Frank at Yab Yum calls Shawn’s music “wonderful and heartfelt,” saying that Letting Go and Holding On is perfect music for “Drinking straight Jack pondering what you’re going to do with the rest of your life as your world burns.”
“Shawn Skinner is a musician with a rare talent, he has the ability to play and sing straight from his heart and soul. One of the best musicians I’ve ever met yet truly humble.”
- Jason Stinson, Some Dark Hollow
“Shawn is super talented. He has a sound of his own and he can pick like a motherfucker.”
- Jalipaz Nelson, Audioconfusion
Phoenix New Times named Shawn one of Fifteen artists to watch in ’15,” saying that Shawn’s music “evokes the wide-open spaces of the desert”.
This is the first live record I had a chance to give my opinion on, and as I have played live, so many things can go wrong, the least being the mix. So let’s start with that.
Skinned Alive at The Last Exit performed by Shawn Skinner is expertly recorded and mixed by Brian Stubblefield. The levels are perfect. The guitar, Skinner’s voice and harmonica are blended with such a deft hand that I forgot I was listening to a live performance.
Bravo, Mr. Stubblefield.
Let me start out by stating that Skinner’s voice is true North – and I believe whatever he is singing. Bold, gruff, and real. You know, when it comes to Americana, it’s real easy for a singer/songwriter to go Country in a real hurry. And it’s this border that Skinner never comes close to crossing.
The themes during his set are familiar, but Skinner masterfully stays clear of the trite – thanks to some very good storytelling.
While I enjoyed every one of the songs, “Letting Go and Holding On” and “Debt”, that he dedicated to his guitar, are terrific, “Mainstay” is where Skinner really hits a sweet spot, and adding a soulful harmonica riff didn’t hurt I can see why he chose to end his show with it.
The only critique I have of the recording is this: If you’re at a show, and a guy is singing his heart out and is great at doing it, please people, for goodness sakes, put your hands together for him. Sheesh.
Skinned Alive at The Last Exit is the perfect music to accompany your morning coffee or a straight scotch. Depending on your mood.