Various Artists

Shut Up and Shag

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Although this is a "various-artists" album, it's absolutely not a compilation -- rather, it's more like a kind of North Carolina beach music super session, a set of new recordings by a bunch of friends and colleagues who were recruited by producer Keith Houston, his wife Paige, and DJ (and club owner) Bill Mason to do this collection of established first-rate beach music tunes (with two new numbers thrown in for good measure). The result is a mostly powerful and compelling set of performances by artists who sound committed to the songs and the occasion, drawn from across the beach music spectrum. It's all first-rate music with a great beat and smooth, soaring vocals, with C.C. Kirkland's "Lovin' Proof" perhaps the highlight -- if it's possible to settle on one track -- of a CD that's filled with great listening for R&B listeners and beach music enthusiasts.

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