Shonna Tucker & Eye Candy
A Tell All
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Former Drive-By Trucker Tucker takes a cue from her ex-husband Jason Isbell and jumps from that boys club band, where she played bass for eight years, to a solo career.
She brings pedal steel master/guitarist John Neff and adds other male Athens, Georgia musicians for a debut that’s related to the tough, sinewy rocking of the Truckers, but veers in a more soulful country slant.
Despite the cool ’70s cover art, the sound doesn’t try to be retro, yet the approach is reminiscent of mid-’70s West Coast country rock with a dash of her home state of Alabama’s Muscle Shoals grease and funk. That’s especially evident in the swamp bump of “Family Dinner” and the sweet R&B lope of the closing love ballad “You Went All the Way.” Whether she and the band dig into a “Jolene” styled country shuffle of “Linda Please” or the grinding molasses riff rocker “I Bought a Pie,” Tucker hits an organic, rootsy groove totally removed from the slick C&W/pop favored by today’s country radio.
She doesn’t over-sing these songs preferring to let her naturally homespun voice do the emoting in tunes such as “Lonely People,” accompanied by her own rudimentary acoustic guitar and veteran Muscle Shoals keyboardist/songwriter Spooner Oldham’s electric piano. Based on this successful first foray into frontwoman status, Shonna Tucker deserves to follow her ex’s career path from influential but supporting DBT member to wider Americana acclaim for her own substantial talents.