News4U May 2021

Page 30



MCKINNEY BAND Nashville-based roots music trio emerges from lockdown with imaginative covers album, plans for two upcoming releases

And yet, the guys are just getting revved up. According to McKinney, Intentions and Interpretations will serve as a springboard for two upcoming releases, a Christmas-themed album due out in November and a new collection of originals set to drop in early 2022. In the meantime, the band hopes to get back into the clubs for some live shows beginning next month. McKinney was kind enough to offer a track-by-track analysis of Intentions and Interpretations, out May 7. "WHIPPING POST" (ALLMAN BROTHERS)

This is the only song on the record that wasn't a top 40 hit. But the Allman Brothers are our bass player's favorite band of all-time. I imagined what it would be like if a band like Lettuce or the Meters covered the Allman Brothers. That's how the arrangement came about in my head.

"It's sort of a multi-layered, existential thing," explains Jason Lee McKinney in regards to Intentions and Interpretations, the new covers project the singer/guitarist and his longtime bandmates Barry Strauser and Billy Wright produced while holed-up at


This is probably the only song that I chose for a bigger statement than just liking it - just with all the stuff that went

home during the pandemic. Still

on last year, the last couple years,

a big draw at local venues, JLMB

of us being so polarized in the

moved camp to Nashville some years

culture and, in my opinion, losing

back to further their roots music

nuance. And so, just going back to

cause with such varied releases as

that hippie message of Sly & The

2015's southern rock-inspired Play

Family Stone: we're all humans

Something You Believe Vols. 1&2,

and we're all trying to figure out

2017's gritty Sacred Southern Soul

the right thing to do. There's two

and last year's funk-ified Pieces. But

bands that kind of inspired our

the lockdown changed the game in

take on "Everyday People" - one of

March of 2020 - it was an unforeseen

which was a band in the 90's called

break that McKinney saw as an

Maggie's Dream. They were former

opportunity to pursue an interesting

members of Menudo - and two of

idea: "The whole premise of the

them went on to be very successful

covers album is us doing songs that

producers. And beyond that, I was

we like but imagining what it would be like if another artist or band we like covered them." The result of this inventive approach is a wholly engaging take

thinking what if The Time covered Sly & The Family Stone? "SERVE SOMEBODY" (BOB DYLAN)

I love Dylan's songwriting - it's brilliant. The lyric of that song

on a disparate set of classic tracks - from Bob Dylan's "Serve

really hit me and, of course, the Staple Singers did a version

Somebody" to Howard Jones' "No One is to Blame." Indeed,

which was really awesome. Their version may be even more

the sheer breadth of the material chosen for the project is

popular than his. I wanted to get as far out with this one as I

impressive; but it's how JLMB re-imagines each song without

could, so my thought was what would have happened if P-Funk

losing the essence of what makes it great that truly leaves a

covered Bob Dylan?

mark on the listener.

28 | MAY 2021


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