Mac McAnally: From Nashville to home

Mac McAnally just won the Country Music Award for Musician of the Year for the second consecutive year in a row, and what’s he going to do next? Come to Tupelo to play a show.
This year has been especially kind to McAnally, who calls Belmont home. He released a new album, “Down by the River,” which he released on Toby Keith’s Show Dog Nashville label. Since 2007, he’s been inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame. He keeps busy producing albums and writing songs when he’s not on tour with Jimmy Buffet’s Coral Reefer Band. For someone who’s been in the music biz for much of his life, the past two years’ worth of work and accolades have kept him very busy, but very happy.
“For a guy who’s lazy, I’ve been working a lot,” McAnally said with a laugh.
Good year
McAnally said he was surprised to win this second CMA Award, just as he was surprised to win the first one. The Musician of the Year Award is given to the best studio musician, and the award is voted on by fellow studio musicians.
“I find myself calling the doctor to make sure he doesn’t know something he’s not telling me,” McAnally said, laughing. “They’re trying to cram 10 years worth of good fortune into two or three years. But I haven’t done anything any different … I play music every time I get an opportunity, if I can sing, play, write, arrange, produce – all of that makes me happy, and I get to cross-pollinate all of those little jobs. So I don’t do it any differently than I did in 1975, but a couple of people are patting me on the back.”
Homecoming
McAnally said he’s looking forward to a homecoming of sorts for the Tupelo gig.
“My first three or four albums were written in Belmont, and written about my vantage point from there. It’s where I feel most at home. My mind set has to go back to the water tank in Belmont,” he said. “All my songs started in the truth, but they’ve been told for 20 years, so I’m a storyteller.”
The singer-songwriter invites fans out to hear his new tunes and sing along with old ones.
“I love the Lyric; it’s the first place I ever saw a movie. It takes me back there where I grew up,” he said. “Something I bring back in my songs will make them think about how good it is to grow up in North Mississippi, and I’m happy to have the opportunity to do it.”

Tupelo Concert Information
TUPELO – Award-winning singer/songwriter MacMcAnally will appear in concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3 at the Lyric Theatre. Tickets are $30. Tim Warren of Tupelo will open the concert. (662) 844-1935.

Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal