King Curtis once recorded a groovy tune on which he described and demonstrated the recipe for "Memphis Soul Stew" ("a pound of fatback drums," "a half pint of horns," "a pinch of organ," etc.). Midnight in Memphis is like a Memphis Blues Stew seasoned with chunks of soul; it combines every tasty ingredient to be found in both the blues and soul cookbooks. Co-producers Ron Levy (an aficionado of the Memphis sound) and Willie Mitchell (one of the creators of that sound) work with guitarist/vocalist Shannon (a regular on the current Memphis scene) to create one of the strongest contemporary soul-blues albums of the decade. On cuts like the slow-burner "The Feeling Is Gone," the sexual epic "The Clock," and the knockout "Size 12 Shoes," Shannon's gritty vocals convey so much commitment and authority as to enthrall the listener, especially when the CD is played loud as it obviously was meant to be. Shannon hit the ground running on his debut album Break the Ice. On Midnight in Memphis he soars.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Hoffman