Reviewer Dr. Wesley Britton: Dr. Britton is the author of four non-fiction books on espionage in literature and the media. Starting in fall 2015, his new six-book science fiction series, The Beta-Earth Chronicles, debuted via BearManor Media. For seven years, he was co-host of online radio’s Dave White Presents where he contributed interviews with a host of entertainment insiders. Before his retirement in 2016, Dr. Britton taught English at Harrisburg Area Community College. Learn more about Dr. Britton at his WEBSITE
Label: R-Tist Records
Musician: Shane Dwight
Label: R-Tist Records
For the past decade or so, Shane Dwight has released 7 albums and toured extensively playing his distinctive brew of what we now call “roots music.” Apparently, touring has come at a cost for the singer/guitarist’s personal life. He wrote 11 of the 12 songs on his latest release, and all are stories about how temptation on the road led to the break-up of his marriage. As a result, A Hundred White Lies has a unifying theme you don’t often here in such collections.
The first five tracks
demonstrate how Dwight draws from his wide net of influences while
recounting his autobiography. The opener, “Call Me,” blends New
Orleans R&B, Nashville country, and Memphis soul vocals supported
by a rock/blues band. He reveals how a break-up begins in “Hundred
White Lies,” a haunting country tale where the back-up singers,
including the McCrary Sisters (Ann, Regina and Alfreda) first
demonstrate the Gospel-choir flavorings that will be part of many of
the tracks to follow. What’s leading Dwight astray on the road?
It’s all the temptresses he meets in the bars and clubs as in “She
Struts 22” which builds on a “Smokestack Lightnin’” piano and
bass groove. While not exactly a singing showcase,”Love's Last
Letter” is simple rock ‘n roll talking about the pain of
separation. This arrangement is of the Delany and Bonnie variety,
which is fitting as their daughter, Bekka Bramlett, is one of the
voices in the choir. All four ladies add a layer of Memphis soul to
“True Love's Gone,” a song reminiscent of an early ‘70s
Dwight’s lyrics continue to cry about the loss of his wife, the loneliness of the road, and all those seductive women in “Love That's True,” a sample of “sho nuff” blues with slide and acoustic guitar work. Likewise, as the title implies, “Broken” is a slow, sad moan about the lonesomeness of being without your woman featuring some of the most soulful guitar playing on the collection. Bringing the story full circle, “Talkin' to You” and “Leave The Light On” are Chicago blues in which Dwight is now complaining to his temptresses for braking up his happy home. Appropriately, the rocker “Lose My Number” is saying the singer is moving on with nary a look back.
Throughout his ruminations, of course, Dwight is center-stage providing the lead vocals and guitar lines that are as lyrical as the words of each track. The musicians—with many of the players veterans of Delbert McClinton’s studio and touring band—include keyboardist/acoustic guitarist/producer Kevin McKendree, Rob McNelley (guitars), Stephen Mackey (bass), Lynn Williams (drums), and harmonica player Mike Henderson. This line-up offers what you’d expect they would. But, as noted earlier, what adds a special dimension to the proceedings are the four ladies singing behind Dwight. It’s an album about women, after all, and the singers act almost like a Greek chorus of all the women betrayed and the barflies who look too fine to ignore, all of them responding to Dwight’s regretful stories. Sometimes the blues you play are the blues you made.