With her new album, The Waylon Sessions, the prolific and wide-ranging Shannon McNally sets out to revisit the songs and spirit of Waylon Jennings, a legend with whom she’s always had an ongoing fascination, but her collection of tunes ended up being not so much a tribute as it is a recontextualization; a nuanced, feminine rendering of a catalog long considered a bastion of hetero-masculinity.

That’s not to say McNally has a softer, gentler take on Jennings’ songs - in fact, just the opposite. Over and over again, she manages to locate a smoldering intensity, a searing hurt buried deep within the music’s deceptively simple poetry, and she homes in on it with surgical precision on this new album, which features special guests like Jessi Colter, Buddy Miller, Rodney Crowell, and Lukas Nelson.

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