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Mac McAnally – 2nd Showing

Saturday, November 2 @ 8:00 pm

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Mac McAnally is a Grammy®-nominated singer-songwriter hailed for his mastery of multiple instruments and captivating lyrics. He has written dozens of hit records for other artists, several of which peaked at #1. Born and raised in Mississippi, McAnally’s music effortlessly blends Country, Folk, and Rock influences, earning him widespread acclaim.

Description

For his new album, “Once in a Lifetime,” Mac McAnally is indeed doing something he’s never done before. To reflect the intimacy of his concerts, he arranged most of the material around guitar and percussion–yet he acknowledges that several of its tracks outgrew that simple set-up. And while many of the songs are new, he chose to include a few originals dating back to the early 2000s that seemed like a good fit. So, with 12 songs pulled from different decades and musical directions, what ultimately ties all these tracks together? Simply put, it is McAnally’s ability to see the silver lining, a perspective he’s carried on his journey from being a shy, small-town kid from Mississippi, to working as a teenage studio musician in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, to becoming one of Nashville’s most respected (and self-effacing) singer-songwriters. 

“Once in a Lifetime” captures every aspect of his musical vision. “I generally write whatever comes to me,” he says. “I’m not somebody who sits down and says, ‘I need to write a hit song,’ or this or that kind of song. I just follow whatever floats through my head.” While writing “Alive and in Between,” McAnally drew upon childhood memories of Belmont, Mississippi, where his father was a school administrator and his mother played piano in the Baptist church. The song emerged from an art project, where novels were given to songwriters and visual artists, who would then create a piece based on their response to the book. In McAnally’s case, Harrison Scott Key’s memoir, The World’s Largest Man, sparked vivid snapshots from his own youth. McAnally translated those images into verses, then added a cool guitar riff he’s been using for years while tuning or changing strings. “The author came from the same part of the country as me and it woke up a bunch of stuff about my childhood–what it was like hanging with my dad, going to the drugstore, talking about football, politics, and religion,” he says. “That opened up that part of my brain that I haven’t been down into for a while.” 

One of the most uplifting songs on “Once in a Lifetime” is “Almost All Good,” where he’s aware of challenging times but doesn’t let them cloud his vision. Propelled by Eric Darken’s percussion, McAnally accompanies himself on guitar–with the lively rhythms adding a joyful spirit to the track. And this is not mere strumming, as McAnally has won a record-setting 10 trophies as Musician of the Year from the Country Music Association.

Turning conversations into songs is one of McAnally’s greatest gifts, one that led to his induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007. Two of the songs from “Once in a Lifetime” come from that era. He co-wrote “Good Guys Win” for the 2006 film, “Hoot,” and felt like its optimistic tone needed to be heard in this divided time. The thoughtful lyrics of “The Better Part of Living”–and “Once in a Lifetime” as a whole–can perhaps be traced back to a phrase McAnally remembers from his childhood, when his mother would tell him to “make some use of yourself” on his way out the door. McAnally still adheres to that philosophy today. When asked about the experience of listening to these assorted songs that have now become an album, he modestly replies, “I see a guy trying to be a good representation of a human being. I hope there’s something in what I do that in some way can make someone else’s life a little bit better, too. That’s really what I’m shooting for.”

Artist Website

Venue

Newberry Opera House
1201 McKibben Street
Newberry, SC 29108 United States
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Artist Website
www.macmcanally.com
Artist Website Text
Artist Website
YouTube Video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4MAB1DT0mQ