Mem Shannon

A Cab Driver's Blues

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Mem Shannon's first album, A Cab Driver's Blues, became a minor media sensation upon its 1995 release due to circumstance more than music. Shannon's story is fascinating -- he's a New Orleans taxi driver who wanted to get out of the business and become a bluesman. That's basically what all the songs on the album are about, whether they're about the job ("5th Ward Horseman," "$17.00 Brunette"), domestic problems ("My Baby's Been Watching TV") or just life in general ("Food Drink and Music," "Ode to Benny Hill"). Shannon's songs have so much specificity and detail that they wind up being much more interesting than the average contemporary blues album. Also, his warm, laidback musical style is idiosyncratic and unpredictable. His delivery is friendly and conversational -- he often sounds as if he's singing directly to the listener. And it's that special, intimate quality that makes A Cab Driver's Blues a truly unique and special contemporary blues record.

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