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Q&A with lead singer of Texas Country band Dolly Shine

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The University Star sat down with Zack McGinn, lead singer of Dolly Shine, to discuss the group’s third album, Walkabout.

Dolly Shine will be having its CD Release Show in San Marcos at Cheatham Street on Thursday, June 23.

Denise Cervantes: So you’ll be visiting San Marcos Cheatham soon—have you ever played in town before?

Zack McGinn: We have. Cheatham Street is really cool. We’ve only played there once, but we’re looking forward to it.

DC: Nice. What are you looking forward to the most for your guys’ performance?

ZM: Just the fact that it’s our CD release party and we’re able to get our record out to new people. I’m excited to see the turnout in San Marcos. Just out of curiosity, what kind of fan base we got in the area. Hopefully we’ll have a pretty good crowd.

DC: I’m sure you will. So, is there a certain song you’re excited to play live from the new album?

ZM: I want to say all of them, because I’m really excited about all of them. But I think “Blackbird” is probably my favorite because it’s something different. We’ve never recorded a song with that kind of feel before, and it’s been fun playing it live so far.

DC: With the new album, what are you most excited for? What’s the most interesting thing that came from this album for you?

ZM: Well, everything. I’m excited about every single song on this record, to be honest with you. I think this is the best-collected work of a group of songs we’ve put together to date. Walkabout is about a journey, and that’s really what we want to take people on with this record. We hope that everyone finds whatever they need to in this record.

DC: You mentioned the record is about taking a journey. I’m a little curious. Can you take me through a little bit of the creative process for this record?

ZM: Walkabout in itself means to travel and to find yourself, and I feel like that’s what we’ve been doing these last several years. We wanted to be really organic, we didn’t want to show a bunch of crazy solos or anything like that. We wanted to show and express our songwriting. This record was just coming together with our band. I think the songwriting itself was my favorite part of this record. It was cool to be able to showcase all of the band’s writing.

DC: So you guys were able to collaborate for this record? That does sound really cool.

ZM: Yeah, you know it’s not something we’ve historically done in the past, but we experimented with more co-writing together with this record, and this record is the most different from all the others, I believe, just also because of that fact that we got to spend most of the time in the studio together, piecing together all the musical parts and the solos and arrangement. Everything. It was just really fun to make.

DC: In the past were you guys not usually together?

ZM: Well, yeah, when you start off with a record everyone is there to do pre-recording. We work out the arrangements and the tunes, and then everyone will kind of go in individually and cut their parts, but this time we made it a point to be there for each of our recording parts. To critique and give advice or a thumbs up.

DC: Got it. So for someone who may not be familiar with your band’s music, how would you describe your genre to other people? Or what genre do you think you guys fit the best into?

ZM: I don’t know if we specifically fit into one category. I guess it’s all bunched up into Texas country, as it’s called. But I think it’s more Americana, because there’s different guys in the band who come from different backgrounds. Our lead guitar player likes rock-n-roll. Our drummer is a rock-n-roll fan as well. I’ve always been a country or Americana kind of guy, and that’s where our bass player is too. I think it just brings a lot of different elements to the table.