Jessi McNeal, ‘Won’t Run Dry’ [Exclusive Premiere]
Jessi McNeal's musical backbone is rooted in the sacred. She grew up singing hymns and timeless country songs, and as she has evolved as a songwriter, she continues to grow from that tradition of reverence and meditation. In addition to her career as a recording artist and songwriter, in fact, she is a worship leader in her Washington state hometown.
Nowhere are those roots more apparent than in her latest release, "Won't Run Dry," which McNeal is premiering exclusively for readers of The Boot. Press play above to listen to the lush, mid-tempo new track, and see its accompanying music video.
"Won't Run Dry" comes off of McNeal's forthcoming studio album, The Driveway; the singer says she wrote it in response to a particular vibe that the collection was lacking. "I really felt like this album needed a gospel song, and was trying to find the right inspiration," she explains, adding that she found that inspiration at home on her five-acre farm in Mt. Vernon, Wash.
"I was up in my studio at our barn, staring out the window, and landed on a swing my husband had just hung up for my niece and nephew in our huge oak tree," McNeal goes on to say. "'Swing me under the wide, wide branches of your love / It is enough.' I think I wrote the whole song in a single afternoon, and it was one of our favorites to record."
As McNeal points out, that family connection didn't stop with the inspiration for the song: "Fun side note: The music video actually features my niece!" she says.
The Driveway explores the metaphor of McNeal's literal driveway as an in-between space. "I sometimes hear people refer to it as the 'messy middle,' but lately, I've been thinking of it as the 'sacred middle,'" she says. In her case, the "middle ground" provides just that: a buffer between her home and everything else.
“I think we all need a bit of easement in our lives where we give ourselves permission to just be, without all of the pressure and demands that life can place on us – a place where we can have let ourselves have all those gut level feelings about waiting and loss and transition. If we speed through those emotions, we’re going to miss a lot of things, mostly ourselves,” McNeal explains. “Lately I’m savoring those slow walks to fetch the mail, and I’m feeling a whole lot of grace to just be right where I am in my own unfolding story.”
The Driveway is due out on Aug. 16. Fans can visit JessiMcNeal.com for more details.
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