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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Born Under A Bad Sign - Preston Shannon

Hailed as the reigning "King of Beale Street", Memphis' own Preston Shannon is a powerful guitarist with a compelling and soulful voice that sounds like a cross between Otis Redding and Bobby Womack. Shannon toured for a couple of years as a member of soul singer Shirley Brown's band; in concert he sang Womack's part in the soul duet Brown had done years before with Womack himself. Known to have performed on Bourbon Street and in Memphis area casinos, Shannon is a singer guitarist who can solo himself through a fire-breathing set of slick, urban blues. Preston exemplifies to many listeners the power of Southern "deep soul" - hoarse, gritty vocals, brassy arrangements, and an emotional way with both party tunes and aching ballads. Shannon's lush guitar playing contains echoes of the Kings . . . Albert & B.B., as well as T-Bone Walker and rhythmic sensibilities of Little Milton. His albums more than adequately showcase his remarkable resiliency as a talented singer who alternates up-tempo, gospel inspired numbers with slower, soulful love songs and ballads. Beginnings Born in Olive Branch, Mississippi, Shannon's family moved to Memphis when he was eight. Although his Pentecostal parents didn't initially accept his fascination with blues music, they eventually did when they saw how serious he was about pursuing the music for his livelihood. The seeds of his enduring talent were sown deep in the blues-rich Mississippi Delta and his specialty is a blend of Southern soul and blues and his albums and live shows, always with a horn section, are an eclectic mix of danceable, grooving tunes and slow, soulful ballads.

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