GG Shinn, One Last Kiss (Sound of New Orleans)

In short, GG Shinn is the stuff legends are made of. He rose to prominence as a Boogie King with a four-octave range and one of the most gripping voices Louisiana has ever heard.

His range was so incredibly high that, for a time, he performed songs like Patti Labelle’s “Lady Marmalade” and Barbra Streisand’s “People” in their range. Additionally, Shinn’s “sashay contests” were notorious, often resulting in drunken female disrobery and arrests as part of a hefty night’s pay.

Recorded sometime in the ’90s, One Last Kiss lay dormant until recently resurrected with a fresh, remixed sound. Amazingly, for a 50-year-plus music career, its Shinn’s first recording without full-force horns, hence demonstrating how he can be fashionably contemporary without relying on his swamp pop/blue-eyed soul legacy.

The title track, one of a half-dozen Shinn originals, is tenderly emotive, but “That’s When You Need Me Girl” has more impact in the soft-and-sensitive department. His vocals have gusty power and frequently hit high notes in open voice, meaning no falsetto.

Additionally, Shinn doesn’t overplay the ballad card. Most tracks are up-tempo in a rockin’ R&B way like “Sucker Punch” and the Steely Dan-tinged “Certain Kind of Something,” while “Closing in On You” is more like a club dance mix. It’s easy to see how the sexy sway of “Sashay” could be uninhibitedly enticing, but alas, those days are long gone.

These days Shinn’s illustrious career has just taken on a new perspective.

  • prstewart

    RIP GG Shin.