"Buckets of Rain" from the album No Expectations
Any worrisome concerns over Shannon Whitworth's departure from the Biscuit Burners can be placed on the shelf. The Burners are thriving, and, with the release of Whitworth's hauntingly beautiful solo debut, the group's mitosis is complete.
Delivering her elegant drawl with graceful ease, Shannon sings about the pleasant lonesomeness of missing her lover while they travel apart, and the gentle frustration of growing older and defining relationships. Album-opener "Here But Never Home" kicks off with Whitworth's distinctive, hard-hitting claw-hammer banjo, backed by a powerful fiddle and her tale of a woman hardened by farm life, always wanting more out of existence but loyal to her fate. "But the clouds moved on/And my skin grew tough/And my heart grew that of stone/Well I stayed everyday/But love left my heart/For I'm a wife but I'm never home."
"Song For You" and "Teach Me How to Fly" harken back to Nashville days gone by, leaving you wishing Hank Sr. was still around for Shannon to harmonize "Honky Tonkin'" with. When she sings "You've been lookin' for an angel" over a meandering dobro lead on title track "No Expectations," there's an overwhelming sense of innocent sultriness to it all.
In a world of female musicians selling their look before their sound, Whitworth aptly demonstrates that there's nothing sexier than a passionate woman. What man could resist a blue-eyed, black-haired girl coyly crooning "You rhyme with love/You fall with grace/You sin with truth and leave no trace/Brother bring me home/Unpack your suitcase?" Few would ever leave town again. Mixed with an expert hand in production, including just the right textures of acoustic, fiddle, and dobro fills, Shannon Whitworth has created a defining album that's perfect to wake up to, a stress reliever in the car, and a voice that will sing you back into sweet dream-land. (www.myspace.com/shannonwhitworth)
Shannon Whitworth performs at the Pour House on Thurs. Sept. 27.