Cancer can't quash dream if Bill Bentley's involved CONCORD — The cancer wrapped itself around Kurtis Shaver's vocal cords like ivy on a garden trellis. That the 41-year-old husband and father had just been diagnosed with thyroid cancer was bad enough news. But being a singer in two cover bands as well as in the middle of recording a dream solo album made it devastating. People described him as having a vocal range similar to that of Sebastian Bach — the lead singer of the 1980s metal band Skid Row, known for his reach-for-the-heavens vocal abilities. One nick of the scalpel during tumor-removal surgery and Shaver would never be able to sing again. Many would have given up the album at that point, especially since some of the songs hadn't been written yet. But not Bill Bentley, of Bill Bentley Productions on Franquette Avenue in Concord. Bentley, who has worked in recording studios since the 1970s, decided this cancer wasn't going to get in the way of Shaver's album. The pair had two months to finish nine original tracks before Shaver had surgery last July. I just wanted to get these songs in the can before the surgery," Shaver said while sitting in Bentley's studio Wednesday morning. "I said, if this is the last thing I do, I'm going to finish this record. Fortunately, the surgery went well; Shaver is cancer-free and his singing is better than ever. Looking back on the recording experience, he and Bentley talk about how calm he was. He'd learned to cope with illness as a kid, with a mother who suffered from multiple sclerosis. I don't know how he functioned the way he did, knowing he had this cancer," Bentley said. "I mean, you're a singer, and you have this cancer that could take away your voice — how do you cope? And he was like, 'Well, what choice do I have?' Bentley grew up in Lafayette, and as a toddler, he would sing "Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head" while sitting on the countertop near his mom. He never doubted he'd be a musician. But he quickly learned that he liked being behind the scenes, helping coax talent out of other musicians. He spent a few years in Los Angeles, but he missed the Bay Area. He's had his Concord studio for 10 years, and quietly promotes the arts. He offers teaching space to struggling music teachers and recently bankrolled an album showcasing Contra Costa songwriters — the CD is available at But mostly, Bentley said he loves helping "his dudes." Shaver is one of his dudes. Both of my cover bands had recorded demos with Bill and then one day I was telling him I wanted to do on my own CD, but had no songs written," Shaver said. "He told me that we'd do it together. People should know that if they have a dream do to something like this, they can come in and he'll help. Not all moments in the studio are heavy, with talk of cancer and nearly-squashed dreams. The tube went out on this thing, dude," Bentley says. Aw, man, that was my favorite microphone," says Shaver. They're just two guys who really click. On Wednesday, Bentley played music from another client for Shaver. Oh man, that is so cool — that is so 'Yes'-ish," Shaver said, referring to the 1980s band. It's a kind of musician shorthand, and Bentley understands exactly what he means by it. To hear Shaver's music, go to His album is also available at To contact Bentley, call 925-827-2763. Reach Tanya Rose at” - Tanya Rose

Contra Costa Times

A Remarkable Accomplishment!!! You don't have to know Kurtis for long to know that his passion is his music. His passion comes out in every lyric and bit of music on this album. The vocals are heartfelt and the instrumentals are solid across every track. This album is quite a remarkable achievement and just a joy to listen to!!!” - Mark M.

Amazing This artist is definitely going places. I have never been a big fan of Country music but his song Rebecca is amazing, absolutely beautiful. It's one of those songs where you want to close your eyes and listen to over and over, and the rest of the album has such diversity, there is something for everyone. This one is at the top of my playlist!” - TLNelson

