Shannon McNally

Shannon McNally talks about her Bobby Charles tribute, strong yet non-existent egos, “gospel songs in hiding,” and rocking out “Mavis-style.” She also plays three tracks from her album Small Town Talk.

Plus rock and roll from Too Slim and the Taildraggers, country rock from Leo Rondeau, swamp funk from JJ Grey, twang from Yvette Landry, blues rock from RB Stone, old time sister act jazz from The Carper Family, and new music from Slaid Cleaves.

Shannon McNally - Small Town TalkShannon McNally

Shannon McNally

Interview Recap

Shannon McNally explains how Bobby Charles inspired this album. Shannon McNally says that Bobby Charles was a friend of hers and she new him very well. She says he's one of the more overlooked songwriters. He was signed to Chess records in 1954 and was the first white artist on that label. He's from south Louisiana. He wrote “Walking To New Orleans,” “See Ya Later Alligator,” “The Jealous Kind,” “Tennessee Blues” and many others. In his early days he performed on the rock and roll circuit with Chuck Berry, Etta James, and the other chess records artists. He and Dr. John were good buddies. In 1971 he made a record with The Band. [Shannon doesn't say, but I believe it was his first, self-titled album. -- Calvin] Shannon McNally says, “He made this amazing record that was lost in the history books and was out of print.” The idea for the album originated when Shannon McNally asked him if she could record that out of print album.

Shannon McNally says that they recorded the album fairly quickly in about a week. She said it took a while to find the support the album needed. She said the album they were paying tribute to was overlooked and she didn't want this one to be overlooked either. So she waited to release it until the album had the support it needed.

Shannon McNally sets up the title track from Small Town Talk. She says this song was written with Rick Danko. She says it's a fun one to put in Pandora because there's many great covers of the song and she likes the groove and Mickey Rafael plays harmonica.

[Calvin plays “Small Town Talk” from Small Town Talk by Shannon McNally.]

Shannon McNally talks about working both with labels and as completely independent artist. She says “It takes this rare combination of ego. It has to be very strong and it has to be non-existent simultaneously.... You have to be relentless and driven and you have to stay out on the road. You have to feel more like you've been chosen to do it more than choosing to do it. It also takes a lot of money that you must make. It takes both sides of the brain, which is exhausting.”

Shannon McNally sets up “Cowboys and Indians.” She says Bobby Charles wrote it for Fats Domino. She says this is a “gospel song in hiding.” When she does this song live she can put the guitar down and “rock out Mavis-style.”

[Calvin plays “Cowboys and Indians” from Small Town Talk by Shannon McNally.]

Shannon McNally sets up “Street People.” She says this song “is just a bad groove.” Shannon pays tribute to Herman Ernest who played drums on this track He recently passed away.

[Calvin plays “Street People” from Small Town Talk by Shannon McNally.]

Rotation 369

  • Make It Sound Happy / Too Slim & The Taildraggers / Blue Heart / 5:12
  • Far Away / Leo Rondeau / Take It And Break It / 3:54
  • Woke Up This Morning (With My Mind On Jesus) / Mavis Staples / One True Vine / 2:56
  • 99 Shades Of Crazy / JJ Grey & Mofro / This River / 4:52
  • Yeah, You Right! / Yvette Landry / No Man's Land / 3:20
  • Long Gone Lonesome Blues / Rb Stone / Loosen Up! / 4:19
  • I Gotta Have My Baby Back / The Carper Family / Old-Fashioned Gal / 4:03
  • Texas Love Song / Slaid Cleaves / Still Fighting The War / 3:03

Americana Music Show


The Americana Music Show is podsafe and copyright 2013 by Taproot Media. The music and interviews in this episode are used with permission of the artists.


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