Shannon Slaughter - Never Standing Still
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Never Standing Still (Elite Circuit, 2017)

Shannon Slaughter

Reviewed by Devin Adams

The cover shows Shannon Slaughter, carrying a guitar case, walking down the centerline of an old country road. To the casual observer this may seem like a traditional shot coming from a country boy, and it is, but really it is much more than that. The picture is a representation of the line the Alabama artist walks between bluegrass and country music.

Slaughter, formerly a member of the Lonesome River Band, often toes the centerline, keeping a fine balance between country and bluegrass sounds, other times he starts to swerve. "Lonely Trail of Tears" and "I Was A Farmer" are firmly planted on the bluegrass side of the road while others, like "Trying To Be My Own Man," trade out Trevor Watson's banjo roll for a Doug Jernigan steel guitar ride that takes things to the other side of the yellow line.

"Never Standing Still" creates great dynamic weaving in and out of bluegrass and country music, sometimes blending the two and sometimes keeping them separate, but Slaughter adds to that dynamic with a touch of gospel in "Love Is A Cross And Three Nails" and "He Moved A Mountain." "Dying to Live Again" (also a great play on words) showcases Slaughter's wife, Heather, on lead vocals while Shannon sings harmony. The two trade vocal duty on the fun and playful Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton classic duet "Better Move it on Home."

Slaughter is joined by stellar talent such as Randy Kohrs on Dobro and harmony along side Steve Gulley and Lou Reid as well as Shawn Lane, Ron Stewart and Tim Crouch taking turns on fiddle. Ron Inscore and Cliff Bailey fill out the sounds on mandolin and bass respectively. Slaughter's songwriting chops are also well fleshed out having a hand in writing more than half the songs included.

"Never Standing Still" is a strong showing. Slaughter's singing and writing talent is evident on both sides of the road, whether bluegrass or country, and benefiting from strong material and fantastic musicians along for the ride.

CDs by Shannon Slaughter

Never Standing Still, 2017

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