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Shawn Lane

All For Today – 2003 (Rebel)

Reviewed by Kevin Oliver

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CDs by Shawn Lane

On his solo debut, Blue Highway mandolin player and vocalist Shawn Lane shows not just the results of many years with his current band mates (most of whom show up here in supporting roles), but influences both traditional and contemporary, from his years with Doyle Lawson's Quicksilver and Ricky Skaggs' Kentucky Thunder band.

There's a gospel song, "Christ, The Lord," but Lane doesn't stop there, adding folk balladry ("Darlin' Nellie Across the Sea," storytelling country ("Jesse And Me"), and some emotionally gut-wrenching compositions like "Beach Of Death," which deals with postwar veterans and "I Call Him Son," where Lane sings of a father who treats his stepson as if he were his own.

Lane's tenor vocals have always been a highlight of Blue Highway's albums, and he doesn't disappoint here. Lane adds to his usual repertoire, however, taking on fiddle, guitar, and production chores also. He does so much here.