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Jukebox Sparrows

4.7 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

The southern aura of Shannon McNally's full-length debut belies more than her own geographic origins on Long Island's South Shore. Indeed, McNally seems to have absorbed a generation or three of classic American blues, folk, and country influences with nary an ounce of self-consciousness or strained irony. Coupled with "Now That I Know"'s easy, emblematic pop sense and her natural phrasing, McNally's viewpoints range from cynically clear-eyed modern romanticism ("Down and Dirty," "Bolder Than Paradise") to the chilling rape-themed narrative "It Could've Been Me" to the surprising, jazzy impressionism of "Colorado." Comparisons to Sheryl Crow and Bonnie Raitt come naturally, but McNally's musical ambitions are distinctly broader, especially for a singer so early in her career. If the album's midtempo groove occasionally simmers too long, the spare sheen of Ron Aniello's production and stellar session work from the likes of Jim Keltner, James Gadson, Benmont Tench, and Greg Leisz impart a mature, accomplished sensibility. And just when you might think you've got McNally pegged, along comes her most promising delight, a playfully experimental title track rife with ambient samples, a rap-blues inflected telephone-voice narrative, murky rhythms, and bop-inspired instrumental flourishes. A VH1-ready visage has gained her some press, but don't let that distract you. Just trust your ears. --Jerry McCulley
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 8, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B00005UOFG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,386 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Sharon Nichols on September 21, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Driving on a Woodstock back road with my windows down, an exquisite sunset invited me to pull over and gasp. There we were... me, a delicious summer meadow and Shannon McNally blaring from the speakers. Yep, life is good.

It's McNally's task in life to provide that on-the-porch-in-a-hammock-swing-with-a-Mint-Julep-on-a-balmy-evening kind of mood. Or here's a drink for ya: two parts Bonnie Raitt, two parts Sheryl Crow, one part Edie Brickell and one part Rickie Lee Jones. Shake. Serve with potato fritters under a cajun moon. Okay, so Shannon McNally is an ex-model, but big whoop. There's nothing particularly precious about her and she doesn't deliver 20-something pop crap. With her smoky vox and a laid back bluesy vibe that's slithery, gritty and gutsy, this 27-year-old Long Island native is a coffeehouse owner's dream. Check out her newly released 11-song debut, Jukebox Sparrows, for some good ole blues abandon.

Apparently, some industry goons think this singer-songwriter should be doing the Alanis Morrisette thing with her all-American, wite-girl good looks. Figures. But McNally feels more at home with the J.J. Cale/ Ry Cooder crowd, and her music should be played in a dimly lit bar with a sticky floor. Loudly. She uses seasoned players on this recording: James Gadson (Bill Withers, Marvin Gaye), Jim Keltner (John Lennon, Ry Cooder), Bob Glaub (Linda Rondstadt, B.B. King), Benmont Tench (Tom Petty), and Greg Leisz (Joni Mitchell), and the result is mid-tempo slide guitar tunes, piano ballads, and earthy roots rock that is easily digestible and hard to dislike. There's nothing too complicated about the way this album feels, and even through production is slick, it's funny how it still winds up sounding organic.
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Format: Audio CD
I first saw Shannon when she played with The Girls Room tour and I picked up her EP with the promise that "full-length Cd coming soon", well almost a year went by and still no word on "jukebox sparrows"...well here it is, finally. Thankfully, it doesn't seem like the record company demanded Shannon "rework" her sound or anything like that and this cd was definatly worth waiting for.
She's been compared to everyone from Bonnie Raitt to Stevie Nicks (in vocal stylings), but Shannon has her own persona rising into alternative rock to contemporary country to blues rock. ALl these sounds mesh very well on the cd, the pop "Now that I know" and the twangy "Start All Over" (my favorite) are great examples of Shannon's wide-spread influences. Her lyrics are simple and straight forward in the great blues style of just "saying what you mean" but there's always a mystery in her voice. Now that this cd is out, I can only hope the next batch of songs don't take as long but then again, I know I'll receive quality music when it finally hits my cd player.
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By A Customer on February 25, 2002
Format: Audio CD
After hearing 'Down and Dirty' on the radio, I wanted to hear more and decided that, after hearing the entire album, 'Down and Dirty' was just the tip of the iceberg as far as the rest of the album is concerned. Loved every track and want more!
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Format: Audio CD
I love folk-style rock original music and Shannon McNally does just that in Jukebox Sparrow. Familiar because it resonates Bonnie Raitt but origianl because of the interesting and sometimes powerful lyrics written by McNally. Utimately mellow, I do enjoy more of the upbeat tics in the beginning of the album. But, most importantly, I enjoyed every song and that is saying a lot. I look forward to future albums and future growth of this artist.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I had never heard of Shannon McNally and then one night was watching Austin City Limits or some show like that and she was on it and I thought, that girl can sing. So I just brought this cd without really knowing anything about it and I LOVE IT! The entire cd is fantastic. I don't know why she isn't more well known because she is certainly a fantastic singer. No bad songs on this cd. Excellent!
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Format: Audio CD
I've been a big fan of Maria McKee's gorgeous voice since the Lone Justice days, and occasionally I will type her name into amazon's search engine to see if she's come up with anything new. On my most recent attempt to find some new Maria CDs, I discovered the amazing Shannon McNally. I knew from listening to samples and reading the reviews which compared her to some of my other favorites (Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Nicks) that I'd like the CD. The biggest thrill is that I LOVE it! While I hesitate to compare anyone to the great Maria McKee, Shannon comes closer than anyone I've ever heard. Her voice is bluesy, earthy, angelic, soulful, emotional, and just plain beautiful. She soars and glides and gets "down & dirty" in a way that calls to mind many other singers, but is unique and very captivating. She had a hand in writing all of the songs on this CD, and, while it's impossible for me to choose a favorite, "Bitter Blue" and "Now That I Know" stand out. But all of the songs are solid; there's no filler here. Then again, Shannon could sing the phone book and I would listen. Thankfully she has done more than that with this CD, and I am thrilled to have finally discovered a new singer to add to my list of favorites.
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