Charlie Sexton & Shannon McNally

Southside Sessions (Back Porch)

ACL Music Fest Reviews

Charlie Sexton & Shannon McNally

Southside Sessions (Back Porch)

For a recording that falls on the alt.country side of roots-rock, Southside Sessions cuts close to the bone without bleeding. Inspired by the successful 2005 tour by Charlie Sexton and Shannon McNally, who traded appearances on each other's acclaimed albums last year (Sexton produced hers), the two repeat their onstage duets on this seven-song EP (both "Burn" and "I'd Do the Same for You" appeared on Sexton's Cruel and Gentle Things). The results are a tight, canny collection of songs, sometimes languorous and understated ("Nothing Mysterious"), but more often transcendently beautiful ("No Place to Fall"). That it shapes four of Sexton's and one of McNally's original compositions with Townes Van Zandt and Jesse Winchester chestnuts makes it all the more alluring. The latter's "Biloxi" is the disc's most sublime moment, wistful but never fey, a stunning and gorgeous lament that evokes the devastated New Orleans in the most poetic of lyrics. McNally is a relative newcomer, recording less than 10 years, compared with Sexton's baptism by rock & roll fire in Austin nightclubs when he was a baby. Yet both have struck a common chord with each other, a union of luminous joy and emotional strength married in music. (Saturday, 5:15pm, Austin Ventures stage)

***

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
William Harries Graham
Jakes (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, April 12, 2019

Texas Platters
Rebecca Loebe
Give Up Your Ghosts (Record Review)

Christina Garcia, April 12, 2019

More by Margaret Moser
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?

March 3, 2017

Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
A look back at illustrated album covers old and new

July 29, 2016

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle