Video Premiere: Shannon McNally “Black Rose” from Her Forthcoming Album Evoking the Songs and Spirit of Waylon Jennings
On her forthcoming album, Shannon McNally shares her perspective on the many moods of Waylon Jennings. McNally enlisted Jessi Colter, Buddy Miller, Rodney Crowell, Lukas Nelson and others to evoke the spirit of the country icon on The Waylon Sessions, which will be released by Blue Rose Music and Compass Records on May 28 (and is now available for pre-order). She reveals, “I have always loved his defiantly existential but immediately accessible common man’s music and how it boogies.” McNally, who covers 11 tunes on the record, both compositions written by Jennings and others long associated with him, adds, “My goal wasn’t to force anything onto the music that wasn’t there already. There’s a feminine perspective hidden somewhere inside each of these songs. My job was to find a way to tap into that and draw it out.”
Today we premiere the wry, playful video for “Black Rose” which complements McNally’s warm, winning take on the tune. Waylon Jennings first recorded the Billy Joe Shaver-penned composition in 1973 and McNally tells Relix, “The chorus on this song may be the best chorus of all times: ‘The devil made me do it the first time, the second time I did it on my own.’ Talk about the fight for good and evil and staring the devil down at the crossroads? This is high art right here; cotton field disco perfection, the first generator in the county. Buddy Miller sings with me and his baritone guitar solo on the outro raises the hair on the back of my neck every time I hear it. The party in the track is the harmonica and the tambourine sounding like Christmas sleigh bells in a sweaty July.
“I wanted the video to have some levity and to capture the original intent of the song which I’ve always interpreted as good natured but risky. I thought my costar was the perfect straight faced sidekick. He’s more of a drinking buddy/comedy partner than a love interest but it’s a willfully ambiguous relationship for the sake of the storyline. In a suspension of reality, after becoming fast friends when I pick him up hitchhiking in a stolen car on a joyride that ends with us clearing getting arrested by Roscoe P. Coltrane in a baby blue cop cruiser, we go to jail. I envisioned my character somewhere between Gina Davis and Woody Harrelson on the set of the Barney Miller show. It was quite liberating really. I like the image of the open cell door and the notion that essentially I’m policing myself because isn’t that what the dance of acting right is all about?”