*Mem Shannon and the Membership Band*

 

 
                                         
Mem is a former 15-year Bourbon Street cab driver who emerged onto the scene in 1996 with his first release, "A Cab Driver's Blues" on Hannibal/Rykodisc. The breakthrough buzz album led to national media coverage from folks like ABC World News, CBS Sunday Morning, CNN, E! Entertainment Television, The New York Times, NPR.
 
Mem has released 6 albums worldwide (2 on Rykodisc, 2 on Shanachie,2 on Northern Blues).
 
Mem has won or been nominated for a ton of "Best Of" awards for Louisiana music and national blues - including several Blues Music Association(formerly W.C. Handy Award) nominations.
 
Mem Shannon & The Membership are from New Orleans and while their music is rooted in the blues, it's soaked through with that Big Easy syncopated sound, oozing with funk.
 
Mem has been a regular on the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage festival for over fifteen years.
 
Mem and the band recently appeared on an episode of HBO's New Orleans Based series Treme performing Mem's song "Who Are They".

 

 

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A few live Appearances include

San Francisco Blues Festival                                      

Arkansas Blues & Heritage(formerly King Biscuit)               

Kingston Mines Blues Club-Chicago                                

Montreal Jazz Fest                                                 

Kansas City Jazz & Blues Fest                  

B.B. Kings Blues Club-Memphis,Los Angeles and New York

Waterfront Blues Fest

Paulie's NOLA Fest-Worcester,MA

B.B.'s Jazz Blues & Soups-St. Louis,MO

Monterey Bay Blues Fest

Tipitina's Club-New Orleans

Venezuela Tour Sponsored by the U.S. Embassy

Kerrville Folk Festival

House of Blues-Boston,New Orleans,Chicago,Orlando

 

Reno-Tahoe Jazz & Blues Fest

Bay Bridge Fest-Bay St. Louis,MS

Long Beach Blues Fest-Long Beach,CA

Telluride Blues & Brews Festival-Telluride,CO

 

 

Television:

CBS Sunday Morning,Kennedy Center Tribute to Muddy Waters-PBS

HBO's Treme

Original songs featured on: Cold Case, Harry's Law, K-Ville, Chicago Code, Damages, How to Make it in America

 

Awards:

 

Won Song of the Year ("S.U.V.") - Living Blues Critics Poll 2002


Nominated Song of the Year ("S.U.V.") - WC Handy Awards 2002


Best Blues Artist - Big Easy Entertainment Awards 2000


Best Blues Album by a Louisiana Artist - OffBeat Magazine '96


Nominated Best Blues Artist/Performer - Best of the Beat '99


Nominated Best Blues Album - Best of the Beat '99


Nominated Best New Blues Artist - W.C. Handy Awards '96


Runner-Up, Blues Newcomer on the Scene - OffBeat '96


 

 

 

Runner-Up, Best Debut Album - Living Blues Magazine '96

 

Press:

 

 

“One reason the deep-voiced Mem Shannon has become a critic and fan favorite since parking his New Orleans cab and becoming a full-time bluesman a few years back is his emphasis on original tunes rather than familiar blues standards.  He’s one of the most prolific and clever songsmiths on the current blues scene.”            Pulse Magazine, Aug. 22 ‘01

“ Mem Shannon is easily one of the most underrated guitarists in the industry.  He’s probably one of the more innovative vocalists out there, too.”                                                                                        Blues Access, Oct-Dec ‘01                                                            

“ Mem Shannon [is] a unique individual in the world of modern blues.  Sure, he’s a hot picker who owes a lot to the B.B. King school of space and tasteful playing rather than a million pentatonic scales.  And sure, his backing band The Membership can cook up a hot blues stew, spicing the affair with touches of New Orleans-style swamp rock, R&B and funk.  But what makes Shannon special is that he eschews instrumental peacocking – often not even playing solos – in favor of well-crafted songs and intelligent, literate lyrics with nary a shuffle in sight.”   “Shannon’s career is moving at a steady clip, joining artists like Robert Cray, Tab Benoit and Keb’ Mo as the new crop of literate, daring bluesmen.”   Flagpole  June 6 ‘01

"The mark of good blues is their capacity to convey common grief without falling into pathos. The secret of great blues is their righteous depth. By that criteria, Shannon deserves national enshrinement."  "Shannon is as important in his uncompromising eccentricity as young John Lee Hooker was in his. And that puts him up there with the best."  Blues To-Do's, May '99

"That's the thing about Shannon's writing: it rings so true. His guitar work is like that, too: pure, clean and straightforward."  "Mem Shannon doesn't have to ask twice to Spend Some Time with Me - like any good storyteller, it will be a pleasure to hear his musical tales again and again."  Gambit Weekly, Feb. 23 '99

"It's always a pleasure to listen to an artist who takes a genuine delight in what he does."  "The New Orleans-based singer and guitarist... just gets better with every outing. Shannon's mix of sophistication and familiarity is a potent one; he's a skillful guitar player with a rich, soulful voice who tells a story with every song, turning the listener into an appreciative confidante."  Amazon.com

"Always one to avoid tired blues cliches, Mem shifts nimbly from funk to jazz to rock to heartfelt balladry."  "...no other artist on the blues scene has the wit, insight, and compassion to write tunes with such wide ranging themes." JAZZ TIMES, May '99

About the live show:

"His playing grew in strength... taking greater risks with complex rhythms, building tension through repetition, then releasing into explosions of major chord detonations. One of those play-all-the-time guys, Shannon was a helpfully supportive rhythm player, too, uncorking as many surprises in the background as when he soloed.   His tone was sweet, his touch sure and steady and his rhythmic ideas positively percolating."                                        The Daily Gazette (Albany, NY), Aug. 4 '97

 

"Allthough the musical emphasis [of Austin’s “South by SouthWest”] was on young alternative rock acts, it was a veteran New Orleans taxi driver who ultimately drove away with the rave reviews. ...Shannon's autobiographical blues approach... effortlessly cut through the pretensions and hype with a sound that was as novel as it was sincere."     Downbeat, June '96       

"Instead of using the blues as an excuse for overblown guitar solos, [Mem] satisfies with real songs featuring sharp social observations set to imaginative arrangements. And when he dips into New Orleans funk or shows his ability as a sophisticated, jazzy picker, it doesn't feel like a genre exercise."     Boston Herald, June 20 '97

 

"Blues is, of course, best served up raw, gritty and packed with soul. It shouldn't be any other way, and when it comes to Mem Shannon's gorgeous songs and guitar playing, it certainly isn't."   Seattle Times, May 22 '97

 

"...Shannon is so incredibly talented that his music doesn't sound like anyone else's.... He's a superior guitarist, too, and a natural-born entertainer. The only thing holding him back is his own originality and that will soon turn to his advantage."    Blues To-Do's, May '97

 

 

 

 

for bookings:drguitphunky@yahoo.com ,ph.504.616.3570

 

Copyright © 2011 Mem Shannon-All Rights Reserved