Friday, April 18, 2008

"I'm going to do one of my own songs...."

The reason for the title up top is because when Shelby Lynne made this announcement in the midst of doing covers from her latest album (full of Dusty Springfield gems) my face and heart smiled. I had a slight fear that I would only hear songs from her most recent release so this auspicious announcement on Wednesday night, roughly 30 minutes into her show at Atone's was met with cheers and applause!!!

The first of her own songs, “Telephone,” landed with a welcome jolt; (and her comments about drunk dialing couldn't be more true!) something opened up and loosened in her voice, and she seemed infinitely more at ease. This calm self-assurance made the rest of the evening feel almost like a different show.

Ms. Lynne drew from a few of her previous releases, notably “I Am Shelby Lynne,” her major-label breakthrough from 2000. At one point she performed three in a row from that album, beginning with “Where I’m From,” a love letter to her home state of Alabama and then On “Your Lies,” an anthem of hurt and indignation. The harmonies were DELICIOUS as her band joined in.

If you have "Just a Little Lovin'," she includes one original balland on it called "Pretend." She said she included this because she could imagine Ms. Springfield singing it. The arrangement was simple yet so effective. John Jackson fingerpicking an acoustic and Brian Harrison playing a bass flute. Yes, a bass flute. As Ms. Lynne pointed out...."What rock and roll, country artists tours with a bass flute?....f-in me, that's who!"

The moment and song I will remember the most is when she started to play "When Johnny met June," off the album Suit Yourself. "Their music wasn't a big influence on me. It was their character, their individual styles, what they were like as people. They weren't afraid to stick out. That's what I so admired about Johnny Cash and June Carter," Lynne said. The lyrics to this song are about what she felt the day she heard that Johnny Cash died. If you haven't heard this tune, go get it. (here is sample of the first verse below, it only gets better from here)

Got some news today from the radio man
He spoke the words softly and as somber as he can
The world stood still and the sky opened up
made my way to fill up my coffee cup.
Then it occurred to me as the daylight sky shone blue
Today’s the day that
Johnny met June.

It was a perfect evening. I was tired the entire next day because well, I had been up since 500 AM for my swim practice but the fatigue was worth it. I finally got to see someone that I have admired since hearing her in 2000. What I love is that you can tell she is who she wants to be up on that stage. She loves what she does for a living and she loves to share it.

I hope I get to see her again.

Thanks Scotty for letting me go for your birthday!! You actually share a birthday with Dusty Springfield....I did in fact raise a beer to you and Dusty! And yes, the pictures above...we were that close. Don't be jealous Scotty!


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