Thanks to the good folks at Bearsville Theater and Radio Woodstock, the deeply soulful sounds of Shannon McNally & Hot Sauce made a Monday night – a school night for this reviewer – feel like the weekend party of the autumn. The price of admission was free, and the good times that followed for avid music lovers, priceless.
Backed by her husband Wallace Lester (drums), Benjamin Todd (electric bass/harmony vocals) and Will Sexton (guitar/harmony vocals), McNally played two sets that showcased her extraordinary voice, engaging and often poetic songs, and exuberant guitar playing. The highlights were many.
Opening with the haunting tale of “Jack B. Nimble” and outlaw swagger of Steve Young’s “Lonesome, Ornery and Mean” from her 2009 gem, “Coldwater,” McNally established that the full range of human experience would get sonic exploration. Julie Miller’s “All My Tears” – a testimony to holding fast to faith in redemption and an after-life – evolved from a slow tempo to a military march of affirmation (“All my tears’ll be washed away”).