CD Review: Marc Lee Shannon “Walk This Road”

Marc Lee Shannon has spent more than thirty years in the music industry. A large part of that time was spent outside of the Northern Ohio area as Shannon once lived out in Los Angeles having moved out there at the age of 19 to attend college.  And while out that way, Shannon began playing with some of the biggest names in the industry.

Time passed and Marc Lee Shannon has now been living back in the Northern Ohio area for years. And just like when he was out West, Shannon can be found performing with some of the biggest names in this area. You can find Shannon onstage helping to shape the music of artists such as The Midlife Chryslers, as well as being part of Michael Stanley & The Resonators, as well as many other artists from the region.

Marc Lee Shannon released his first release of Any Ordinary Man, back in 2006. That album was produced by Local Hero (as well as multi-talented musical artist) Michael Stanley and was released digitally on Line Level Music. And now, Shannon is back with his latest release. The 2018 album from Marc Lee Shannon is entitled Walk This Road. And much like with Shannon’s time as a musician, this album was created with the help of some of the biggest and most well-known names in the Northern Ohio region. Among those who helped bring the album to life is Ryan Humbert, a singer-songwriter in his own right. Along with adding guitars and vocals, Humbert helped to produce the album.

Walk This Road begins with the song “Carousel”. This track features a strong bassline and strong electric guitars that combine to create a track with a Classic Rock feel to the music, with a slight Native American vibe running through the music itself. The lyrics deal with living your life and dealing with the ups and downs of life as you go around the sun, which may very well explain the title of “Carousel”. The track starts slow and somewhat low-key, but soon picks up. The track continues with a strong Blues/Rock blend that is very energetic. This strong Blues-Rock track from Marc Lee Shannon and the rest of the musicians gives the listener something strong right from the start.

The Blues/Rock blend from “Carousel” is replaced with a straight-out Rock and Roll musical approach on the second track of the album. The title track of the release finds Marc Lee Shannon and band creating a track that would have been right at home on the radio during the late eighties/early nineties. The music of the song “Walk This Road” finds the band creating some of the best straight-out Rock and Roll that has been produced in a long time.  Fans of Rock and Roll from the late eighties/early nineties will enjoy this track.

Marc Lee Shannon’s Walk This Road continues with the song entitled “Back Door to My Heart”. The track features a slow pace to the music and influences like Jimi Hendrix-influenced guitars in the early moments of the track and Tom Petty-influenced music in the later moments. The two influences come in spurts as they alternate throughout the track. These influences help to create a track that feels somewhat timeless in its musical approach. And the lyrics of the track are given some extra body as Bri & Jon Bryant add background vocals to the song, giving a slight Gospel Choir influence to the lyrics.

As the first few track of Walk This Road come with guitar-based musical approaches that feeling changes with the track “Count Me In” as it is the piano from Russell Flanagan that help give the track a much different musical direction than the previous songs. As Russell Flanagan handles the piano, the track’s piano part will easily remind some of Billy Joel. And when the background vocals from Emily Bates and producer Ryan Humbert join in, the track ends up feeling like a 1980’s anthem in the style of “We Are The World”. The lyrics for “Count Me In” even give off positive vibes of being there for someone.

With the song “Since You Been Around,” Marc Lee Shannon and band create a track that once again changes the direction of the music. With this track, the musicians all join together to create a track that features music and vocals that bring to mind those of singer-songwriter Randy Newman. In fact, the way the band and Shannon combine their talents, what results is a track that feels rather reminiscent of “You’ve Got a Friend In Me” from Newman. The main reasons for this being the piano from Russell Flanagan and the rather smoky vocals from Shannon.

The sound of the electric guitar returns for the track “All I Want”. Along with the electric guitar, Marc Lee Shannon and the rest of the musicians bring back the feel of Eighties Rock and Roll.  The music of the track brings to mind the style of one Bryan Adams and other artists from that time. “All I Want” from Marc Lee Shannon is guitar-driven and will instantly remind the listener of music from Top 40 radio from the eighties. When the instruments on this track combine about halfway through the song, they create a sound that will remind some of the E. Street Band… minus the sax from Clarence Clemons.

For the last track of the release, Marc Lee Shannon draws upon several different artists to help flavor his music. It is the likes of Harry Nillson who influences the music of the track “So Long My Friend” while Shannon calls upon an artist who is rather close to his heart to help with the lyrics to this track. By the lyrics and the vocal delivery on this track all but scream Michael Stanley, a singer-songwriter who was best known for the songs “My Town,” “Lover” and “He Can’t Love You,” three tracks that made their way onto the music charts back in the eighties. In fact, you can almost hear this track appearing on one of Stanley’s twenty-plus studio albums.  

Having released his latest album of Walk This Road  back in 2108, Marc Lee Shannon has continued writing music. Currently, the singer-songwriter is celebrating the release of his most current single entitled “Friends Like You”. The track features a strong acoustic guitar and an equally strong organ setting the tone for the track. Once the rest of the instruments join in, the track takes on a Pop-Rock feel that would fit in alongside bands like Goo Goo Dolls and/or The Gin Blossoms while also containing a slight Bruce Springsteen influence to the music and especially in the vocals on the track. Like a lot of the music created by Marc Lee Shannon, “Friends Like You” contains a musical delivery that is rather timeless. While the track would feel right at home on the radio today, “Friends Like You” would have fit in on radio during the eighties and/or the nineties without any problems. 

Whether on his latest album of Walk This Road or his latest single of “Friends Like You,” Marc Lee Shannon shows off not only his ability as a singer-songwriter, but also his ability as a musician. And with the help of the various musicians who helped bring the album to life, Marc Lee Shannon has created a release that has a very timeless feel to it. For those longing for music that contains a strong timeless feel to it, Marc Lee Shannon’s Walk This Road is the album for you. 

To check out the music from Marc Lee Shannon, check out the latest single from the singer-songwriter, “Friends Like You”:

To hear the entire album of Walk This Road from Marc Lee Shannon, click on the album cover below: