April 14 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm| $25
Shannon McNally at Ojai Underground Exchange
Join us for a very special Sunday night performance by Shannon McNally. Her most recent album, Black Irish, is McNally’s most personal project yet, which is saying a lot, given the Americana singer-songwriter’s deep catalog. But it speaks to the power of connection, and the power of music to create it and to reflect it. The kick off track “You Made Me Feel For You”, was written by her producer, Americana icon, Rodney Crowell, and serves as a metaphor for their collaboration – how his particular understanding of her unique gifts pulled out the career-defining album many have been waiting for since she came on the scene. Thom Jurek at All Music said it best, “Only Gram Parsons’ term “Cosmic American Music” begins to touch her mercurial, changeling roots aesthetic, . . McNally is a Zen-like, post-Beat song poet”. For those who have followed McNally’s nearly twenty year career the thing that most sticks with the listener about her, is the timeless effortlessness that she brings to all she does. With a long catalog and longer list of peers with whom she has written, recorded and toured, McNally continues to turn out great music that defies blatant genre-fication.
At home across the American (Americana) music spectrum, the Grammy nominee who’s live music career began on the jam band circuit of the 1990’s with bands like Robert Randolph and Derek Trucks, writes as well as she interprets the songs of others, has a top tier musicality to her craft, a soul stirring voice that immediately grabs one by the heart strings and a troubadour’s wanderlust, not to mention as it turns out, she is also an excellent electric guitar player.
Like her anti-hero heros J.J. Cale, Tom Waits, Bob Dylan. Dr. John, and Jim Dickinson, McNally knows who she serves. She serves the song. Her quiet but steady plodding through the many layers of the business of music, hasn’t ever been rewarded with massive fame and fortune but in time that slow burn has become the treasure in and of itself.
The part of McNally’s narrative that is often missed is that not only has she self-managed herself for nearly all of her career but that she has also been a stout warrior-like-artist who often went toe-to-toe with label heads and A&R to defend and fight for her visions. She left the major label world after ten years at Capital/EMI to fend for herself on various smaller labels and self-release paradigms. Perhaps the business of music is finally catching up with her independent spirit. We shall see.
The show begins at 7:30, and there is a $25 suggested donation at the door.