MEMPHIS IN THE MORNING
It’s been six years since Mem Shannon traded his cabbie’s license for a full-time gig behind the wheel of a crisp, old-school New Orleans blues and soul band. It was a good move — Shannon commands a lively and fluid guitar sound and a distinctive, molasses-rich voice. But in most ways he’s a common man, dedicated to what he calls the three F’s — family, fishing, and funk. And though he’s unfailingly and endearingly sincere, a few of the tunes he’s chosen to include on his fourth CD — " You Belong to Him " and the title track, in particular — veer toward maudlin. Still, his down-home spunk and soul come through on the amusing " SUV, " which finds the former cab driver doing battle on the road in his ’71 Maverick. And his band, the Membership, joined here by the punchy Memphis Horns, suit his stylings fine just as long as he sticks to the funk, which he probably should have done a little bit more of this time around.
Issue Date: July 5 - 12, 2001