CULLMAN, Ala. – Last Friday evening, Cullman native Shannon McNeal got to play her first homecoming show since November 2019. The show was hosted by Berkeley Bob’s Coffee House on 304 First Ave SE. McNeal is back home briefly and has been primarily located in Nashville, Tennessee since fall of 2016 after graduating from Cullman High School that spring.
When asked how her songs and hometown tie together for her, McNeal shared, “I started writing songs when I was in middle school for the most part, and being from Cullman, my songs are very folky and relevant to this place. I started writing while I was growing up and that influenced my style a lot. I also write a lot about personal experiences, the experiences of my friends and people close to me, and that also ties back into Cullman because I wrote a lot of these stories during my time growing up here.”
McNeal has been busy since she moved to Nashville, releasing her most recent album in 2018 titled, “Wilting Flowers, Blooming Dreams” as well as writing several singles. She continued, “Pre-COVID, I was performing a lot in the Nashville music scene. Since 2021, I have released four singles and I have a lot more music to come this year as well. All of my music can be found on Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube.”
“Playing at Berkeley Bob’s is very significant to me because this is really the first place I ever performed my original content. I have performed many, many shows and open mics here throughout the years. So, it is a really special hometown venue. The staff and owners have always been so supportive of my music career. This is the first show I have played in a while since the pandemic, and it is cool that it gets to be where it all started,” McNeal explained.
Emily Dale, a longtime, close friend of McNeal’s, shared her sentiments on Shannon’s success with The Tribune saying, “I feel like Shannon has always had the potential to excel. It is still so exciting getting to see it happen, though. It is almost surreal. I love her. Shannon has the type of heart that she could be internationally famous, or she could be living in a box, and she would be happy either way. We really are all so proud.”
When speaking on future shows here in her hometown, McNeal smiled, “Yes, definitely. I have definitely noticed that Cullman’s music scene has been growing in the years since I left. There are a lot of awesome music venues, and it would definitely be great to come and share my songs with people in the places I grew up.”
McNeal was joined onstage by Wes Ellard and Justin Weygand during her performance and was able to play through and share her favorite originals that she wrote while growing up right here in Cullman.
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