North American Ghost Music

by | May 4, 2006

While seeing Shannon McNally for the first time last Friday night in New Orleans, I kept thinking I know this artist from somewhere. With the help of Google, I now know where. She went to Franklin & Marshall College, as did I (although not at the same time), and our alumni magazine profiled her a few years back. While F&M is famous for producing actors, playwrights and directors–Roy Scheider, Treat Williams, James Lapine and Franklin Schaffner–I’m not aware of any other popular musicians having spent four years there.

In the alumni magazine piece, McNally describes her experience in Los Angeles, where she first went to pursue her music career. She now lives in New Orleans.

“I didn’t know anything about the record industry,” she said. “It didn’t mean anything to me. I was still kicking myself for not going to grad school. I gave myself three years, and I said that if this doesn’t work, I’m going back to school.”

Capitol’s interest in her was “really great,” but McNally wanted to do things her own way. She was more interested in music than Hollywood glamour.

“I’m not Jennifer Lopez. I can understand her appeal, but I can’t do that. It’s just not me,” she said. “A lot of that whole lifestyle just wasn’t an option for me.”

It’s easy to see how a suit might look at this woman’s beauty and think GOLDMINE. But did the dollar signs blind his ears too? She’s a folk artist!

Shannon is now on EMI’s Back Porch Records label. I purchased her 2005 relase “Geronimo” yesterday on iTunes.