Local music celebrity Shane Runion is on the road with a community of support backing him, as he makes music his full-time job and attempts to make a name for himself. Armed with his guitar, a supportive wife and family, and a talented band, Runion says he feels like things are falling into place at the right time.
Shane Runion has become a well-known name in Scioto County, for his upbeat country and rock music, as well as his willingness to perform at many public forums and eagerness to help out with charity events.
Runion only recently began his tour, with a week-long stint through Indiana.
Last year, Runion was making music his secondary focus, booking gigs whenever possible around his full-time teaching schedule. After getting accepted to perform at the Country Music Association (CMA) Festival and Fan Fair in June, the musician said that he realized that things needed to change, if he wanted to grab opportunity by the reins and ride it for what it is worth.
After receiving his wife’s blessing, the musician resigned from his teaching position, began looking into a tour bus, and started forming the foundation of his new direction.
“We knew that there was a big decision to be made. We’ve always played music, but we needed to make that move to say we do this for a living,” Runion explained. “The CMA trip woke us up. We were under the illusion that we could work nine to five jobs and compete in the music industry. We were trying to swim with people who solely do it for a living. We came to the realization that, to be competitive with my peers, this is what we had to do.”
Runion said that it was a challenging decision, and the most instrumental factor was his wife’s opinion, but he said they took the risk and they are remaining optimistic.
“My wife and I realized we would have to give up our middle-class dream and life that we had built together,” Runion said. “It was a hard pill to shallow, but it was such a great feeling to be at the CMA’s and to get along with the people. For the first time, I realized we belonged there. We can compete. We are not a fish out of water.”
Runion said that he and his band members have worked together to plan many trips this fall and will take a break after December 18 to spend time with family. They will also be planning ahead, so they can book a full spring tour schedule.
“Music has always been in my life and has gotten more serious as the years have gone by. I sang as a kid and obsessed over Garth Brooks, even picking around on a guitar a little bit. I became serious about music when I was in high school, and it’s stuck ever since. I played gigs through college, and even through the time I was still teaching. This past summer, my progress in the music scene allowed me to make the decision to make music my full time job. I’m so thankful to be able to do this for a living— writing music, recording it, and going out on the road to play it for people.”
He will be touring various location in the future, mostly in the East Coast and Midwest areas of the country. Some of the opportunities specifically mentioned include Chicago, Florida, the New England area, Caribbean tours, and more.
The band will be touring on his new bus, which has been renovated inside and out. Runion said that the plans were designed to make Runion, his family, and his band comfortable, because it is being treated as a second home.
He said the bus brings a lot of responsibility with it, but it has made things easier. It has also given them an idea of what the professional life is like.
“The bus makes us feel like we’ve never left home,” Runion said. “Another thing, which is really fun, is inviting folks on the bus to check it out. At our last gig, we invited anyone who helped us advertise and plan our Indiana tour onto the bus to hang. We also gave them an autographed copy of the CD. Everyone’s eyes just lit up when we flung the door open and asked if they wanted to come in. It is an entirely new level of connection and being able to share that is amazing.”
The decision to invite guests onto the bus for a meet and greet comes naturally to the performer.
“It is my bus, I know, but I am not under the illusion that I am a self-made man. I know a lot of people are responsible for my success,” Runion said. “In a way, the people who come see the shows are ultimately the biggest.”
His first local performance, since he began touring, will be this Saturday, in Waverly, at Lake White Club. He will take the stage at 8 p.m. Admission is pending, but Runion says it should be a low cover charge.
The musician says he is staying positive and believes good things are bound to come, given the footing his home has provided him.
To follow Runion on his journey, join him on Facebook, www.facebook.com/shanerunionband, where he is very active with fans. He also has a website, www.shanerunion.com.
“I feel a whole new level of community pride and it has been really nice,” Runion said. “When we are pulling out to go somewhere, I see it a lot. Everyone catches the bus and they just honk, cheer, smile, take pictures; you know, they are proud. I appreciate everything that has come of this and I hope we can pull together even more community pride through what I do. I even have a map of the tri-state, with a big star on Portsmouth, because I want people to know where we come from.”
Reach Joseph Pratt at 740-353-3101, ext. 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.