Recorded in his hometown of New Orleans, Mem Shannon is trying to bring the blues back to a town that has had more than its fair share of troubles. And Shannon has the chops to make the most of the opportunity with “Smell Something” being a funky, elongated groove. The album truly takes off in the vein of Robert Cray and other quality bluesmen when Shannon gets into the rolling blues of “No Religion”. While there are no real highlights, the remaining selections are strong with the horn-laced “Who Are They?” and the particularly poignant “All I Have”, which talks about returning home to a New Orleans full of nothing but debris. But perhaps the biggest surprise is how well executed his cover of Tom Petty’s defiant “I Won’t Back Down” comes across. Then Shannon closes the record out with two lengthy jams including “Voodoo” which has its mojo working.
// Notes from the Road
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