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Met zes liedjes en twintig minuten countryrockmuziek heeft de in Californië geboren singer-songwriter Kurtis Shaver een muzikaal tussendoortje uitgebracht in afwachting van zijn volgende studioalbum, de langverwachte opvolger van zijn debuut-cd “Parcae” uit 2008. Het in juli 2014 verschenen ep-tje “Long Road” bestaat uit vrij opgewekte en dansbare songs die Kurtis Shaver zelf heeft geschreven en in de studio samen met een zevental gastmuzikanten heeft opgenomen. Hoe dat allemaal in zijn werk is gegaan kunt u op de ‘The Making Of Wild Angel’-video zien die we bij deze recensie hebben gevoegd. Het betreffende nummer “Wild Angel” is de openingssong van deze plaat. Het is een typische countryrocker die opgevolgd wordt door gitaarrocker “Every Dog” met een krachtig zingende Kurtis Shaver. Dezelfde countryrocksound horen we later ook terug in het nummer “Tear Down The Walls”. In het nummer “Desperate Highway” wordt wat gas terug genomen, hoewel we zeker nog niet van een typische countryballad kunnen spreken. Fiddler Philip Brezina en Josh Yenne op pedal steel spelen in deze song de instrumentale hoofdrollen. Kurtis Shaver werd een tijdje geleden op 41-jarige leeftijd zwaar getroffen door de vaststelling van schildklierkanker. Hij is echter een vechter en hij is vastberaden om die vreselijke ziekte te overwinnen en nog vele jaren muziek te maken voor zichzelf en voor de vele fans van het countryrock-genre. Het slotnummer op deze ep “Shed A Tear” is een emotionele ballad die gaat over de hulpeloosheid die hij ondervindt bij die zware strijd tegen zijn ziekte. Als je het werk van Kurtis Shaver met andere countrysterren zou willen vergelijken dan komen we het dichtst in de buurt van o.a. Garth Brooks en Keith Urban, toch twee artiesten die wel degelijk iets te betekenen hebben in de wereld van de countrymuziek. Of Kurtis Shaver zich daar een permanent plaatsje op de voorste rij zal weten te veroveren zal nog moeten blijken, eerst uit zijn herstel van de ziekte en dan zeker ook bij het verschijnen van een volwaardig nieuwe album. (valsam)   Google Translated With six songs and twenty minutes country rock music , the California -born singer- songwriter Kurtis Shaver a musical snack released in anticipation of his next studio album , the long awaited sequel to his debut CD " Parcae " 2008 .It appeared in July 2014 ep -tje "Long Road" consists of fairly upbeat and danceable songs that Kurtis Shaver himself has written and recorded . Along with seven guest musicians in the studio How all that has gone into his work can be seen on 'The Making Of Wild Angel' video that we have joined . In this reviewThe corresponding number " Wild Angel" is the opening song of this record. It is a typical country rocker followed by guitar rocker "Every Dog" with a powerful singing Kurtis Shaver. Same country-rock sound we hear back later in the song " Tear Down The Walls" . In the song " Desperate Highway " is what gas taken back , although we can not yet speak . Of a typical country ballad certainly Fiddler Philip Brezina and Josh Yenne on pedal steel playing in this song instrumental leads.Kurtis Shaver was a while ago at the age of 41 severely affected by the adoption of thyroid cancer. However, he is a fighter and he is determined to overcome this terrible disease and make for themselves and for the many fans of the country-rock genre. Music for many years The final song on the EP " Shed A Tear " is an emotional ballad that is about the helplessness he has encountered in heavy battle against his illness.If you would like to compare the work of Kurtis Shaver with other country stars , we come closest near ao Garth Brooks and Keith Urban, yet two artists who actually mean something in the world of country music. Of Kurtis Shaver is there a permanent place on the front row will be able to win remains to be seen , first from his recovery from the disease and then certainly at the appearance of a full album.   (valsam)” - (valsam)

Rootstime CD Reviews

   Kurtis Shaver plays a melodious and intelligent country rock..words are not sacrified for the catching melodies..he has got this ability to write very good songs, to paint mental pics on the listener 's mind ...add infectious melodies and you are on the road to be a radio fave...what is true is that 6 songs are a little short but it is also a testimony of his intelligence I often say better 6 very good songs than 4 or 5 more bad ones just to fill the bottle is a pleasure to welcome such artists , with this high sense of quality in what they do...” - Mike Penard

— Mike the DJ, ISA Radio

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