Shawn Pittman's second release is a relaxed blues CD full of good song writing and traditional blues influenced music. His CD reminds me a bit of Robert Cray vocally with plenty of motown, and Chicago influences although the liner notes describe the music as Texas blues. The guitar playing never overrides the songs and this is a CD where the songs and the story are more important than wailing guitar licks. The guitar supports the songs instead of the other way around. Nothing seems to be forced and the music sounds like it flows throughout the entire eleven songs found on this release. All the songs are written by Shawn Pittman except for "Something To Remember You By" which was written by Ed Jones.
"Something's Got To Give," the title cut has a style and sound that indicates that this would be an excellent live tune. The guitars on this song just seem like they could be cranked in a live situation and really give this song some impact. "Just A Game" is a honky tonk tune that comes across as relaxed due to the slower tempo that the song is played at. "Get Started" is an instrumental which is a jam over a two chord change with some jazz style overtones ala Wes Montgomery, Kenny Burrel and Grant Green. "Come On Over" has a motown feel to the song which reminds me of Sam & Dave or any number of mid sixties songs coming out of the Detroit area. "East Side Groove" is an instrumental that would be described as a toe tapper in some areas, with a chunky rhythm guitar and plenty of blues licks ala Albert King or Collens. "Something To Remember You By" is another slow blues that could have come directly from the Chicago area in the mid 60's. "Make It Through" has a style similar to Robert Cray or Albert King, with the traditional blues vocal, guitar response. "Crusin" is another instrumental, which for some reason reminds me of surf music but with a solid honky tonk piano backing and thicker guitar and definitely is a fun tune. "That First Drink," the last song on the CD, is about as close as you can get to a Robert Johnson type raw sound. Very traditional blues, with a single dobro guitar as the only instrumentation.
Jim Gaines produced this CD and is of the typical high standard found on most anything that he produces. If you like Robert Cray or similar artists, then this CD should more than satisfy your musical needs.
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Shawn Pittman - vocals, rhythm and lead guitar
John "Sonny Boy" Williamson - bass
Dirk Cordes - Drums
Bill Eden - tenor sax
Lee Schloss - baritone sax
Riley Osborne - keyboards
Mike Morgan - lead guitar on "Payin' The Price"
This review is copyright © 1999 by Robert T. Murphy, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.