The Shaky Hands' lead singer/guitarist Nicholas Delffs started playing music as a child growing up on the secluded landscapes of California's Mendocino County. Influenced greatly by his father—who played fingerstyle guitar—he began writing songs at age 14 and, in his 20s, took his love for country, folk, and rock 'n' roll out of the woods and up to Portland, where he made music with his good friend, drummer Colin Anderson.
In 2003, Delffs and Anderson formed the Shaky Hands with bassist Paul Culp and shortly thereafter built a local, adoring following out of house parties, basement shows, and a sort of shimmying folk-rock that shakes the insides with notions of good times and sunny affection—an unplanned sound and feel, which unraveled naturally. "It was definitely something we never talked about specifically," explains Delffs, "but playing in basements is what we did for a long time before venues, so doing that made for faster songs, energetic loud songs."
The band's raw, emotive, and jangly '70s-inspired arrangements are also the result of the band members' diverse musical tastes. "We all listen to really different music and I think that has to do with us being so different from each other," Delffs says. "We don't all just listen to classic rock, even though that's a huge influence."
Delffs' warm soul and lack of pretension also seem to shape the honesty intrinsic to the band—which recently put out their sophomore album Lunglight—giving the simplistic songs the power to travel, engage, and be felt meaningfully by listeners. And even while the Shaky Hands recently underwent its most difficult transition yet—the departure of Anderson, who left to return to school—Delffs and current bandmates (his brother Nathan Delffs on percussion and lap steel, second guitarist Jeff Lehman, and bassist Mayhaw Hoons and) are embracing the change. "In the beginning we were all bummed and felt like we couldn't be a band without him," Delffs says. "But it's turned into something really exciting and it's perfect."