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Amy LaVere & Shannon McNally – “Chasing the Ghost” (MM)

27 Nov 2012

written by Mod Mobilian

Amy LaVere & Shannon McNally - "Chasing the Ghost" (MM)

Amy LaVere & Shannon McNally: Chasing the Ghost Rehearsal Sessions EP

by Ryan Johnson

A few years ago I toured around Memphis alone, indulging in all the musical history I could find. When I arrived at the legendary Sun Studios, a petite girl with a unique voice and cool swagger guided a group of us through the place. She complimented my dress and I learned that she, Amy LaVere, played stand up bass and was pretty much way cooler than I’ll ever be. “If you ever come through Alabama, you should stop in Mobile,” I told her with little expectation; however, I was pleasantly surprised when she did make a stop at Alabama Music Box last year in support of her most recent album, ‘Stranger Me’.

Never one to be boxed into a simple alt-country description, LaVere filled  ‘Stranger Me’ with hauntingly beautiful songs of love gone bitterly wrong. Spin Magazine rated it 8 out of 10, and it finds regular rotation in my own musical library.

Recently Amy LaVere and New Orleans guitarist/vocalist Shannon McNally were brought together by Luther Dickson of the North Mississippi Allstars to help form the five piece Memphis super group The Wandering. It didn’t take long for the two women to find strong connections musically, and plans for their ‘Chasing the Ghost Tour’ were laid on the heels of their run with The Wandering.

The Chasing the Ghost Rehearsal Sessions is a collaborative EP of the practice sessions LaVere and McNally had together in Memphis before the tour’s launch.

I’ve always felt that there’s something really special to be found in a practice session recording. While it’s a time for growth and development, occasionally there is something magical about those comfortable moments where music can be captured candidly.

Through shared leads and effortless harmonies, the two artists manage to bring out the best in each other. LaVere’s noir songs find a new strength and acerbic bite (as heard on the track “Stranger Me”), while McNally’s rough and rustic tunes grow more dynamic and graceful (“If It Were Mine to Keep” being a good example). If you’re unfamiliar with both artists, this collection is a great introduction to the blues, country, and folk infused style each have seemingly mastered.  Joined by Robert Mache on guitar and mandolin and Shawn Zorn on drums, this EP will leave you longing to hear a full set from these two talented musician

Both LaVere and McNally are on tour across the southeast through the end of the year, meeting up for shared sets on

Be sure to check out both of their websites to see where else you can catch them individually. The Chasing the Ghost Rehearsal Sessions EP is available now on ITunes and Spotify.

Watch Levere & McNally on DittyTV

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