Rodney Crowell talks about Shannon…
I first heard of Shannon McNally through John Leventhal, who described her vocal skills as having just the right amount of girlish smoke. At the time I was looking for just the right singer to make a cameo appearance on a song I was recording called “Famous Last Words of a Fool.” Trusting John’s appraisal—from his description I imagined something of a cross between Joan Jett and Lauren Bacall—I set about tracking the mystery singer down. What I eventually discovered in the small town of Holly Springs, Mississippi was this dark-eyed beauty who wrote grown-up songs, played a pretty mean Fender Stratocaster and, at times, sounded a lot Jesse Mae Hemphill. From our first meeting I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was the right man for the job of shepherding the next Shannon McNally record into existence. Now that the record is made, I hope music lovers around the world will come to know what I and many others already know: This girl belongs in the Americana Music spotlight.
“She has the voice: bruised, smoky and ornery, right at home where country and soul meet. She has the melodies and the timing – she’s irresistible.” — Jon Pareles, The New York Times
“McNally ….sensual, swaggering, smokey. …..exhibiting an ability to depict pleasure and pain with an explicitness that seems deceptively natural for such a reasonably young songwriter.….a healthy dose of lowdown country and ragged soul..McNally’s sound bears a timelessness that’s truly uncommon.” — Austin Chronicle
“She is probably rock’s most talented undiscovered gem. This woman with the confident voice, pin-point lyrics and effortless guitar playing….Shannon McNally can rock your socks off at the same time she is hitting you over the head with words that actually make sense.” — Glide Magazine
“Only Gram Parsons’ term “Cosmic American Music” begins to touch her mercurial, changeling roots aesthetic, . . . McNally is a Zen-like, post-Beat song poet” —Thom Jurek, All Music
About Johnny Duke
Johnny Duke was born in Knoxville, Tennessee and was drawn to the music coming out of the Mississippi Delta at a young age when visiting his father in Scobey, Mississippi. He picked up his first guitar at age 10, inspired by artists such as Jimi Hendrix and Muddy Waters. Soon after, he began to sit in with much older musicians at varies clubs and festivals. David Bromberg, the legendary musician of many styles, took notice of Johnny’s skills and became a mentor figure in Wilmington, Delaware, where Johnny went to high school. In 2006 he moved up to Boston to study Jazz and songwriting at Berklee College of Music, graduating in December of 09. In 2010 he moved down to Nashville and began touring as the guitarist and multi-instrumentalist with the Grammy-winning Country artists Little Big Town. He played guitar and other instruments on both platinum selling Little Big Town records Tornado and Painkiller. Much like David Bromberg, Johnny has developed a career of balancing the role of being a sideman and a frontman. He has toured with Ashley Monroe, who joined him for a vocal duet on the track Love Me One More Time from Johnny’s debut album Reimagine, released in the Spring of 2016. Other artists he has shared the stage with over the years include Vince Gill, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Lee Ann Womack, Sheryl Crow, Miranda Lambert, Chris Isaak, Chris Stapleton, Jerry Douglas, and Don Was. When he is not on the road touring, Johnny works out of his recording studio in East Nashville, Spirit Radio Studio, producing both his own music and music for other artists and bands.