“The approach is reminiscent of mid-’70s West Coast country rock with a dash of her home state of Alabama’s Muscle Shoals grease and funk.”
Shonna Tucker grew up in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, listening to the same salty-sweet mix of soul and country that made up the Arthur Alexander and James Carr singles recorded there decades before. She played bass in the Shoals scene from her high-school years until starting an eight-year stint as bassist and singer for the Drive-By Truckers. During Tucker and bandmate John Neff’s time with the band, they released critically acclaimed albums like “Go Go Boots”, which rose to #35 on the Billboard charts and garnered significant praise. They both played on Betty Lavette’s “The Scene of the Crime” which was nominated for a Grammy, followed by “Potato Hole” with Booker T. Jones, which won a Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental album at the 52nd awards show. The band made appearances on both David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon’s late night shows, and toured with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
The music she makes today in Athens, Georgia, flows from the same vein as the music she grew up with: songs that haunt and float like Dolly Parton’s “Down from Dover” and ones that pulse and move like Otis Redding’s “Hard to Handle,” rockers that are right at home on the stage of the 40 Watt downtown and folk songs that are at home among the donkeys and hens on her farm outside town.
Shonna’s band, Eye Candy, includes four of the most prolific players in the Athens music scene: John Neff on guitar and pedal steel, Bo Bedingfield on guitar, Neil Golden on keyboards, and Clay Leverett on drums. For nearly twenty years, John has been one of the town’s most sought-after collaborators in the studio and on the road. Bo is singer/songwriter and leader of the Wydelles, and has backed up several other local songwriters on drums and guitar. Clay led the Athens rock band Lona for eight years before starting honky-tonk band the Chasers, and has played drums and toured with Bright Eyes and Now It’s Overhead. Neil, former member of the Glands and Elf Power, also writes and sings for Golden Brown.
Shonna Tucker and Eye Candy’s debut album, “A Tell All”, was recorded by Kyle Spence (Harvey Milk). It features ten songs about love and jealously, nights spent on the road and nights spent in the kitchen, the things men do to women and women do for men. “All these songs came fast, in a few months time,” explains Tucker, ‘There was no theme or plan at all. Inspiration came from what was happening around me and that was a lot of different things. The first single, ‘Since Jimmy Came’ is about a very young and single mom who thought she had found true love until she had her son. The realization of priorities. Nature at it’s finest.”