Tag Archives: Shelby Lynne

Shelby Lynne – Revelation Road (CD review)

Shelby Lynne – Revelation Road (Everso Records) CD review

Shelby Lynne is one of the most passionately-driven, deeply talented artists to emerge in the last twenty years.  Perhaps it’s because she began her career in country music, or maybe because she’s a woman, but for whatever reason, she’s never received the respect she deserves.  Sure, she won a Grammy for Best New Artist in 2001 for her album I Am Shelby Lynne, but she’s grown a great deal since then.  For Revelation Road, her eighth album since breaking away from Nashville over a decade ago, Lynne wrote, produced, sang, and played every note on the album; a rare feat for any individual.    Add in the fact that Lynne is also running her own record label, and you realize just how devoted to her own musical vision she must be.

Revelation Road is a deeply personal album; perhaps that’s why she decided to go it alone – if she was going to set all these demons free, at least she was the only one in the studio to have to confront them.  She admits “I’ve been insane since I was nine” in “Heaven’s Only Days Down the Road,” while on “I’ll Hold Your Head,” she sings “c’mon sister lets close the door / I don’t want to hear the noise no more.”  Yet, even in this dark moment of recollection, she still manages to wrap it in lush multi-part harmonies, all sung by her, adding a comforting quality – as if to say that everything’s going to be alright, at least eventually.

Sandwiched right in the middle of all this pain is the gorgeous “Lead Me Love,” featuring a sultry vocal, and tasty Rhodes piano solo.  Another highlight is “The Thief,” which starts out with acoustic guitar and is joined by several tracks of Lynne vocals on the chorus of “I’d rob a rich man’s diamond mine / and make you be my Valentine / say the word and I’ll become a thief.”  It also features a very nice solo by her on mandolin.  “Woebegone” chugs along like a twisted Tom Petty track, which actually features some searing guitar work.  The fact is, no matter how painful the memories of the past might be, she still frames these songs with the best singing and playing of her entire career.  In one way, Revelation Road is not unlike John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band – both albums are cathartic exorcising of the past.  Yet, her new record also shares commonality with McCartney’s debut solo disc, in that both feature a single individual performing every instrument.  Put in that context, you realize just how special a performer Shelby Lynne truly is.  –Tony Peters

#121 – Shelby Lynne – Revelation Road

Grammy-winner Shelby Lynne has fought hard to gain total control of her career.  Last year, she started her own record label, Everso Records, and released two albums – Tears, Lies & Alibis, and the holiday themed Merry Christmas.  Now, she’s returned with a new batch of songs, and even more independence – she wrote, produced, sang, and played every note on her brand-new album, Revelation Road.  Icon Fetch sits down once again with the multi-talented artist to discuss recording at her home studio, and some of the new instruments that she’s picked up

Shelby Lynne – Merry Christmas (CD review)

Shelby Lynne – Merry Christmas (Everso) CD review

Christmas albums are not meant to be epic statements.  In fact, all of the good ones are short.  Elvis’ Christmas Album, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and the Ventures Christmas Album all clock in at around a half an hour in length – short, sweet, and begging to be played again.  Shelby Lynne takes this mindset in putting together her first holiday outing, Merry Christmas, and it pays off.  She serves up eleven tracks in a little over 30 minutes and it’s over before you know it.  Typical of her original work, there’s some happy and some sad songs here, but nothing overstays their welcome.

The disc opens with a medley of “Sleigh Ride / Winter Wonderland,” showing off her Shelby upon Shelby layered harmonies.   There’s a couple of light-hearted tracks in “Santa Claus is Coming To Town” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” but unlike some artists, she never panders to the kids.  Instead, “Santa” grooves with a fretless bass, while “Rudolph” has a bluesy guitar (and when she says “Oh baby, I just dig your nose” at the end of the song,  it makes me quite jealous of that red-nosed dude).

Also of note is her take on the Charlie Brown “Christmas Time is Here,” complete with an oboe solo.  In fact, almost every track has a surprise in it – a harmonica here, mandolin there, slide guitar – it’s kind of like making cookies at Christmas – you have the batter, now what other tasty things can you throw in it?  Shelby does turn in two originals for the album, and they couldn’t be farther apart; “Ain’t Nothing Like Christmas” is rollicking with the chorus “I’ll bring the ‘nog / you put on the log / it’s a Christmas party,” while “Xmas” deals with the darker side of the holidays, with the line “Christmas makes me sad / Daddy’s bein’ bad.”

Then, there’s “O Holy Night,” when done by others it’s usually the show-stopper, all full of bombast.  In Lynne’s hands though, she strips it down to the bare essence and sings it honestly.  The whole album has a warm and cozy feel; you can imagine Shelby sitting on the couch in her fuzzy slippers, sipping hot cocoa by a warm fire.  Perhaps that’s just fantasy, since Lynne is a resident of California, but we can dream, can’t we?  An excellent addition to your holiday collection.  –Tony Peters

#48 – John Lennon Tribute Show

John Lennon

Thursday night marked the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s death.  We pay tribute to one of the most influential musicians in the history of music through a special 2-hour edition of Icon Fetch.  The show will feature live calls from listeners and recorded interviews with a wide array of musicians who were affected by Lennon’s talent.  Among the guests are May Pang, who was Lennon’s girlfriend during the year and a half “Lost Weekend;” Delbert McClinton, who taught Lennon how to play the harmonica in the early days of the Beatles; and Tommy James, Gary Wright and Wally Bryson of the Raspberries, who all had a chance to meet Lennon during his lifetime.

Other artists include Grammy winners Shelby Lynne and David Lanz; rockers Dwight Twilley and Donnie Iris; melodic songwriters Marshall Crenshaw and Jason Falkner; and underground veterans Peter Case and Steve Wynn.  Several authors who have written recent books about the singer, including Robert Rodriguez, Ken Sharp and Keith Elliot Greenberg, will also weigh in with their thoughts.

Shelby Lynne – Tears Lies & Alibis (CD review)

Shelby Lynne – Tears, Lies & Alibis (Everso Records) – CD Review

For ten years, various record companies tried to put Shelby Lynne into some kind of category so they could market her to the masses, failing miserably in the process.  The fact is, Lynne’s music defies categorization; there’s country, soul, rock and folk in most of what she does.  To remedy this problem, she’s formed her own label, Everso Records, finally giving herself the freedom she has so badly wanted for years.  Her new album, Tears, Lies & Alibis, is her first self-released disc, and it’s a more stripped-down affair, with Lynne’s guitar work at the forefront.

There are clues that a major label was forbidden to touch these tracks.  Take for instance the fine “Why Didn’t You Call Me,” which clocks in at a mere 1:40.  Certainly a corporate exec would’ve had her write another verse, and repeat the chorus several times, just to make it a more palatable 3:00.  But, that’s just it, the song sounds fine in its brief form.  Or “Something to Be Said About Airstreams,” which comes off more like a phrase someone would utter, rather than a song.  “Alibi” is utterly beautiful; a flanged-out guitar adds a simple accompaniment to her sultry delivery of unfaithful love.  In someone else’s hands, this would be a tear-jerker, but with Lynne, it’s self-affirming and matter-of-fact.  “I guess I’ll have to meet / