Toledo’s The Shakin’ Shivers release their long-awaited debut album
After playing live shows together for more than three years now, Toledo blues/rock band The Shakin’ Shivers have released their self-titled debut album. Eleven songs chart the two-piece band’s evolution from the first song they ever played together to some of their most recent jam sessions.
With Muddy Binkley on guitar and lead vocals, plus Ryan Mangold on drums, the two recently played a set at The Bunker Bar as a release party, with an opening acoustic set by Muddy’s fiance and local musician Chris Shutters. Though Muddy often sings solo, and Ryan is in two other bands, The Shakin’ Shivers offer a distinct, dynamic combination that might best be described as a 60s rock-garage band collision with a dash of Southern funk.
The last song on the album, “Awake,” based on Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening, is the first song Ryan and Muddy ever played together. Muddy wrote it by herself and decided to set it aside. When she began playing with Ryan, something just clicked. “It was after we played ‘I’m Awake’– that first song– we looked at each other like okay. ‘There’s something here,’” says Ryan.
Muddy says she met up with Ryan at a place he had rented as a practice space “in this creepy warehouse under the High Level Bridge” for their first jam session and there was an instant connection. “We played our first show the following summer, so there was a six month span where we were coming up with material and just jamming– figuring out what our sound was.”
Very Rock and Roll
The Shakin’ Shivers’ first show was at Frankies. In the middle of July, with no air conditioning, Muddy’s makeup was melting as they played, dripping in sweat. “It was very rock and roll,” Muddy recalls. “Before we started playing together, I’d play solo gigs and be compared to, and asked to play, Stevie Nicks or Carly Simon— great artists— but I love that I have an avenue where I can belt it out, where the energy is bursting at the seams.”
Most fragile things
The more attention they got, the more people would suggest that the next step would be to add another member to the band, but The Shakin’ Shivers don’t want to do anything to jeopardize their sound.
“It’s like holding the world’s most fragile thing in your hands, and any move could ruin everything,” says Ryan. “We’re too afraid to mess with it.”
Instead, they see themselves, in a sense, as following in the footsteps of The White Stripes, another two-person band that has heavily influenced them. Both Muddy and Ryan are influenced by 60s and 70s rock— Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, The Doors— and the album reflects that. With “Momma,” near the end of the album, everything seems to come together in a delightfully complex blues song. Muddy’s raspy powerhouse voice and distorted guitar riffs, paired with Ryan’s heavy drum beats really bring the soul of the album to the forefront.
“Our sound just became our sound,” Ryan says of how The Shakin’ Shivers music has developed over the last few years. “I started moving my arms, she started moving her hands, and that’s just where it went. I feel like we’ve tried to keep things organic, to keep our hearts in the music.”
Learn more about The Shakin’ Shivers upcoming shows and where to purchase their new album at Facebook.com/theshakinshivers.