Blues guitarist/vocalist Shawn Pittman releases his thirteenth album, Make It Right (Continental Blue Heaven Records), on May 5. 2020. So far, so good for the Tulsa, OK-based musician.
Although he’s often closely associated with the Lone Star State since originally taking up residence in Dallas in the early ‘90s, vocalist/guitarist Shawn Pittman is actually an Oklahoma native. Pittman was born in the small town of Talihina and raised in Cleveland County, Oklahoma. At age eight he began taking piano lessons under the encouragement of his mother, but later began sneaking into his older brother’s room to play his drum kit. By age fourteen he had switched to guitar and was soon introduced to the mysterious sounds of Lightnin’ Hopkins and Muddy Waters by Bracken Hale, a good friend and member of his middle school football team.
Their friendship would prove significant as Hale would later collaborate with Pittman on writing material for several of his albums. A friend he met while playing basketball at the local ‘Y’; Ben Bigby, introduced teenage Pittman to his father Bernard in Little Axe, Oklahoma. Pittman recalls: “Bernard showed me Jimmy Reed, Elmore James, and Albert King. He also told me I need to learn to sing. I took his advice.”
After seven years in Dallas (1993-1999) and fourteen years in Austin (2000-2013), Pittman moved to Broken Arrow, Oklahoma where he now resides closer to family. He also took time off to earn a degree in Information Technology. Pittman released his 11th album Backslidin Again in 2015. In January, 2018 Shawn recorded his 12th album Everybody Wants to Know with longtime friend and drummer Jay Moeller. The album was released on the European label CrossCut Records in the fall of 2018. Fast-forward two years to Spring, 2020: Pittman returns with Make It Right, in partnership with Netherlands-based Continental Record Services (CRS). As he looks past and forward, he shares, “I have had many obstacles on my road just like anybody that has embarked on this lifestyle, some self-inflicted, but through my failures I have learned invaluable lessons about life and people, and my strengths as well as my weaknesses. As an artist I feel like I am just beginning. The one constant I have had is the desire to be great at what I do. The late Clifford Antone told me “It’s all about making friends.” I combine that piece of advice with something B.B. King told me when I asked him his secret for longevity: “Treat people how you want to be treated, and remember everybody has a Boss.”
What The Media is Saying…
“Whether you’re a fan of Texas or not, there is one undeniable fact, few regions of the United States has produced more excellent guitarists than the Lone Star State. Those guitarists have influenced more musicians than any other regional group of artists. Add Shawn Pittman to that list! Pittman’s new album “Make It Right” is loaded with the best blues-rock you will find just about anywhere. This recording is destined to be a classic…a “can’t miss,” musical adventure. Don’t pass on this one. The Soul Man warned ya!”
“Make It Right is a riveting, blues-drenched, inspired return to the studio for this Texas guitar slinger that now calls Tulsa home, the result of an unplanned stop at an analog studio outside of Copenhagen while on a European tour last fall. Make It Right has a live and spontaneous feel that we’ve expect from great blues records — a modern blues record made the old-fashioned way, resulting in a timeless experience as much about the feeling as the music itself. Exquisitely cool.”
“Shawn Pittman’s thirteenth release, Make It Right, hooked me from the git-go. Pittman’s guitar performances are amazing, and he sounds so damn good as he maneuvers from crisp and twangy, to dirty and swampy. The delectable slow droning riff on “Done Tole You So” called out to me like a R.L. Burnside song. It embraces that North Mississippi Hill country sound, and I love every bit of it. Make it Right is one killer record. This is definitely one album you want to pick up.”
“Old School? New School? Who Cares? Make It Right is simply a Masterclass In The Blues…the album opens with “Done Tole You So” and has a strong groove punctuated by Pittman’s stinging slide riffs. The vintage sounds of “Let It Go” and “Fair Weather Friend” both feature how fluent and dexterous a guitar player Shawn Pittman is. The album is entitled “Make it Right” and Shawn Pittman has certainly done that and has at least added one new fan with myself.”
“Shawn Pittman is a multi-instrumentalist with enormous talent. Make It Right has something for just about every taste and if this is the album that opens the door to exploring all of his other works, then kick that door down and let’s all check out his catalog.”
“Surely the Texan roots of music can be heard, as well as the influence of the boogie and trance blues string that originates from John Lee Hooker onwards…”
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