By Kayla D. Putman
From Hard Rock to Honky Tonk; rising star Shaun Abbott, of Knoxville, brought a country flair to the stage of the Hard Rock Cafe in Pigeon Forge on Friday. Shaun’s musical palette is wide reaching and his set consisted of covers from country legends, rock icons and even rap artists as he belted out note after note of Garth Brooks, George Strait, Green Day, and Shaggy.
The night began with Abbott’s approach to the current number one “Die a Happy Man,” made famous by Thomas Rhett. Highlights of Shaun’s set included a rustic approach to Green Day’s “When I Come Around,” and an elaborate compositional revamp of the Steve Miller Band’s “The Joker” which he mixed with Shaggy’s “Angel” for a modern, yet soulful composition of the 1973 classic which included a drum solo and elaborate acoustic guitar riffs.
Shaun’s sound can best be described as soulful country which is exceptionally impressive due to the minimalistic musical approach that he takes. His sets consist of him, doing what he loves, singing with a guitar, accompanied only by a drummer. Shaun can easily be compared to country legends such as George Strait and Garth Brooks. This was well highlighted when he brought the audience to tears with his version of Strait’s number one hit, “I Cross my Heart.” He left everyone laughing as he rounded out the night with Garth Brooks, “ Friends in Low Places” which he followed with an original piece entitled “Tequila makes the World go Round” which closed out the evening.
Abbott is a unique artist whose fame comes from many years of self taught, finely tuned, dedication to the craft. Shaun is a true entertainer whose performance encaptured a wildly diverse audience and left even the most discriminative musical taste completely satisfied.
Shaun’s debut album and latest EP are available for download on iTunes and Amazon. Tour and booking information can be found on Shaun’s social media pages or at www.shaunabbottmusic.com.