CD review

Feb 152006
Authors: Hailey McDonald

The one-hit-wonder, which I thought I would never see again was Shawn Mullins. That's right, travel far back into your memory and recall the song "Lullabye." Well, surprise – he's back.

His latest, and long-time postponed album, "9th Ward Pickin Parlor" came out today. While there most likely won't be a hit such as "Lullaby" on the CD, Mullins has managed to produce some fairly good music.

If I had to classify his new style, it would borderline easy listening and country. Nothing too similar to the old Shawn Mullins we knew.

"9th Ward Pickin' Parlor" combines bluegrass, rock and Celtic tones to create a unique sound. However, Mullins himself could have done better vocally. Some of the songs are a stretch to enjoy because of his repetitive melodies and the overall rough vocalization.

For the most part, folk music has disappeared from Hollywood, but Mullins attempts to bring the genre back with story-like songs and fabled lyrics.

If you are a bluegrass fan, Mullins will be a modern treat to your musical pallet; He seems to be a nice response to the musical styling of the Dixie Chicks, with less edge.

The song that most stands out on the album is his amazing cover of "The House of the Rising Sun." Seemingly a bizarre choice to cover, but Mullins successfully does the song justice by sticking to the original melody with a dash of his own style.

After listening to the album in its entirety, it seems to be intended for an older crowd. I wouldn't add it to my personal collection, but I was never provoked to cut off my ears either while listening.

Give Mullins new CD a try if you like Nickel Creek, The Corrs, or the Moody Blues.

Hailey McDonald can be reached at

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