9th Ward Pickin' Parlor

( 2 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
The Ninth Ward referred to in the title of the latest release by erstwhile singer-songwriter Shawn Mullins is the New Orleans neighborhood where he recorded the disc -- before Hurricane Katrina ravaged the area. Other than a cover of the classic "House of the Rising Sun" -- which builds intriguingly from mournful acoustic beginnings to a full-throttle electric outro -- he doesn't delve all that deeply into the Crescent City's innate sound. He does, however, capture its restless spirit, calling on previously untapped influences such as gospel the bedrock of the insistent "Faith" and medieval British folk which imbues the mandolin-laced "Cold Black Heart" with a palpable...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
The Ninth Ward referred to in the title of the latest release by erstwhile singer-songwriter Shawn Mullins is the New Orleans neighborhood where he recorded the disc -- before Hurricane Katrina ravaged the area. Other than a cover of the classic "House of the Rising Sun" -- which builds intriguingly from mournful acoustic beginnings to a full-throttle electric outro -- he doesn't delve all that deeply into the Crescent City's innate sound. He does, however, capture its restless spirit, calling on previously untapped influences such as gospel the bedrock of the insistent "Faith" and medieval British folk which imbues the mandolin-laced "Cold Black Heart" with a palpable sense of portent. Fans who came to know Mullins's work through his hit "Lullaby" will find a few things to like here -- notably "Blue as You," which was co-written by his Thorns bandmates Pete Droge and Matthew Sweet -- but for the most part, the disc eschews pop convention to document Mullins's explorations of the roots of American music. To his credit, he not only manages to excavate some fascinating stuff but also to put enough personal spin on the unearthed material to make it his own.
All Music Guide - Hal Horowitz
Not surprisingly, Shawn Mullins' association with Sony didn't last long. His sophomore release for the label never found its intended audience, and with eclectic singer/songwriters not exactly in vogue in 2005, he found a more comfortable and logical home at Vanguard. Here was a company that thrived on, and had successful experience with, promoting other artists with idiosyncratic folk and folk-rock styles similar to Mullins. The feeling was mutual, since Mullins delivers a gem of an album with 9th Ward Pickin' Parlor. With acoustic tracks recorded at the titular New Orleans studio, pre-Hurricane Katrina, Mullins has crafted a diverse offering that encompasses folk, rock, Celtic, and country, often interlocking in the same tune. He aims for early Black Crowes territory on the gospel-laced "Faith," and gives a personal spin to a self-penned murder ballad "Cold Black Heart," which is dominated by his work on charango, an Andean mandolin. The mandolin also plays a prominent role in "Homemade Wine," a moody story-song ballad about leaving town that takes advantage of Mullins' deep, expressive voice. "All Fall Down" finds its rocking heart in the Beatles' "I Want You," especially as it builds in intensity with circular chords that accentuate the melody. The disc's first single, the harder-edged "Beautiful Wreck," is also better than anything on the short-lived Thorns' project, a band in which Mullins shared the stage with Matthew Sweet and Pete Droge (Droge helped co-write the track). Mullins goes traditional religious on the waltz-timed "Lay Down Your Swords, Boys," which culminates in full Salvation-Army-band mode with backing vocals. Mullins taps into his inner James Taylor on the bluesy "Solitaire," and closes out the album with a moving version of "House of the Rising Sun" that builds from acoustic to electric instrumentation as the singer interestingly takes the original female voice of the protagonist. The song seems to be his tribute to New Orleans, a city whose dusky atmosphere has subtly contributed to Shawn Mullins' most poignant, cohesive, and diverse album yet.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/14/2006
  • Label: Vanguard Records
  • UPC: 015707980722
  • Catalog Number: 79807
  • Sales rank: 64,894

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Shawn Mullins Primary Artist, Vocals
Rob Gal Electric Guitar
David LaBruyere Electric Bass
Kenny Malone Conga, Cymbals, Bells, Djembe, Rainstick
David Patterson Electric Guitar
Peter Stroud Electric Guitar
William Tonks Lap Steel Guitar, Guitar (Resonator)
Mike West Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin, Choir, Chorus, Banjolin, Guitar (Resonator)
Chris Thile Mandolin
Brandon Bush Accordion, Hammond Organ, Wurlitzer
Glenn Matullo Choir, Chorus
Kevin Leahy Vibes
Rob Henson Upright Bass
Matt Mangano Electric Bass
Gerry Hansen Drums, Maracas, Tambourine, Shaker, Hand Drums
Chuck Hoseman Choir, Chorus
Technical Credits
Matthew Sweet Composer
Pete Droge Composer
Don Cobb Mastering
Russ Fowler Engineer
Gary Paczosa Engineer
Shawn Mullins Composer, Producer
Mike West Engineer
Georgette Cartwright Creative Services Coordinator
Marshall Altman Composer
Glenn Matullo Engineer
Eric Conn Mastering
Robin Geary Photo Stylist
Traditional Composer
Clay Cook Engineer
Stephen Brower Marketing
Gerry Hansen Engineer
Shannan Shepard Photo Stylist
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Fresh Set of Tracks

    I purchased this for the "Beautiful Wreck" track and was blown away by the entire CD. He mixes the energy well: solemn, soulful, steering-wheel thumping ("Cold Black Heart"). Love "Blue As You." It's a good thing this isn't on vinyl or I would be wearing out the grooves.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Worth the wait

    After a long wait Shawn's first album with Vanguard is classic Shawn. Lots of string instruments and of course ,the unmistakable voice. Shawn is a great story teller with his music and this album contains songs for the folk music lover as well as a few we should hear on the radio.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews