A.K.A Nobody is McAnally's latest solo album, sung, performed and produced by the much beloved session ace. All but one of its songs were written by McAnally, either on his own or with co-writers including Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown, Sonny Landreth, Chris Stapleton, Al Anderson, and others. His expressive range is on full display -- swampy blues on "Place Where You Belong," some exotic Parisian-style swing on "Zanzibar," a saucy Cajun swagger on "Loser Gumbo" with McAnally rocking the piano as Sonny Landreth wails on slide guitar, complex but catchy pop reminiscent of Steely Dan's best on "Someday," straight-ahead, steel-sweetened country with Southern rock seasoning on "Coast of Carolina."
Perhaps the album's biggest surprise, "With a Straight Face," a sensitive portrayal of two gay children raised by parents who can't understand their kids are "something God made." "I have a heart for the underdog and for the oppressed and persecuted," McAnally says, addressing "With a Straight Face." "And I have close friends who have suffered for no good reason I can see. This song is for all the above."
With a track record that includes writing No. 1 hits on his own for Kenny Chesney ("Down the Road") and Alabama ("Old Flame") as well as penning chart-toppers for Sawyer Brown ("All These Years") and Shenandoah ("Two Dozen Roses"), it's no wonder that he has been voted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
"This selection of music made me stay up late and get up early, filled up my fairly big heart and historically large head for the last several years in between also working on musical projects with other artists, which I also love to do," Mac says. "Because of the long process in recording this album I had the chance to give some long attention to the songs that demanded it, and the ones I thought would benefit from a spontaneous joyfest in the studio with a great band were saved for last. I'm very proud of both the work and that my fans continue to follow my little career. Small though it may be it's one of the biggest blessings ever. I'm grateful... and to borrow one of the song titles 'Proud To Be Alive.'"
A.K.A. Nobody track listing:
1. A Little Bit Better (Chris Stapleton/Mac McAnally)
2. Last But Not Least (Zac Brown/Wyatt Durrette/Jimmy De Martini/Coy Bowles/McAnally)
3. Mississippi, You’re On My Mind (Jesse Winchester)
4. With A Straight Face (McAnally)
5. Don’t Remember Leaving (McAnally)
6. Zanzibar (McAnally)
7. Place Where You Belong (Al Anderson/McAnally)
8. Proud To Be Alive (McAnally)
9. Better Get Your Story Straight (McAnally)
10. Everything (Ain’t Too High a Price) (McAnally)
11. Loser Gumbo (Sonny Landreth/McAnally)
12. Coast of Carolina (Jimmy Buffett/McAnally)
13. Someday (McAnally)
14. Island Rain (Kenny Chesney/McAnally)
15. Working Prayer (McAnally)