The Shakes are Mark Lane, Dan Easley, and Crystal Shrewbury. Based in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, they play a wide range of original music written mostly by Lane and also cover many popular songs from the 30s through the 80s. In the studio and on stage, they present a lively acoustic set aided by Easley's facility with a wide range of instruments, and adhering to the mantra that they play all their own instruments-- for better or worse. The Shakes' influences run the gamut from old time musicians such as The Skillet Lickers and Carter Family to 30s, 40s, and 50s popular jazz, blues, and country to the rock and roll of Bob Dylan, The Band, The Cars, David Byrne, and countless others. The Shakes typically play acoustic guitar, mandolin, and upright bass, but throw in accordion, fretless banjo, tenor guitar, kazoo, harmonica, bass clarinet, saxophone, trombone, Hammond organ, and various other instruments into the mix from time to time. It's a many-splendored spectacle! The Blue Hotel came about as a collaboration between playwright Michael Trocchia and The Shakes. The CD was recorded and released in conjunction with the world premiere of Trocchia's stage adaptation of Stephen Crane's short story, "The Blue Hotel," and contains original and traditional music inspired by Crane's story and Trocchia's stage adaptation. The Blue Hotel stands on it's own as an album and also serves as a thematic complement to the original story and the play.