Shannon McNally in concert with special guest Terry "Big T" Williams
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 McNallys 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 whos live music career began on the jam band circuit of the 1990s 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 troubadours 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, hasnt 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 McNallys 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.
Terry Big T Williams has dedicated his life to his music. Born in Clarksdale in 1960, he spent his early years on a plantation in Farrell, Mississippi, hearing stories about Muddy Waters attending Sunday picnics in his grandmothers yard.
These influences, as well as the music he was hearing on the radio by Deltans such as B.B. King, had an impact on him at a very young age. At nine, Big Ts father gave him a guitar and so he took it upon himself to learn how to play. Eventually, Big T came under the tutelage of legendary blues educator Johnnie Billington
He was twelve years old when the Jelly Roll Kings (Big Jack Johnson, Frank Frost and Sam Carr) took him under their wing and eventually even took him on the road all over the world. But Big T knew he eventually wanted to front his own band, and over the years he has been with bands like The Creative Funk, The Stone Gas Band and Big T & The Family Band. Today, Big T and his Review Band play gigs all over, but he is especially fond of the ones in his own back yard. To him, Clarksdale is home.
Williams' most recent recording is Meet Me in the Cotton Field, a collaboration with Clarksdale bassist and vocalist Wesley Jefferson, released in Spring 2007 on St. Louis-based Broke & Hungry Records.
The Barn (Ver)
136 Mac Davis Road
Columbus, MS 39702
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