by Janet Goodman
“I’m searching for resolution to this drive I have inside/Always has me wired and movin’/Yeah, it keeps me up late most nights, you know.” These are the opening lines of folk rocker Shane Lamb’s new CD “Better Here,” giving listeners a peek into the state of mind of this songwriter. Compelled to write and ready to record in mid- 2010, but frustratingly delayed by the historic floods plus a tour, the artist saw this ten-self-penned song project through, where it can now be a proud sophomore sibling to his well-received 2009 debut “Disengage.”
Produced by the Grammy-winning Casey Wood, and recorded live in the studio in Nashville, “Better Here” is a reflection of all things honored and honed in Lamb’s creative life: clean and stellar guitar work, thoughtful and introspective lyrics, and neo-80s, Petty-esque melodic choruses.
This sought-after sessions player, who has toured with guitar great Lee Roy Parnell, has kicked it up a notch on his electric solos and turn arounds, making his solid display a highlight of the album. His past effort was laden with saxophone, but this time Hammond m3 and Wurlitzer pick up the sonic paintbrush to color the tracks with washes of soul.
Humming country rock ballad, “Just One More Time,” is given a dreamy feel with lots of pedal steel and Lamb’s soft and sleepy delivery, where he shows his unexpected upper register. An arrangement of haunting, overlapping layers of steel, slide and organ help the artist glide through “Nothing Left To Say,” and his unpretentious, whispery vocals fit well with harmonies, and they muster clarity and strength when needed.
Lamb has a knack for describing mature relationships against a lyrical landscape of burnt prairies and winter-bare branches without any bitterness. In “I See Now,” he tells us, “Once was regret that came with your name/Now there’s a peace that comes today/And I see now, I couldn’t slow down/Long enough for our love to take hold.” His words are honest without being heavy, all the while ripping guitars optimistically leave us open to all possibilities.
Visit the artist’s website at www.shanelambmusic.com
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