In 1999 Memphis Bluesman Preston Shannon was in the running for three Grammy nominations stemming from his third record "All In Time", which was produced by Willie Mitchell. Quite a feat for an authentic Soul Blues singer these days. It looked like Shannon could possibly crossover into the coveted B.B. King-Thrill-Is-Gone/Robert Cray-Smoking-Gun mainstream success echelon. Then something remarkable happened...nothing. There was no follow up record to keep momentum. The iron grew cold. Shannon kept playing, ever solidifying his musical prowess on the Memphis concert scene (named "Entertainer of the Year" countless times by the Beale Street Merchants Association) but no further recordings until now.
Blessed with a raspy Bobby Womack-like voice and able guitar fingers, Preston was originally born in Olive Branch, Mississippi. Shannon's family moved to Memphis when he was eight. Shannon cut his teeth with a local bar band called Amnesty, followed by other Memphis-area bands while working days at a hardware company. But he became a full time musician when he scored a spot in Soul great Shirley Brown's band. It wasn't until 1991 that he put together his own band and began playing the clubs on Beale Street and other hot spots. In the early 1990s, he was discovered playing a blues club by producer Ron Levy who brought Shannon to Rounder Records. "Break The Ice" came in 1994 featuring the Memphis Horns and it made certain the live magic of Shannon's show carried over to the studio. Next Shannon was fitted with legendary Hi Records producer Willie Mitchell (Al Green, Otis Clay) and delivered one of the best Soul Blues records of the past 25 years. In fact it is ranked #8 on Blues Critic's "Greatest 100 Soul Blues & Southern Soul Albums 1980-2005". The record was nominated for a Grammy Award. In 1999 came "All In Time", again with Mitchell, and further accolades were heaped upon this new artist- the next big thing? Fast forward through an inexplicable 7 years to his brand new CD "Be With Me Tonight", which picks up right where he left off.
"Break The Ice" (Bullseye Blues 1994)
"Midnight In Memphis" (Bullseye Blues 1996)
1. 'Round Midnight
"All In Time" (Bullseye Blues 1999)
1. Just Between Me
and My Woman
"Be With Me Tonight" (Title Tunes 2006) LISTEN
1. I Might Be Your
"Goin' Back To Memphis" (Continental Blue Heaven 2010)
reissue of "Be With Me Tonight" above
"Dust My Broom" (Continental Record Services 2014)
1. Done Somebody