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Shawn King - In My Own Backyard
By: Cheryl Harvey Hill, Sr. Staff Journalist

This past week has been beyond hectic and, to tell you the truth, I really wasn't up to reviewing any album, let alone one by an artist that I was unfamiliar with. So, with my deadline looming, it was with great reluctance that I put this CD in my player. I gathered up my notes and hit the "play" button; as "In My Own Backyard" came floating out of my speakers, I found myself smiling and I leaned back in my chair. I pushed the keyboard away and slid a piece of paper in front of myself. I knew I needed to make notes so I picked up a pencil. I wrote, "track 1 - awesome voice/harmony/really nice banjo."

I think that by the end of the third track, a bluesy, earthy number with the appropriate title of "Blue Dress," I was so into the voice and the music that I had stopped thinking of anything else; I was just listening to the songs. By half way through the fourth track, "The Place Your Love Calls Home," this wonderfully serene voice had led me to a calm and comfortable place and by the end of the last note of track fifteen, I was leaning all the way back in my chair, feet propped up and perfectly tranquil. It actually took me a moment to realize that the album was over. On the piece of paper that was to contain my notes I had only added "track 3 - great, track 4 - WOW, <----track 5." That is the extent of my notes and the reason is that I was just so into the listening that I quit writing; quite honestly, a lot of the time I just closed my eyes and let myself get lost in the lyrics and the voice. I really needed a break from the craziness of this world and Shawn King came calling right In My Own Backyard. The entire album, from start to finish was pure pleasure.

Almost as soon as this album was released, folks questioned whether or not it was actually "country." I'm not totally certain if several of the instrumental arrangements qualify as "country" but when you hear King's bell-clear vocals on songs like "In My Own Backyard," "Ghost of a Chance," and "Closet of Ruby Red Slippers;" well, for the betterment of the genre, I hope she stays with country.

There were several stand out tracks and, believe me, picking just a few from fifteen tracks wasn't easy. I really enjoyed the way King delivered "Blue Dress." She seemed to effortlessly alter her voice to accommodate the sultry feeling of the lyrics. It was definitely one of my favorite tracks. I loved the lyrics on "Strength in Numbers," but that could be because I totally related and King's vocal delivery is perfection.

After listening to her album from first note to last, it came as no surprise to learn that she has been singing for most of her life. Her father was Vice President of A&R for Capital Records and her mother was a successful studio singer in Hollywood. According to her bio, King got her own singing career started at the ripe old age of three as a "studio vocalist"; yep, three. This would certainly explain her comfort level in front of a mic.

I thoroughly enjoyed this album. I am a definite fan of King's voice and I think her choice of songs borders on brilliant, with the exception of the final track, but there is a reason for including it so I'm willing to not let it affect how I feel about the whole album. On a scale of one to ten; this one is a perfect ten.

Stand out tracks: "In My Own Backyard", "Blue Dress," "Ghost of a Chance," "Strength in Numbers" "First Kiss," "I Sail," "Love Unspoken"

Buy The CD Now!

In My Own Backyard song list:

1. In My Own Backyard 
2. Find Me 
3. The Blue Dress 
4. The Place Your Love Calls Home 
5. The Ghost of a Chance 
6. I Pray 
7. Strength in Numbers 
8. First Kiss
9. Closet of Ruby Red 
10. I Sail 
11. Love Unspoken 
12. Sorry But I Love You 
13. In This Room 
14. My Saving Grace 
15. Big, Bad Love

Related Links:
www.ShawnKing.com - Official Website

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Real People Reviews

I heard her sing on THE VIEW a while back, LOVED her voice, LOVED the song, ran out and bought the CD. Incredible voice, this CD has brought many lovely moments and memories for me. Thank you Shawn!
~ Dee



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