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Shannon Curfman - What You’re Getting Into

Purdy Records

10 tracks/41 minutes

It sure doesn’t seem like eleven years have passed since Shannon Curfman made a big splash as a fourteen year-old guitar phenom with a debut recording that garnered widespread critical acclaim. Curfman was touted as a blues musician but the reality is that she really is a serious rocker with the guitar chops to justify the attention she has received.

Her new release throws the spotlight on Curfman’s powerful singing voice that she effectively uses to wring every bit of emotion out of each track. One minute she can belt it out with gospel fervor on a cover of Eric Clapton’s “The Core”, then shows her range on some glorious harmony singing on the chorus of “All I Have”. The title track finds Curfman adopting a tough vocal stance ringing out over multiple guitars including a wicked slide guitar part.

Occasionally a blues lick pops up in the mix but this disc is a solid rock record with plenty of crunching guitar licks, like the cover of Brian May’s “Dragon Attack”. There are four guitar players listed in the credits in addition to Curfman. Wade Thompson handles the bass and Paul Mayasich is in the drum chair. Lucy Curfman and Nels Urtel add the backing vocals. Curfman co-produced the disc with Jason Miller, who also plays several instruments including guitar.

Curfman injects some hip-hop influences on “Curious” and makes effective use of her effects pedals in support of a strong vocal performance. Another highlight is ferocious rendition of “Oh Well”. Curfman skips the resignation of Peter Green’s original in favor of genuine anger and disdain shouted out over a swirling backdrop of massed guitars. “Heaven is in Your Mind,” describes a woman looking for love and willing to take a chance without fearing what may come down the road. Curfman adds an element of funk in celebration of the power of music on “Free Your Mind”.

This is a very impressive effort, showing that Curfman has matured as an artist. Every song has an impressive musical arrangement and Curfman shines, whether on guitar or with her dynamic singing. It may not be blues but it is nonetheless a recording that deserves to be heard by anyone who appreciates good music.

Reviewer Mark Thompson is president of the Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford. IL 

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