Shimmy & The Burns’ Sage Advice For Troubled Times
With their new album, Letting Go, Knoxville Tennessee’s Shimmy & The Burns have distilled a lifetime of learning into a tangled series of world-weary songs. It’s a testament to their resolve that they never admit defeat, coming across instead as resilient and unrepentant, even in the face of angst and adversity. The title track sums up that attitude with drive and determination, and while singer Brian Paddock emotes with a sandpapery vocal that seems to reflect the toll taken by troubles and travails, that unbowed attitude is never in doubt. Likewise, while there’s a sense of rugged resolve evident in such songs as “Wolves,” “Moonshiner” and “Southern Summer,” it’s also no less evident in the desire and despair that accompanies “Classic Story” and “Precious Time.” That’s a reflection of the band’s ability to transpose even the most pressing circumstance and turn those emotions into songs of almost anthemic proportions. Paddock and his bandmates — Wesley Harless (guitars, banjo, vocals), Patrick Beasley (bass), Gurneee (drums), along with guests Randy Brown on pedal steel and backing vocalist Becki Grace — do an admirable job of conveying those tattered emotions without ever getting mired in darkness or defeat. Consequently, Letting Go reflects its title well, making it, in a sense, sage advice for these troubled times.