Guitar/ Background Vocal
"A great songwriter that went under the radar." That's how Bonnie Raitt describes Larry John McNally in a recent interview with USA Today. But while Larry may prefer to stay out of the limelight, there's nothing "under the radar" about the artists who've recorded his songs: The Eagles ("I Love to Watch a Woman Dance"), Rod Stewart ("The Motown Song"), Joe Cocker ("Long Drag Off A Cigarette"), Chaka Khan ("Sleep on It" and "A Woman in a Man's World"), Don Henley ("For My Wedding") and, of course, the aforementioned Raitt ("Nobody's Girl" and "Slow Ride"), to name a humble few.
Not that fame ever was this troubadour's ambition. Instead, McNally set out from his home in Maine and headed to New Orleans as a teenager with the intention of following in the footsteps of his more esoteric idols, Allen Toussaint and Mose Allison. "I thought it was cool that other people were recording their own songs, “I wanted to be like that” said Larry. So after writing some songs he borrowed his sister's car and drove his tape to famed New Orleans producer, Alan Toussaint's studio and knocked on the door: "They let me in and the rest is history."
In 1973, Boston born, Andrew Kastner was fed up playing with a cover band at the Ramada Inn in Santa Fe New Mexico, so he got behind the wheel of his 1964 Volkswagen Bus and drove to Portland Maine to work behind the counter at his brother Stanley’s restaurant. There he met singer songwriter, Larry John McNally, who was living with Stanley and playing music in the restaurant on weekends. The chemistry was there so Larry and Andrew sat down and wrote the song, “Struttin’ On Sunday”. It was one of the songs Larry took to New Orleans. Aaron Neville cut it but they didn’t find out about it for12 years but that’s another story.
Kastner didn’t stay in Maine for long as his ambitions got him back behind the wheel of that 64 VW Bus making his way back across the continent to seek his fortunes in LA. In 1975 he landed his first big gig playing in Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra and after that went on to tour with the singer from his college band days back in Massachusetts, Natalie Cole. In 1978 Andrew and Larry joined forces again, this time in LA and over a couple years wrote some great songs two of which were recorded by Chaka Kahn and another, “Somewhere Somebody”, by Aaron Neville which reached #1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts in 1992 - and that’s where they went their separate ways.
Andrew went on to sign a publishing deal with Warner Brothers and had songs recorded by Nicolette Larson, Barry White and others as well as writing for Major Motion pictures and TV Shows. In 1980 Andrew started the renown soul band, Jack Mack and the Heart Attack, whose long career spawned 10 albums, and thousands of performances all around the globe as well as backing up hundreds of renown recording artists such as Bobby Womack, Peter Wolf, Ben E. King, The Young Rascals, Joe Walsh and many others.
Larry went on to make albums, write hit songs for the worlds most successful artists and perform all around the Globe.
Fast-forward 37 years. Andrew and Larry, for the first time in over three decades are performing together as The Kastner McNally Band. “The funny thing is, it seems like we are just picking up where we left off 30 odd years ago,” said Kastner. Kastner and McNally are teamed up with Jon Gray on drums and TV and film composer David Schwartz (composer for Arrested Development, Northern Exposure and more) on bass.
Their music is soulful, clever, lyrical, catchy and poignant. You will find it hard not to be swept up by their infectious and inspiring music.
Larry John McNally
Guitar/ Lead Vocal