Central New York music legend and SAMMY Hall of Famer Dave Novak said he wanted to create an album that truly defines his sound, while capturing the excitement of the live performances that have thrilled audiences for his five decades-plus on the local music scene. 

His recently-released “Fifteen Shades of Dave” disc lives up to the task, offering 15 originals and covers that are all close to his heart. 

 “Each song has a particular meaning to me,” the Cazenovia-based Novak said. “Some are more superficial, while others are deeper…they aren’t all songs I wrote, but all songs that mean something to me.”

Classics like “Fools Rush In,” “Things We Said Today,” “Galveston,” and “Though I May Never Love You” mix with his own self-penned numbers like “Weak or Strong,” “Seems Like Forever,” and “Too Much Trouble” for a collection that delivers the retro/golden oldie/fun sound his fans have come to know and love. Three live tracks round out the album, offering a nod to his on-stage persona.

 “They might be even more representative of my sound because I am a live performer,” he said. 

With those 50 years thrilling audiences all over the area, Novak certainly had plenty of songs to choose from…so many, in fact, that he is already thinking about a follow-up collection. 

But it is an album that nearly wasn’t made. Novak intimated that it took him all these years to release his first CD because he never really felt comfortable releasing his own recordings.

 “I had thought about it, but never really liked listening to myself,” he admitted, adding it was his co-producer Sam Patterelli who really brought it all together. “I met up with Sam and he really knew what he was doing. He made it work for me. I give him a lot of the credit - this was very collaborative.”

The CD is $10 (plus $2 for shipping) and available only from Novak himself, either at a gig or by emailing dave@davenovakmusic.com. Upcoming performances include: The Tony’s Fight benefit with the Party Nuts at 1 p.m. Sept. 11 at the Cicero American Legion; The History of Syracuse Music concert with the Party Nuts at 5 p.m. Sept. 25 at Pensabene’s in Syracuse; with the Dave Novak Trio at 1 p.m. Oct. 2 at Critz Farms in Cazenovia; and with the Fab Cats at 7 p.m. Oct. 8 at the Palace Theater, Syracuse.