Shannon Slaughter is an artist with a smooth contemporary sound, that by the same token packs a lot of punch. His latest release, Ridin’ Through The Country, not only displays this further, but it presents Slaughter’s originality as a writer and a vocalist.
The title song, Ridin’ Through The Country, describes rural sights in a fashion that’s not too stereotypical. This track along with several others on this project pairs Shannon with Shawn Lane and his son Grayson. The three men have a seamless vocal blend that works exceptionally well, particularly on this song.
Common Ground, written by David Stewart and Linda Buell, is a piece with a great message about having shared experiences with one another despite our differences and circumstances in life.
Plus One More Day by Tim Stafford and Bobby Starnes is a driving song revolving around the classic bluegrass theme of a man going to prison. This track is strengthened by the instrumental talents of mandolinist Adam Steffey, banjoist Jason Davis, fiddler Aubrey Haynie, and bassist Cliff Bailey.
There’s two songs on Ridin’ Through The Country that are truly standouts. I Let Her Go is an incredibly moving track that details the ups and downs of a romantic relationship in a way that no other song has before. Many emotions are captured in this piece flawlessly.
The other standout, She’s Got Him Right Where She Wanted Me, co-written by Slaughter and Ryan Carroll, is more of a country oriented piece about the freedom of breaking away from a dissatisfied lover. The harmony vocals by Edgar Loudermilk and Dustin Pyrtle, as well as the pedal steel guitar playing by the great Doug Jernigan, are such nice additions to an already well-crafted song.
Bloody Bill and Hard A’Port are both centered around historical themes. The former, co-written by Slaughter and Barney Rogers tells the story of Bill Anderson, a Confederate guerilla who wanted revenge against Union loyalists in the period after the Civil War in the Midwest. The latter, by Barry Stinson and Slaughter, tells of a navy captain who goes against the idea of running a slave ship.
The closing track, That’s Where My Music Comes From, co-written by Slaughter and David Stewart is somewhat of an autobiographical piece as it details similar experiences in Slaughter and Stewart’s days as young boys in Florida.
Ridin’ Through The Country shows how Shannon Slaughter has stayed true to his brand of music. While he is firm in his stylistic approach, it doesn’t limit his originality. This project shows an even broader scope to his creativity as a songwriter. This is a recording that any listener can relate to on some level.