1959, New Orleans, USA. As an amateur blues singer he discovered plenty of musical opportunities in the region, occasionally adding guitar and sometimes clarinet accompaniment to impromptu bar-room sessions. The citys music circuit of that time demanded singers capable of copycat renditions of standards such as Hoochie Coochie Man and Dust My Broom rather than contemporary interpreters, but Shannon happily performed this function in bar bands and the occasional gospel group for several years while nurturing his own songwriting in private. However, when his father (also named Mem) died in 1981, Shannon was suddenly expected to become the household breadwinner. He put aside his music for nearly a decade while supporting the family as a taxi driver. Eventually, in 1990, he established his own group around a collective of musicians known as the Membership. Contributors included Peter Carter (bass), Barry Thomas (drums), Jackie Banks...