NO DEPRESSION ALBUM REVIEW Scott McMahan's Masterful Debut Scott McMahan - Scott McMahan
BY LEE ZIMMERMAN , STAFF REVIEWER JUNE 11, 2016 FOLLOW CONTRIBUTOR
On first hearing, it’s hard to believe that this is Scott McMahan’s debut album. The songs are so well constructed, sung so masterfully and so expertly executed, that it’s easy to be convinced that McMahan has been at this far longer than he actually has. Part of the credit belongs to producer Dave Coleman, whose own band, the Coalmen, is due to release a new album later this summer. Coleman arranges these songs masterfully, effectively underscoring the sentiment and emotion McMahan instills into each of his songs. There’s a certain sadness that pervades many of these melodies -- in the hopeful plea of “Let Me Stay the Night,” the arched resignation of “Louisiana,” the downcast and disheartened “For One Who Cares” -- but McMahan is clearly stepping up to the task of sharing songs borne from his own back story. On his homepage (www.scottmcmahanmusic.com) he describes the album as tales “of longing, loss, and the hope of redemption.” Consequently, a song like the bluesy and assertive “I’ll Take You Home” (“Come with me darlin’, I’ll take you home”) reflects the fact he’s found the strength and conviction needed. His is a resilience and determination to rise above adversity and turn his focus towards the future. It’s rare to find a first album that makes a case so masterfully, but there’s a clear confidence in play here, a sound that’s both polished and profound. These are soulful, affecting performances, indicative of the fact that McMahan possesses those qualities that will allow his career to endure. Best to catch up with him now because bigger rewards await.