,” due out Friday, July 29, via Shedworks Records.
Shockley and Mack began writing songs when their band Cries was signed to RCA in 1989. Mack was fresh from recording and touring with Patty Smyth and Scandal when the Cries’ album was released in Europe. The group was set to hit the festival circuit overseas, but with the acquisition of RCA by BMG, the timing just didn’t work out, and the band broke up.
Shockley and Mack were on their own but had secured a writing deal from BMG, so for two years, they collaborated on songs and produced demos of all the tracks. They penned the tunes in NYC’s Thompson Square Park and recorded them in Mack’s home studio on Avenue A and 14th Street. It was the perfect setup, since Shockley also lived in the building, just one flight of stairs away. That building has been immortalized on the front and back covers of the “What Happened” album.
The songs were never released, and at the end of their deal, Mack and Shockley started another band named Moving Day. However, the music scene was changing with the 1990s, and grunge bands were being signed everywhere. That ended Moving Day, sending everyone back out on their own. Shockley got married, headed back to Delaware, and began recording and touring with his band Vinyl Shockley, while Mack went on to record and tour with Paul Young and Joe Cocker.
Flash forward to 2020 and the COVID quarantine. With both former bandmates firmly settled in the Rehoboth area, Mack was listening to the tracks from the Avenue A sessions and sent them off to Shockley with a note that simply said, “We need to finally release these songs.” Once it was safe to leave lockdown, the duo hit the studio with a fresh vibe and a high-spirited energy to record that treasured material.
The result is a family of songs that they agree is the album they always wanted to make.