Shannon Richardson Band Review – Don’t Get Ahead and Beautiful Life

This Chicago based 3 piece embrace a early 2000’s college-friendly sound.  Guitar, bass and drums come together to remind everybody in their mid twenties what their favorite bands were back when exams and term papers ruled their lives: Sublime, OAR, Jack Johnson, and the obligatory Dave Matthews Band.  Although twinkly country-western leads are sprinkled throughout, there’s no where its more evident then on “Don’t Get Ahead” –  serving as a sober reminder to all of us with real world corporate jobs: there was a time in life when the only thing that mattered was that special girl/guy.  The lyrics are punkishly honest, if not trite in some places:  “I think its time that I throw down now/Don’t know how long the fight will be”.  This song deserves to be playing in the background of a unrequited love near you – or even the ‘say goodbye’ portion of an MTV show – dripping with sentimentality – I can already see teenagers closing their bedroom doors, strapping on their ipod headphones and leaving the world for a better place – dreaming about the love of their life.  As the band puts it, “Dreams and music don’t just happen, we have to dream them up and make them happen.”

In “Beautiful Life”, the sentiment gives way to a infectious groove – where bass and drums run hand in hand – leaving heads bobbing in their wake.   A beach anthem if I’ve ever heard one, the song is screaming “Spring Break here we come!”  If I were these guys, I wouldn’t play one gig until the sun was setting and the weather was pushing the mid 80’s again.  This song is 4 up strums away from diving head first into reggae, but tastefully stays above the cliche and retains its feel, pushing and pulling the rhythm and keeping the listener involved until the end.  Have a beer, grab your bong, and enjoy the Shannon Richardson Band with some good friends.


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