New Orleans native Mem Shannon is one of the more intriguing young blues stars to emerge in the last decade. A professional musician from his teen years onward, he worked in rock, Gospel and R&B groups, honing his guitar playing and singing skills until family obligations forced him into an extended stint driving a cab. This experience formed the basis for many of the songs on his critically acclaimed debut A Cab Driver's Blues (1995). Soon after, the media latched onto the story of the blues-singing cabbie and his career took off. Shannon is an evocatively soulful singer with a booming baritone voice, but he's also a mercurial guitarist with a Funk player's sense of syncopation and a well honed sense of Albert King-like dynamics. His records mine a deep Soul Blues groove full of funky brass playing and rubbery backbeats.