Shannon McNally - Black Irish: mature, emotionally ragged snapshots of life lived close to the bone
Fuelled by a muscular roots-country voice that’s a staple of many American singers from Melissa Etheridge to Shania Twain, Shannon McNally’s marquee debut comes beribboned by Rodney Crowell’s production, and buoyed by a session band who know when to lean in and when to give a wide berth.
Her languid phrasing and idiosyncratic mix of girlish naivete and world weariness anchor her own Banshee Moan and Crowell’s You Made Me Feel For You, both mature, emotionally ragged snapshots of life lived close to the bone.
But it’s in her choice of covers that McNally disappoints. Her take on Robbie Robertson’s It Makes No Difference brings little that’s new to a classic song, while Susanna and Guy Clark’s Black Haired Boy is equally bereft of fresh perspective. A few more original songs would’ve propelled this collection all the way home.