Make It Right!
Continental Blue Heaven
Shawn Pittman was born in 1974, in Talihina Oklahoma, approximately 100 miles from Tulsa. His grandmother played boogie-woogie but instead of learning piano he picked up the guitar. He was influenced by the musicians he heard on the radio including Jimmy Reed, Elmore James and Hound Dog Taylor. When he was seventeen he relocated to Dallas to live with his in-laws, and hung out at the club Schooners, where he introduced himself to Anson Funderburgh, and Sam Myers. He worked with the Bramhall Brothers; the Holy Moellers, Jay and Johnny, and Mike Morgan.
Pittman recorded his debut album in 1996, but it wasn’t released until two years later, renamed “Burnin’ Up”, it was one of the first issued on Ron Levy’s Cannonball Records. His next two albums were produced by Jim Gaines; 1999’s “Somethings Gotta Give” also on Cannonball, and 2001’s independently released “Full Circle” with bassist Tommy Shannon and the Moeller Brothers. The following five albums were mostly self-released including 2010’s “Triple Troubles” also recorded with the Moellers. In 2011 Pittman signed with Delta Groove Records and released “Edge of The World” co-produced with Jeff Scott Fleenor; Pittman played electric, acoustic and slide guitars, piano, bass and drums. His last album, his twelfth, was 2018’s “Everybody Wants To Know” with Jay Moeller, released on Cross Cut Records.
In September of 2019, Pittman returned to Europe where he had often played. His tour manager was also his bassist Erkan Ozdemir, and his drummer Erkan’s son Levent. Time allowed the trio to record and they found the Heyman Studios in Copenhagen to be full of analog equipment able to achieve that warm sound preferred by Pittman. If Pittman’s music is to be described as blues-rock it is important to stress that he is a traditionalist; that his passionate music is connected to the spirits of the past.
“I set up a 50’s reissue Bassman and a 1967 Super Reverb and expressed that I would like a dirty vocal sound… What happened next was nothing short of magical, I have a pieced together Butterscotch Telecaster with an Esquire neck with a neck pick up taken from a 50’s Kay. It was getting a sublime roar and we tore through some songs.” Levent had the idea to slow down the opening track, “Done Tole You So”, and the accentuated lyrics combined with the raunchy guitar tone. The other originals also crystallized, the joyous title track “Make It Right”, the Jimmy Reed inspired “Let It Go”, the Muddy Waters influenced “Fairweather Friend”, and the fabulous vocal and guitar on “For Right Now”. The covers came alive too including stellar performances on Albert King’s “Finger On The Trigger”, on Junior Kimbrough’s “I Feel Good”, on Bobby “Blue” Bland’s classic “Woke Up Screaming”, on Eddie Taylor’s “There Will Be A Day” with another fabulous vocal, and on the funky instrumental take on James Brown’s “Cold Sweat”.
“Make It Right!” is an album with a natural feel similar to that of a live gig. It came together like a charm on a perfect day. Shawn Pittman is a superb guitarist and vocalist and should never, ever, think of retiring.