As local country music fans know, these days Long Island has plenty to offer when it comes to finding an outlet for the sound.
It seems almost odd to think that supporters of the genre and its culture were once often strained to find somewhere (other than satellite radio) to hear country before 2010; today there is a dedicated FM station located in Suffolk County (WJVC “My Country” 96.1-FM) and several nightclubs that offer evenings of line-dancing and live country bands weekly. However, while that has all proven to be successful, those who truly cherish the classic Nashville sound will soon get a chance to catch a popular and prodigious country singer and songwriter perform at Mulcahy’s Pub and Concert Hall in Wantagh.
Some of the “boot-scooting,” honky-tonk music required for line-dancing – while bona fide country – doesn’t always appeal to all who enjoy the deeper side of the genre. And while the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater and Madison Square Garden may see some of today’s biggest stars play those large arenas with regularity, the newer acts tend to infuse more pop and rock than what was once the norm – and also tend to bounce around onstage, playing to crowds of thousands. But on Friday, Jan. 18, the legendary Mac McAnally will be at Mulcahy’s to present a fairly intimate and unique show, one that may provide Islanders with a desire for true country (and rich musicianship) a special opportunity.
McAnally may not be a household name, but his resume is vast. A member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, he has won a Country Music Association Award (for “Musician of the Year”) five times (2008-2012) and the Mississippi Governor's Award for Excellence in Music in 2011.
Also a member of Jimmy Buffett's backing group “The Coral Reefer Band,” McAnally has been releasing albums of his own since 1977, and has also written and co-written hit songs for acts like Alabama, Ricky Van Shelton and Sawyer Brown – while also seeing his work covered by Kenny Chesney, whose duet of McAnally’s 1990 song “Down The Road” with McAnally himself scored the pair a 2010 Grammy nomination (for “Best Country Collaboration with Vocals”).
In addition to all his career statistics, McAnally is a talented singer, guitarist and pianist, and when live in performance, easily supersedes the boundaries of a single genre. As of this writing, his website doesn’t mention his upcoming show at Mulcahy’s, but the pub’s Facebook page and website does – and tickets are currently on sale online at ticketweb.com for $20. Doors open at 8 p.m.; age of admission is 21 and over.
Mulcahy's Pub and Concert Hall: 3232 Railroad Ave., Wantagh, 516-783-7500