Review: Shawn Pittman – Undeniable

Posted on: Friday, Oct 15, 2010

SHAWN PITTMAN
“Undeniable”
(self-release)

The Austin-based guitarist and singer, Shawn Pittman, is nothing if not prolific . . . releasing four albums in the last two years, with nine in total . . . and here on “Undeniable” he is on terrific form, fronting a tight trio on 11 tracks of no-frills good rocking blues, highlighting his superb guitar work and tough voice. He’s not a flashy player by any means, with no lengthy solos,  but lays down some scintillating grooves here.

The rest of the crew here are Pat Schramm (bass and rhythm guitar) and Jason Moeller (drums), with Bracken Hall on bass on just one track, with a nice production by Pittman himself and Stuart Sullivan, and recorded on home turf at Wire Recording Studios in Austin.

The mid-tempo shuffle of “Hard To Hold On” gets things underway in fine style, with plenty of trademark guitar . . . I think it’s fair to say that Texas guitar legend Jimmie Vaughan is a big influence . . . and certainly the playing recalls his ‘less-is-more’ style. “Young Girl” is another song with that classic Fabulous Thunderbirds groove, and that’s always fine as far as I am concerned; “Change Of Heart” completes a glorious first three tracks, with soulful vocal from Pittman here.

“Who’s Your Man” is a breakneck rocker . . . not a million miles from the type of tune the great Nick Curran records . . . with more fiery guitar work, and the following “The Hard Way” rides on a killer Texas guitar groove. Things are slowed down on “Somebody, Please”, a nice slow blues with another impassioned vocal and flurries of dynamite guitar. “Righteous Woman” is possibly my favourite track, where the rhythm section of Pat Schramm and Jason Moeller just nail the groove . . . the longest track on the album and a gem!

Pittman throws a curveball in on “Blues For Juanita”, where he lays down his guitar to play some top boogie piano on this instrumental; but is back on guitar for the dowhhome blues of “Mindin’ My Own Business . . . with its nagging riff recalling the old tune, “Forty Four” that is probably best known for the Howlin’ Wolf version. This belting album ends in fine style with a rip-roaring boogie instrumental on “Lookin’ Good”, a variation on the Junior Parker song.

GRAHAME RHODES

www.shawnpittman.com

www.myspace.com/shawnpittmanband

Footnote: Since this release, Shawn Pittman has another cd out, billed as Shawn Pittman With The Moeller Brothers – six tracks entitled “Triple Troubles” – featuring Johnny Moeller on guitar, and brother Jason on drums.

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