Reviewed by Margaret Moser, Fri., May 24, 2002
Shawn PittmanFull Circle Austin's once-vibrant blues scene is now a tough row for the up-and-comers to hoe thanks to it having once been such fertile ground. Shawn Pittman isn't afraid of the past or the present, and his new CD Full Circle melds the two very neatly. It's a promising start too, with his own composition, "New King in Town," proclaiming his arrival. Bad choice, however, following it with a song associated locally with the Fabulous Thunderbirds and then a Bobby Blue Bland cover. Not because the respective "Running Shoes" and "I Smell Trouble" are poor recordings. They're not. It's just that Pittman proves more than competent as a songwriter and guitarist-vocalist on the subsequent "Distress Signal" and "It's Your Turn," indicating he can carry the opening tracks by himself. Well, not quite by himself. He drafted Double Trouble's Tommy Shannon and Chris Layton for most of the 11 songs as well as former T-Birds bassist Preston Hubbard (who also plays in Pittman's band), so the musicianship is impeccable. Calling yourself "king" in the town that the Vaughans rule is risky, but the baby-faced Pittman, with his smoldering Elvis eyes, is no pretender to the throne.