I enjoyed Shawn’s last record, with its killer mix of rock and roll and blues. This new release takes things a step further, and really satisfies.
Shawn spent time playing with Buddy Guy a while back, and that intensity shows on his own stuff. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s backed on a good part of this record by the Double Trouble rhythm section. As usual, Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon lay down an irresistible groove.
Pittman’s guitar playing is always right on the money. If you want dirty rock and roll soloing to fit a rockin’ boogie, check out “New King In Town.” “I Smell Trouble” lets him showcase his slow blues; he’s the kind of player who knows where he’s going, and takes his time getting there. The dynamics are beautiful.
The intro to “One of These Days” is him solo, nice and nasty. It might bring the old SRV chestnut “Cold Shot” to mind, but it has a mind of its own. “Can’t Take That Away” is a wonderful soul tune with killer changes and sliding fifths galore.
You get the idea. Shawn’s a wonderful player, and really good songwriter (eight of the album’s 11 tunes are originals). Vocally, he’s got a gruff voice that’s not going to win him any awards in a sing-off, but it’s always heartfelt and gets the message of each tune across.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s June ’02 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.