Church News Press
F.C. Producer Scores Grammy for Blues CD
by Byran Toporek
Wednesday, 05 March 2008
most people spent this past Grammy night waiting for the
Best Album of the Year upset that no one could have predicted,
local resident Scott Shuman was focused elsewhere —
on his own newly earned Grammy award.
won a Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album for his production
work on The Last of the Great Mississippi Delta Bluesmen:
Live in Dallas at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards this year.
The album, sponsored by the Blue Shoe Project, featured
blues legends Henry Townsend, Robert Lockwood, Jr., Joe
Willie “Pinetop” Perkins and David “Honeyboy”
Edwards performing a concert in Dallas on October 16, 2004.
At the time of the concert, the artists ranged from 89 to
94 years of age, and all had received the National Endowment
for the Arts Heritage Fellowship Award, the highest honor
in the United States for traditional arts.
involvement with the album came about through a long series
of events stretching most of his lifetime, beginning with
a lifelong friendship with Henry Townsend established in
1974, when Shuman was only 17 years old.
Townsend was my best friend. I initially learned to record
through him in his recording studio in St. Louis. He’s
always been a great boost to my career,” says Shuman.
moved to St. Louis in June 1975 to begin playing guitar
“Henry had a recording studio in his basement and
we’d spend late nights recording and jamming with
some of the best musicians in St. Louis.”
the course of his life, Shuman found himself inexplicably
intertwined with Townsend and his career. When the opportunity
came to participate on this album, Shuman could not refuse.
Shuman traveled with the four blues legends down to Dallas,
playing guitar at the concert (his guitar work is featured
on five tracks on the album). Shuman also co-wrote the track
“It’s Got to End Somewhere” with Townsend,
which appears on the record.
set up shop in Falls Church with Shuman Recording Studios
nearly 12 years ago, as he describes Falls Church as a place
with “a lot of creative, supportive people.”
He mixed the Grammy award-winning album in his studio and
was listed as producer of the album along with Jeff Dyson
of the Blue Shoe Project. Knowing the massive undertaking
he had in front of him, Shuman called his friend Paul Grupp,
a reputable mixer from Los Angeles to help him out; both
are credited as mixing and mastering the album.
I mixed this, I called Henry and I said, ‘Henry, we’re
gonna get a Grammy for this.’ I knew this project
was gonna get at least a nomination.”
is no one-trick pony however. Shuman keeps busy with as
many projects as he can get his hands on.
work all the time. I get a good night’s sleep every
night, and the rest of the time, I’m working,”
with his work on the Grammy award-winning album, Shuman
has mixed and mastered over 400 CDs, and is showing no signs
of slowing down. He is currently working on the 50th Anniversary
of Motown for Universal Records, and has worked extensively
with all of the major record labels. Time Life Music, impressed
by the quality of his work, hired him has a mastering engineer,
and he continues working with them on a regular basis. In
addition to being a recording and mixing engineer, Shuman
is a record producer, and also directs and produces music
television for Commonwealth Broadcasting Corporation.
work is not limited to just auditory mediums, either. He
created “BB Presents: The Best of the Blues,”
which airs nationally each week through PBS affiliates.
His largest undertaking currently is his management of Front
Row Music Television, which creates music television for
broadcasters, produces DVDs and music videos and distributes
and downloads live music performances via the internet at
www.frontrowmusic.tv. He also produces music video performances
in 5.1 surround sound.
the multiple future projects, Shuman recognizes that the
work he did on the Last of the Mississippi Delta Bluesmen
album was particularly special.
CD was really a labor of love to honor [the Bluesmen’s]
life work and to honor their legacy. That’s really
why we did it. It wasn’t about getting an award, it
was about me saying thank you to Henry, my mentor and my
best friend. When we won, it was really personal, because
we won it for our friends. That’s what it was all