On his debut solo album, Better Late Than Never, guitarist Shane Reimer smoothly transitions from in-demand utility player to solo artist.
The impressive first outing from the Bethlehem-based musician is a well-rounded blend of Reimer’s own influences and those he taps into as lead axe-man for Lehigh Valley bands The Moondogs and Public Displays of Rejection.
“This is kind of high-energy, rock ‘n’ roll and covers all genres of what I like, what I grew up on and what I was influenced by,” Reimer said during a Dec. 30 phone interview. “I like a good hook and build around it.”
The four tracks that make up Better Late Than Never run the gamut from bluesy, turbo-charged opener “Late” (a tune that would fit in nicely on any ZZ Top compilation album) to the funky, horn-driven closing jam “Out of Breath.”
Better Late Than Never was released Jan. 5. Reimer celebrated the release with a concert at Pearly Baker’s Alehouse in Easton, featuring his recently formed backing band, Them Spicy Boize.
“I wanted my own band that weren’t hired guns, or rotating musicians,” Reimer said. “I think (the album) covers the dynamic of what I can deliver.”
Though Them Spicy Boize bassist Wayne Lynch recorded bass tracks on the album, Reimer said Better Late Than Never was a deeply personal effort — one that was years in the making. (The somber, slow-burning “The Problem,” Reimer said, was written in the wake of a longterm relationship coming to an end.)
“As an artist, or musician, nothing ever seemed completed to me. I decided to do it the right way and go into the studio and get it done,” Reimer said “I finished a lot of music on my own, skeletons of songs, or full songs even.”
He later added, “Some of these songs I’ve had sitting for years. They were never finalized to what I wanted.”
Reimer said he is enjoying riding the wave of momentum from the album’s release, as well as fronting and performing with Them Spicy Boize. (The group is rounded out by drummer Aaron Hammerstone.) He is also planning on releasing a new single in the coming months.
Catch Shane Reimer and Them Spicy Boize 9:30 p.m. Jan. 25 at Strange Brew Tavern in Allentown; 5 p.m. Jan. 26 at Weyerbacher Brewing Company in Easton.