Shawn Pittman – Stompin’ Solo
Must Have Music
15 songs time – 42:21
I’ve known the name Shawn Pittman but over the years never knowingly heard his mainly electric blues-rock, guitar playing, singer-song-writer music. Partly due to being confined by the pandemic and partly to strengthen his skills as a solo artist, he put together this CD of just him accompanied by his acoustic guitar. The effort consists of nine originals and six cover songs all with the ghost of traditional blues ever present. The Oklahoman native having spent a large portion of his career in Texas, with a Texas country blues rugged sort of vibe. His voice imparts a world wise feeling in its’ hearty throaty-ness. His finger-picked and occasional slide guitar is right up there with the best in the field. The listener’s interest is kept by the variety of approaches. Not an easy feat unless you have command of your instrument like Shawn has.
A jaunty upbeat boogie instrumental by Texas ‘songster’ Mance Lipscomb called “Mance’s Rock” is a fit welcome. You can just about see the dirt road dust kick up in the tasty fingerpicked guitar ditty “Ode To Texas”. His guitar dexterity is put on display on “Talk Didn’t Do No Good”. “Early In The Morning” finds him unleashing some ragged slide guitar. He creates a catchy guitar riff on the infectious “Take A Real Good Look”.
He continues his Texas influence on the two remaining instrumentals. Lightnin’ Hopkins’ “Lightnin’s Stomp” is a joyful romp. The other Mance Lipscomb tune “Spanish Flang Dang” is an exotic little tune. I’ve also heard it played by Mississippi John Hurt.
He covers Johnny Guitar Watson’s upbeat “Sweet Lovin’ Mamma” and commits a nice version of Jimmy Rogers’ “That’s Alright”. On the latter he uses a bit of a Jimmy Reed groove. The rather silly “Fly Swattin’ Woman” recalls the delivery of Paul Geremia. His voice is echoed on the co-written “No Such Thing” giving it an other-worldly vibe. Much the same technique is applied on his original “Pressin’ Your Luck”.
Shawn carries on the acoustic blues tradition while keeping it fresh and appealing. He helps the tradition live on while adding to it. It’s a welcome change of pace from the usual deluge of electric blues.