Scot Shrader was looking forward to a busy week of August performances earlier this month.
“I have four dates in six days and am booked weekends for awhile,” said the popular local musician. “Music is a huge part of my life and I appreciate the opportunities this community gives me.”
Shrader’s offerings are as eclectic as his musical tastes. On a given day or night, he can be found performing a solo acoustic set, serving as a wedding DJ, hosting karaoke or playing with his current band, Ghost Radio.
The Waldron High School graduate and Shelbyville resident benefits from a musical family that endowed significant influences from both his mother’s and father’s sides of the family tree.
Scot’s father, Wallace “Dub” Shrader, a Florida native, is a very accomplished artist who plays piano, guitar and fiddle. He worked at Cummins in Columbus but also was a member of Rudy and the Nashville Country, a band that toured throughout the region.
“Dad’s band would play all over -- places like Kings Island and numerous state fairs,” said Shrader. “We were always traveling with him so I was hearing and watching him play music all the time.”
Shrader also remembers his father’s collection of valuable instruments.
“He owned Fender guitars like Jaguars, Stratocasters, Mustangs and Telecasters,” said Shrader. “Marshall amps were all around the house.”
Shrader started playing guitar when he was about five years old. His brother Gary, who is 11 years older, played in a variety of successful bands.
“Dad and I would go watch Gary play all the time,” he said. “He became a fantastic guitar player and played with many well-known people.”
Gary played in Flight and Band X with excellent resident performers that included Bobby Toon, David Rasche, Steve Whittaker and Steve Mathies. Gary Shrader is currently a member of the band Saul Good.
A third sibling, Barry, though not as musically active as Scott and Gary, is a fine drummer.
Scot became increasingly proficient through his teenage years; however, it was his uncle on his mother’s side who had much to do with inspiring him to be a performer.
“My mom’s brother, Dana, would play acoustic guitar at family gatherings and I would watch him and grew to really appreciate what he could do musically,” said Scot. “I wanted to someday do what he did with music.”
Scot’s uncle, Dana Ayres, is a remarkably-talented singer and guitarist who played music at a variety of venues in the area. Ayres could entertain as a one-man-show and that resonated with the young Shrader.
“I was so impressed with what he could do by himself with his guitar,” said Shrader. “I knew I wanted to do that someday.”
Shrader played with bands during his junior high and high school years. He was primarily a guitar player and hard rock singer specializing in the heavy metal genre in the late 1990s when he formed the band Sub*Mission with fellow musicians Dave Fannin, “Nod” Campbell, Josh Heiden and the late Sean Wilhoit.
Sub*Mission developed a wide following and played regular dates around the central Indiana area.
“Sub*Mission was a great experience,” stated Shrader. “We put out CDs and sold band T-shirts. The music was good and we all worked very hard to make it a success. I am really proud of Sub*Mission.”
The band would play together from 1997 until 2010. At that time, the young musician became increasingly interested in exploring the acoustic aspect and once again drew upon inspiration from uncle Dana.
“A friend encouraged me to begin listening to and playing the Beatles,” said Shrader. “I was not interested. I was a rocker and had no interest in them. I thought they were outdated. He talked me into buying ‘Rubber Soul’ and ‘Revolver’ (Beatles albums released in 1965 and 1966 respectively). I could not stop listening to them. It opened up a whole new world of what I wanted to play.”
“Jamie Dugan had opened the Half-Pints Bistro restaurant on east 44,” Shrader continued. “He wanted me to start playing on the patio. I was basically into hard rock at the time and did not own an acoustic guitar. I went to a pawn shop in Indianapolis and bought an old Alvarez. That’s how my solo playing began.”
Shrader soon became a regular solo performer. Following years of continual playing, he had a brainstorm during the COVID pandemic of 2020.
“The shutdown made me think about what musicians would do without places to play,” said Shrader. “That’s when I decided to create the Facebook page that would allow musicians the opportunity to play and be seen from home.”
“Live From Home Open Stage” debuted in March of 2000. There were approximately 3,000 registered the first two weeks, however that all changed when Shrader received a call from WTHR’s Rich Nye.
“He said he wanted to feature me and the site and came to my house to do the interview,” said Shrader. The page exploded as result of the publicity. “The number of people registered on the site grew to more than 50,000.”
The site has more than 55,000 people today. Shrader and a small crew monitor the page daily to ensure that all goes as planned.
Scot is a regular performer at local venues such as Capone’s, Pudder’s and the St. Paul Tavern. In recent years, he has opened on several occasions for successful 1980’s and 1990’s recording artist Henry Lee Summer (photo above). He also frequently plays music for Ashford Place residents.
Shrader has donated his talents to several local charities and non-profits as well.
He reunited with Sub*Mission band mate Dave Fannin and recruited drummer Todd Greene to form Ghost Radio in 2016. The band, which focuses on a mixture of 90’s and classic rock, will headline Shelby County Cornstalk on Sept. 4, playing from 11 p.m. to midnight. The event will feature bands playing in downtown Shelbyville throughout the day beginning at 11 a.m.
Scot and his wife, Sarah, and 12-year-old daughter Zorah (photo) enjoy traveling and simple pleasures such as long bike rides. He is a passionate tennis fan.
“I love Rafael Nadal. I went to Cincinnati to watch him in the Western & Southern Open last week,” said Shrader.
Shrader, now 51, expresses heartfelt appreciation to his wife and daughter for allowing him to spend so much time pursuing musical endeavors. He also continues to be impressed by the prevalence of musical talent in Shelby County.
“Shelby County has so many great performers who are routinely booked in surrounding counties throughout the area,” said Shrader. “The level of talent here is amazing. I am grateful to be a part of it.”