Ogden-born fiddle wizard and singer/songwriter Ryan Shupe is returning to the Kenley Centennial Amphitheater with his longtime group, the RubberBand. Playing as part of the Summer Nights With the Stars series on Saturday, Aug. 11, Shupe is no stranger to that Layton stage.
"I don't even think I can remember the first time we played there," said Shupe, calling from home in Provo. "I've played there with the RubberBand a long time, and before that, with other groups. I love the series and the way they mix national talent and regional talent for a nice season."
Shupe is currently working on another album. He offered a free download of the first single, "We Rode On," on Aug. 1.
"We are working on this piece by piece, and we decided we would get one snipped out and put it up, maybe, on iTunes. I wanted to shake things up a little. It's a different world. There is so much competition and distraction. People are a little more ADD these days, and like to see stuff on a more regular basis."
Shupe and the band are working on their eighth album, as yet unnamed. About a third of the way through, Shupe said he is approaching a number of things differently this time out.
For one thing, he may home in on one style for the album of the many the band plays.
"In the past, we've made albums that are really kind of five-in-one. There's humor, rock, bluegrass, and I'm thinking this time, what if I stick with one vibe for a whole album, rather than release an album that is so diversified?"
Shupe said he is considering making this his rock outing. Then he could do a gospel or bluegrass or kids music album next.
"I'm still writing, so it might come out differently, but that's what I've been thinking."
Shupe is also approaching the songs in a different way. Previously, he would rough them out, then take them to the full band for detailing. This time, he is spending much more time in the studio, figuring out the song and much of the instrumentation before approaching the band with the music.
"It's almost the opposite way of working, taking the song, putting the song first, and then figuring out how to play it with the guys, instead of letting the band dictate how it sounds from the first."
Shupe said this way of working, building a tune himself in studio first, feels a bit like he's a mad scientist at work in his basement lab.
"It's cool. I like the sound of it, and I think it will be really good for us."
Shupe is not certain when the entire album will be completed, though he did say he plans to release songs now and again, as he has done with "We Rode On."
First, he has some nationwide concert dates to fulfill.
"I'd kind of been working on it fairly quick, but then summer becomes so busy with shows. But I'll be hitting it hard again after summer winds down."