The Waylon Sessions
Shannon McNally and Compass Records released her newest album, The Waylon Sessions, on May 28, 2021. Having always been intrigued by the man, Shannon’s interpretations add a great deal of feminine mystique to the songs. Hell, these songs have always been universal, it’s nice to hear a woman’s voice in them.
Until recently, female Country and Americana artists, (the ones played on the radio at any rate) have been relegated to the “Stand By Your Man” variety. The songs on The Waylon Sessions are right up there in your face Country, not to say they aren’t feminine because they are, and so much more.
The Waylon Sessions features special guests Jessi Colter, Buddy Miller, Rodney Crowell, and Lukas Nelson. Each compliment in harmony the feminine perspective captured by Shannon McNally. As for the band, she chose well. The Waylon Sessions captured the laid back charm and swaggering bravado associated with Jennings himself. Shannon got AMA-winning guitarist Kenny Vaughan to help her put together the kickass band of drummer Derek Mixon, pedal steel legend Fred Newell, keyboardist Bukka Allen, and bassist Chris Scruggs. Over five days the band tracked all sixteen songs live. These songs are the backbone of true country music, songs most artists cut their teeth on, instinct and intuition had the helm. It’s Shannon’s interpretations and strong sense of femininity and self that make them current. I think women will see themselves in these songs, I think men will fall in love with the women that do.
To say that Shannon McNally is the female incarnate of Waylon Jennings might be a bit of a stretch on my part, but she’s woman enough to walk into this men’s room and has the cajones to pull it off with a poker face, songs written by Dolly, Kristofferson, Rodney Crowell, Billy Joe Shaver, funky Donnie Fritts, and Waylon to name a few, Shannon sings these songs straight into 2021. There’s even a nod to Johnny Cash with the bonus track, “Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line”.
The Waylon Sessions are songs by outliers, poets and other honest men, songs by well-worn traveling musicians who’ve captured the heart and spirit of life encountered across America and beyond. Shannon McNally has lived these stories, she idolized the man, and she has a voice in these the songs. I for one love that someone more like me feels these things too.
- Viola Krouse
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