By Sheena Barnett
TUPELO – Paul Thorn and Mac McAnally share a lot in common, but have never shared a stage.
For the first time, the two Mississippi singer-songwriters will perform on the same bill next week at the BancorpSouth Arena.
“I’ve been a fan of Paul’s for a long time,” Mac McAnally said in a phone interview with the Daily Journal from the road. “I’ve been to see him play, and we’ve definitely crossed paths in the studio.”
Thorn, from Tupelo, and McAnally, from Belmont, will each sing a set of songs and share stories at the concert.
“It is what I call the true test of a storyteller to come home,” McAnally said. “I keep some truth in my songs, so I love to come home and play in front of the home folks who can tell me if I’ve gone too far.”
McAnally spends much of his time as a member of Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band, as well as writing and recording with other artists.
He also just won his sixth consecutive Country Music Award for Musician of the Year, an award given to him by his peers.
“It’s kind of unbelievable,” he said. “I’m very honored and grateful and undeserving, but I’m happy.”
He and Thorn haven’t officially decided if they’ll do any duets at the concert.
“It’ll have to be spontaneous,” McAnally said. “It wouldn’t surprise me at all, but it would be a quick handshake of an arrangement, because we’re working up until that date.”
McAnally said he’s spent 2013 working with Buffett, Jamey Johnson, George Strait and Kenny Chesney, but he hopes to record a new album of his own next year.
“It’s my nature to do everybody else’s stuff first, so I haven’t recorded any of mine. I’m gonna try to sneak in the early part of the year. Jimmy tends to go to the island in cold months, so I’m gonna sneak in the studio,” he said. “With everything I do, I’ve got to do it a lot this year, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”
• What: Mac McAnally, Paul Thorn
• When: 7:30 p.m., Dec. 20
• Where: BancorpSouth Arena
• Cost: $45, $35, $25
• Info: bcsarena.com