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Shannon McNally

Jukebox Sparrows

  • Capitol

The music world's been spinning in recent years, with the rise of hip-hop, techno, and teen pop. Thankfully, record labels haven't given up on finding new, roots-fueled, alt-country, and rock acts.

One particularly bright new voice belongs to Shannon McNally, a 27-year-old Long Island native whose songs sound like a well-seasoned cross between Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow, and Lucinda Williams. Not bad company to be in, and with some help from a first rate gathering of session players, including Jim Keltner, James Gadson, and Benmont Tench, McNally makes the most of this 11-song debut.

Earthy at times, like in the album opener “Down and Dirty,” and lusty at other times, as during the slide-tinged shuffle “I'll Always Be Around,” McNally has a sultry approach and a passionate, straight-ahead songwriting style. She can sound as blue as blue can get in the pedal steel, country echoes of “Start All Over” and just as easily turn in an ultra-cool retro ballad like “Bury My Heart on the Jersey Shore.” Watch her closely in the coming year, she sounds like a major emerging artist.

Kevin O'Hare

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