Mem Shannon & The Membership
by Don Brown Sr.
The Blues Internet
Las Vegas Jazz n' Blues
Boulder Blues Site
From driving a cab in New Orleans to being a Handy Award nominee, Mem Shannon has seen and done it all. This knowledge also helps him relate to his audience and write songs. Mem and his band, The Membership, brought their current tour to Las Vegas and Boulder Station.
Not a flashy guitar player like some of his contemporaries, Shannon is a solid performer with some great tunes. The opening song, "HOW I LIVE MY LIFE", showed just what I mean about Mem. "PLAY THE GUITAR SON" and "IF YOU AIN'T GONNA GET FUNKY" added some of that New Orleans flavor to his set. Mem's song "I LOVE THE WAY YOU LOVE" lead into "I'LL BE DAMNED IF IT'S FAIR".
The band next performed a cover of B.B. King's "WHY I SING THE BLUES". This lead to keyboard player Robert Dabon's intro into "NOT MY FRIEND", which fueled that song. "INVISIBLE MAN", another of Mem's fine story songs, featured a driving bass riff by Joe Butts.
The 2002 Handy nominated song, "S.U.V.", showed Mem at his storytelling best, telling a crazy tale of a foolish SUV driver. The set was concluded with the Cajun classic "BLACK CAT BONE", to the delight of his fans.
Editors Note: "S.U.V." was just named SONG OF THE YEAR by Living Blues Magazine in their annual Living Blues Awards Critics Poll. It's in the current June/July edition of the magazine.
Photography by R.J. Bianchino copyright © 2002 Moondog Productions
also Caught Live! go to Duke Robillard: Jazz n' Blues Guitar
Little Charlie & the Nightcats
The Hadden Sayers Band
Mem Shannon in 2001
Big Bill Morganfield
Joe Louis Walker