G C & D
Shannon Sutton was born into a musical family in Mount Hope, Alabama, a small community outside Muscle Shoals. His parents were very involved in a charismatic church where 'all of us kids learned to play music so we could get out of having to be preached at during alter call'. In 1995, after graduating from the University of North Alabama with degrees in math, industrial hygiene and chemistry, Shannon moved to Decatur, Alabama. There, he began writing songs to combat boredom. At a friend's urging, he began working on placing some of those songs onto a CD. G, C, and D was recorded by Shannon in his home recording studio with Shannon on vocals, acoustic guitar, keyboards and mandolin along with his siblings on other instruments. The album G, C, and D was recorded in order to celebrate the wondrous gift of music's ability to make every moment in every life more special. The title song is based upon Shannon learning to play the guitar from his father who learned to play guitar as a child after a preacher's wife showed him the three chords, G, C, and D and told him to 'figure out the rest'. The album showcases Shannon's unique blend of country, folk, and rock with uniquely poignant and original lyrics. G, C, and D draws heavily upon Shannon's influences including John Prine, Guy Clark, Mary-Chapin Carpenter, Nanci Griffith, Robert Earl Keen, and many others. Shannon is currently planning a second album due in the spring of 2006 called Southern Gothic. Shannon lives in Decatur, Alabama with his wife, Karen, and two dogs, Emmylou and Atticus. He currently co-owns two industrial hygiene and environmental consulting companies by day and fights drug lords and pedophiles by night (okay, that part was made up). The following are a few of Shannon's thoughts and comments on the songs of G, C, and D. 'G, C, and D': I wrote this song about how my Dad taught me to play guitar in the same way he learned to play. A preacher's wife who was new to their small, rural, Pentecostal church taught my Dad to play the three chords G, C, and D and told him to 'figure out the rest'. Sister Rowena Beck was technically the best singer or guitarist, but she played and sang with so much honesty and emotion it could really be a moving experience. This song was written started out as a tribute to my Dad and Sister Beck, but I soon realized it was really about what an incredible gift music is, no matter how simple. 'Making My Way Back to You': This was one of the first songs I had ever written. When I first moved away from my hometown, even though it was only forty-five minutes away, I still really missed my family and friends in Muscle Shoals. I remembered how excited I would be when I was driving back on the weekends. I parlayed that feeling into this song, although I never actually made love to anybody in the pouring rain (not then anyway). 'Bootsie King': I based the character of Bootsie King on the token drunk in our little rural community. He really did live in a chicken house and helped us haul hay in order to buy whiskey. He was killed by a drunk driver while walking the roads one night, and I later heard a rumor it was because he had molested my neighbor's daughter. I doubt that rumor was true, but it made a good story just the same. 'Back in Your Arms Again': My best friend moved to Alabama from Texas, leaving behind his girlfriend at the time. One weekend we decided to drive out to surprise her. While we were leaving out of the parking lot, I noticed he looked really sad (pathetic, really). The long distance relationship didn't work out, but hey, at least I got something out of it. 'I Wish I Could of Believe:' I saw a documentary on PBS one night about the death of some small rural churches. One of the ladies in the documentary was really discouraged and made the statement, 'God give us a purpose'. It reminded me of my parents' church, but it also reminded me of how discouraging it is to see the South in general changing. 'I Wanna Be a Priest': After my best friend broke up with his long distance girlfriend (the one from 'Back in Your Arms Again'), he called me over to drown his sorrows and discuss how women were nothing but trouble. During the night, he made the statement 'I wanna be a priest'. After the hangover wore off, I thought 'Heck, I'll get another song out his misery', so I wrote this song about, um, self-reliance. Yeah, self-reliance, that's good. 'Big Fish in a Small Stream': My best friend has a picture of him, his dad, and his little brother on a fishing trip in Canada. I always thought it was a cool picture because they all had this look on their faces like they owned the world. They also looked like they smelled really bad. 'Sing to Remember': I always wanted to write a cowboy song like Jerry Jeff Walker's 'Night Rider's Lament'. This song started out as a simple, lonesome cowboy song, but it ended being about how some kind of music is appropriate for every occasion. 'Actin' Trashy': My brother and his wife used to frequently rent a motel room for one night just for the fun of it. We always said they were going to 'act trashy'. I've come to realize there's nothing quite like being lazy and in love on Sunday afternoon. 'Daddy's Girl': I wrote this song about several girls I used to know (one in particular) who never had a really healthy relationship because I think they really just wanted to marry their Dad. He was a really good man, but it was kind of weird really. 'Blessed Mary': I was trying my best to write a song one night and nothing was coming, so I turned on the TV and there was some poor African child with AIDS surrounded by a bunch of celebrities. I also started thinking about my best friend's mom who is a devout Catholic and loves kids as much as anyone I know. The part of the song about 'I hold my baby in my arms...' was about my niece, Sarah.