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Mac Interview with American Songwriter

January 2nd, 2012

American Songwriter has an interesting interview with Coral Reefer and reining CMA Musician of the Year Mac McAnally:

You’re known as a great storyteller, both lyrically and in your live show. Was there any particular writer or performer coming up that inspired you to be the storyteller you’re known as today?

I’m sure that I was a sponge and was influenced by almost everything I heard musically. But the storytelling probably comes from two places. First the church. My mother was the piano player at church when I was young and we were always going to Baptist “association,” which was like a preaching competition with endless sermons over a two or three day period. I was very young and probably would have chosen to be elsewhere but I did take note of what did and did not work for the men, and a woman or two, in the pulpit. Secondly and probably a more direct influence were the old guys who sat on the “gossip bench” at the courthouse downtown and whittled and told stories. I was told not to hang around these guys and sat at their feet and listened to them for a big chunk of my early time. The new live CD is a response to years of being asked to record the stories that accompany the songs.

You’ve had cuts by Alabama, Kenny Chesney, Jimmy Buffett and many others. Do you have a song that was particularly hard to let go of?

When I wrote “Back Where I Come From” I thought that it was a hit, but also that it said something that I personally wanted to be the first to say. As a publisher I knew I was devaluing the copyright by singing it myself instead of passing it onto better and bigger singers, but I did it anyway. One of many of my classically bad business choices, but thankfully Kenny Chesney was kind enough to bail me out and cut it again. Thanks again KC.

Read the full interview here.

And be sure to pick up Mac’s new album Live in Muscle Shoals.

Tagged in Coral Reefers, Interviews