Preview Black Irish by Shannon McNally.
Shannon McNally - Black Irish
Shannon McNally brings her elegant, effortless and silky tones to her first release, Black Irish, since 2013. Settle in for an accomplished and crafted affair, it’s good to have her back. Teaming up with Rodney Crowell - who produces, writes and plays on this album – it follows a hiatus where she has dealt with personal issues and relocation. Impeccable comes to mind as you work your way through her selection of songs from original compositions to those by Rodney Crowell, Stevie Wonder, The Band, The Staple Singers and J J Cale.
Crowell writes on her web site that he came across Shannon as he sought a cameo vocalist for his own project but decided after finding this talent that he was the ‘man for the job of shepherding the next Shannon McNally record’. She struck lucky.
The record has that laid back vibe redolent of Shelby Lynne, Lari White and, on occasion, a hint of 1970’s Dusty Springfield. Slower tracks such Banshee Moan, I Went to the Well and Prayer in Open D allow her to inhabit and own the song; her voice is the compelling feature. Black Haired Boy sees harmonies with Emmylou Harris and Elizabeth Cook and it is an album highlight. J J Cale’s Low Rider has a Mississippi Delta acoustic guitar signature and demonstrates the depth of the album and its interpretations. Shannon can pick it up and the joyous Stevie Wonder Ain’t Gonna Stand For It or the Stones’ like Roll Away The Stone. Both are shoe shufflers and bring a welcome change of pace and mood.
Some albums can give their best early on and fizzle out but Shannon’s version of It Makes No Difference written by Robbie Robertson is quite superb and the march out with the gospel revival chant of The Staples Singers’ Let’s Go Home confirm the southern roots of this delightful offering.