Preston Shannon – All In Time

All In time

I admit I’m a fool for soul music. Why? Because there is no such thing as a mediocre soul singer. They get weeded out immediately.

There is lots of “half-steppin” in the blues idiom, but with the soul genre you either can do, employing the (at least) minimal prerequisite gospel inflection, or you don’t do.

Preston Shannon, of course, does and does well. His is the kind of music that will always be timeless and bring to mind the wonderful “soul merchants” of the mid ’60s. Halcyon days for great vocalists like Roscoe Shelton, Earl Gaines, Robert Ward, and O.V. Wright.

Shannon embodies influences of all the above, whether he’s aware of them all or not, simply because of the tradition of expertise that bonds this style of music.

The guitar in this instance is, of course, used in as embellishment, and Shannon is an okay player. But it’s the whole package-presentation, lyrics, and instrumentation that treats the listener to the boundless emotion that the south-of-Memphis school has to offer.

I’m not sure if Shannon’s attempt to bring Prince’s “Purple Rain” into the realm of soul succeeds, but he does a more-than-laudable job on Bobby Womacks’ “That’s The Way I Feel About Cha.” Not easy vocals to do, let alone outdo. Shannon’s future looks and sounds bright.

This article originally appeared in VG‘s May ’99 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.