Shannon and Heather Slaughter – Never Just a Song

You’ll find quality tracks all through this encore recording from
Shannon and Heather Slaughter. If you heard their debut and their two
solo efforts, that should come as no surprise. That doesn’t mean all 14
tracks are equally impressive. It does mean that each song has a high
quality in its presentation and musicianship, even if some of them
follow predictable grooves, either in theme or form.
Those
distinct songs number no less than six. The most recognizable is from
Hank Williams, Jr. “Feelin’ Better” is perhaps not his best-known tune
or even his best, but it does ooze attitude, a quality that Shannon’s
well-phrased baritone captures dead on. The instrumental backing is
right there as well. Acoustic instruments not withstanding, they get the
force of the original across. Better still are two country-type numbers
both sung by Heather. “Back To Birmingham,” which she helped write,
finds her reconnecting with herself by returning both mentally and
physically to her hometown. The emotion she brings to it is highly
engrossing. So too is the steel-driven, pure country of Terry Foust’s
and Shannon’s “Whiskey Colored Dreams.”
And it gets better still,
starting with the opener “Moonshiner.” If a traditional tune is going to
run up the charts, it wouldn’t be surprising if this was it. The
instrumental pop and drive is glorious, and Heather weaves in so
effortlessly it belies the power in her delivery. That’s followed by Tim
Stafford’s and Pam Tillis’ remembrance of Harley Allen, “Never Just A
Song.” No punches are pulled in the writing, nor any in Shannon’s
vocals. It’s just a great tribute all around. Then, buried deep in the
tracking, comes “There Ain’t No Need To Be Lonely.” Written in bluesy,
medium 3/4 by Bill Castle and Shannon, try to believe this wasn’t a lost
traditional classic. Enjoy.

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