Preston Shannon brings his Beale Street Boogaloo to Overton Square this Saturday night when he performs at Lafayette's Music Room. Born in Olive Branch, Mississippi, Shannon relocated to Memphis at a young age, pursuing music shortly after that. Before gaining a spot in Shirley Brown's backing band, Shannon worked a day job in between gigs with several blues bands around town. Later, he worked with Willie Mitchell, cranking out the albums Break the Ice, Midnight in Memphis and All in Time with Mitchell at the production helm.
Shannon has also appeared on the NBC television show The Voice, and can now be found playing weekly on Beale Street at B.B. King's Blues Club. With a voice that sits somewhere between Otis Redding and Bobby Womack, Shannon has been dubbed the "King of Beale Street." With Barbara Blue claiming to be the "Reigning Queen of Beale Street," there's really no more room at the top, but I suppose it would be interesting to figure out who the prince and princess are, along with the other members of the Royal Blues Court.
Like many professional Memphis musicians, Shannon is booked through the end of the year, but because he almost exclusively plays at B.B. King's, this performance at Lafayette's should be one of a kind.
Shannon calls his music "deep soul," and when you get compared to Womack, that seems like an appropriate title. With its powerful blend of Delta soul and Memphis blues, his album Midnight in Memphis was considered one of the best Southern soul albums of the last 25 years.