118

Mem Shannon: I'm From Phunkville

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Mem Shannon: I'm From Phunkville Fifteen years as a cab driver in New Orleans gave Mem Shannon the experience that he needed to communicate effectively with his audience. He's gathered a common ground selection of songs for this latest album so that he can relate to folks from both sides of the tracks: those who've grown up with the "Big Easy" jazz tradition, and those who've grown up with blues-rock ringing consistently in their earphones.

Gospel plays a large part in Shannon's delivery. It's natural. He delivers a fiery sermon on "Ignant Stick," warning about the hazards of living by fraudulent means. "No Religion" contains a message for all mankind about the need for help from society and from within. Elsewhere, his guitar shines brightly with fluid lines, lyrical instrumental conversation, and seamless phrasing. Shannon carries the Deep South blues torch through his searing vocals and his fiery guitar.

Much of the session, however, tends to roll on uneventfully. Except for a seven-minute cover of "Eleanor Rigby," the program consists of Shannon's originals. Each offers a message for spiritual communion, but each dwells on its theme repeatedly without variation. Horns, organ, and Shannon's guitar provide a rich landscape that surrounds the singer with enveloping halos.

"Phunkville," like most of the session, resists the temptation to dig into the heart of the matter. While it does stand out as the album's high point, this R&B selection persists for ten minutes with a repeating theme. It mesmerizes. Shannon gives you an opportunity to relax a while and to unload some of that tension that's accumulated during the day. As our local taxi driver always says, "Lighten up, sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride."


Track Listing: The Reason; Swing Tiger Swing; Perfect World; Phunkville; I'll Kiss a Pitbull; Battle Ground; The Lights of Caracas (I Didn't Know); Sweet Potato; No Religion; Forget About Me; Eleanor Rigby; Ignant Stick; We Going.

Personnel: Mem Shannon- guitars, vocals; Robert Dabon- keyboards; Doug Belote, Josh Milligan- drums; Ian Michael- bass; Billy Martin- percussion; Tyrone Pollard- background vocals; Jason Mingledorff- tenor saxophone, clarinet; Frederick Sheppard- tenor saxophone; A.C. Gayden, Jr.- guitar on "Battle Ground;" Barney Floyd- trumpet; Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews- trombone on "Perfect World."

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: NorthernBlues Music | Style: Blues


Shop

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Across the Universe" CD/LP/Track Review Across the Universe
by Dave Wayne
Published: May 1, 2016
Read "Reverse Camouflage" CD/LP/Track Review Reverse Camouflage
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 26, 2016
Read "Volume 1" CD/LP/Track Review Volume 1
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 19, 2016
Read "Visual Music" CD/LP/Track Review Visual Music
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 18, 2016
Read "Live In Greenwich Village" CD/LP/Track Review Live In Greenwich Village
by John Sharpe
Published: April 2, 2016
Read "Everybody's Somebody's Nobody" CD/LP/Track Review Everybody's Somebody's Nobody
by John Sharpe
Published: May 27, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!