Country Music People March 2019 - Page 37

SHAWN FENNER Bad Decisions  Bad Decisions / Love Triangle / Late Nights / Above The Clouds / Tales From The Barside / Until You / Misery & Gin / Sad Lonesome Broken Hearted / Light It And Run / Too Late For Coffee / The House Always Wins / Ring Of Fire Producer: not listed Independent 40:49 Shawn Fenner just keeps getting better. Not just that but he’s getting plenty of practice with three albums in three years. He’s been a firm favourite with me since day one, with his hardcore country sound and rather droll vocal style which I personally find very appealing, but for his latest he has excelled himself. Take a look at some of the song titles. Tales From The Barside; I knew I was going to love it before I’d even listened with a title like that, and it was exactly as I might have hoped it would be. Too Late For Coffee; I had an idea in my head where that one might go, and whilst I might not have seen the beachy vibe coming, it delivered – “Is it too late for coffee or too early for beer?” - that’ll do it. The House Always Wins is another great title, and another terrific song in which our protagonist ‘stays home’. Yes, there’s a bunch of honky tonkin’ and drinking with a ton of steel and fiddle but Fenner also tackles rather more serious issues on Light It And Run Like Hell. There are a couple of covers: Haggard’s Misery And Gin and JC’s Ring Of Fire. For me Misery And Gin works better but that’s most likely just because Ring Of Fire has been rather done to death. I suspect there’s a little pressure on Fenner to include Ring Of Fire because of the slight Cash-ness to his voice, and it’s not as if he’s murdered it, I just could’ve done without it, again. Sad Lonesome Broken Hearted is another that delivers on its title and may be even one of my highlights in an album full of ’em. Shawn Fenner can channel all the despair, sadness, and loneliness of all the classic honky tonkers in every song. He can tell a story such as in Tales From The Barside or Light It And Run Like Hell but his way with words is equalled by his way with melody and rhythm and that is the killer combination. Three seconds in to any Shawn Fenner song and you couldn’t be listening to anything but country and I like it that way. I think he does too. Duncan Warwick MARCH 2019 - cmp 37