Shannon McNally

Given the incredible volume of CDs that are released on a weekly basis, it's inevitable that some really good ones evade detection by the masses. Such is the case with Geronimo, the latest disc by Shannon McNally, who's spent much of her career being punished for being difficult to pigeonhole. A singer-songwriter whose work blends roots music, country and R&B rather than adhering to the rudiments of each genre, McNally signed to Capitol around 1997. Unfortunately, Jukebox Sparrow, the album she made for the label, didn't escape from the company's vault until 2002, and its uncategorizable nature ensured a quick commercial death. Geronimo, which came out in June on the Back Porch imprint, seems bound for the same fate, despite being even better. The disc is defiantly eclectic, but McNally is more than equal to the tasks placed before her; she's as convincing on "The Worst Part of a Broken Heart," the gruffly earnest opener, as she is throughout "The Hard Way," a Dylanesque rocker that overflows with sassiness. If quality dictated success, McNally, who's touring alongside Charlie Sexton, would have already achieved it. Instead, she's still waiting for the discovery she so thoroughly deserves.


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