Shane Dwight loves Lodi, and the city loves him back.
His American roots sound just clicks with audiences here. Like Jacksonville, Fla. — another city where Dwight loves to perform — something about the musician-audience bond in Lodi works.
“For some reason you resonate in certain areas,” Dwight said.
That’s why, when Grape Festival General Manager Mark Armstrong asked him to play at Lodi Beer Fest, he jumped at the chance.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “I’ve never been myself.”
Dwight is a regular performer at the Lodi Grape Festival and Jessie’s Grove Winery. Though he lives in Nashville now, he grew up on a ranch in Morgan Hill working with horses and cattle.
His first love was music, though, and in 2009 he moved to Nashville.
Since then, he’s been playing, singing, writing songs and touring. His music is a unique combination of country, rock and blues.
“I kind of infuse those things together,” Dwight said.
He’s had the chance to play with some big names, opening for the likes of Etta James, B.B. King, Collective Soul, Los Lonely Boys and the Doobie Brothers. He’s also released a couple of albums.
“USA Today did a big feature on me, called me an ‘ace songwriter,’” Dwight said with a laugh.
The best part has been getting the chance to meet some of the blues legends he idolized.
“It’s been a real crazy career,” he said. “I got to meet so many of my heroes.”
Dwight is grateful for the chance to make a living doing what he loves.
Even so, he’s cut back on touring recently. As much as he loves performing, he was beginning to get burnt out. He was getting to visit fascinating places all over the world, but he didn’t have time to spend with his family.
“I worked so hard to buy a house I was never in,” he said.
Now he’s back in Nashville and working on a new album, “If You Ain’t the Devil,” which has more of a blues and rock feel than his earlier, more country-themed work. He hopes the album will drop over the summer.
“We’ve made a real fun record,” he said.
He also has several songs he recorded for an album with more of a country pop feel, but he hasn’t decided what to do with that material yet.
Dwight has been enjoying the time at home in Nashville that more limited touring has given him.
But he won’t be cutting his trips to Lodi. He’ll be entertaining Lodi Beer Fest crowds next weekend, and he’ll be back again in June to play at Jessie’s Grove.
“It’s always a good time in Lodi. I’ve never had a disappointing crowd,” he said.