Shannon Slaughter, guitarist and vocalist with Lou Reid and Carolina, is working on a solo project that will showcase both his muscular vocal style, and his clever and thoughtful songwriting. He has been recording this month at Eastwood Studio in Cana, VA and tells us that he has completed 13 tracks with just one more to go.
Much of the new project was recorded with members of County Clare, a group that features Slaughter and his wife Heather, along with former Quicksilver banjo picker Joey Cox and ex-Kenny & Amanda Smith mandolinist Ronald Inscore. County Clare performs regionally in the western Virginia and North Carolina market, as Shannon’s schedule allows. In addition to his work with Carolina, he teaches history and coaches football at St. Stephens High School in Hickory, NC.
Slaughter has been something of a fixture in this part of the country, playing in a variety of bands since he moved to the Blue Ridge region from north Florida to attend college at Radford University in the early 1990s. He spent time with Virginia headliners Lost and Found and Lonesome River Band, and also toured for several years with Melonie Cannon.
Eight of Shannon’s original songs will be included on this CD, along with two from Tim Stafford. Lou Reid and Shawn Lane are singing some harmony, as are Jeff Parker and Barry Berrier. He is especially excited about featuring his wife Heather on one track, whose vocal prowess Shannon describes in especially glowing terms.
Also participating instrumentally are Trevor Watson, who plays banjo with Shannon in Lou’s band, Tracy Burcham on bass, Rob Ickes on resonator guitar and Ron Stewart on fiddle.
The current plan is to finish tracking in late July and set to mixing shortly thereafter. Hopefully this project will get some attention from the bluegrass labels. Shannon is a talented bluegrass artist, and I’m glad to hear that he is finally doing an album under his own name.