1994

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In 1994, Shawn Camp was a newly signed Reprise Records artist whose second album for the label was shelved over artistic differences. After becoming a sought-after songwriter for artists such as Garth Brooks and Josh Turner, Shawn caught the attention of Warner Music Nashville president John Esposito, who opted to release the album. The result is a snapshot of a country artist with an abundance of talent—including an ability for intelligent songwriting and a distinctive Texas country sound—but the wrong timing. Shawn is adept at turning common phrases on their heads, as in “Near Mrs.,” a tribute to all the girls who never quite earned wifely status. In “My Frame of Mind,” his vocal evokes all the ache and loneliness of George Jones, while his more upbeat material recalls Mark Chesnutt at times. The intriguing album closer, “The Grandpa That I Know,” mourns the trappings of a funeral and the loss of a loved one, accented with the crackles of a record player and a mournful fiddle solo. After 16 years, the singer/songwriter finally gets his major-label due.

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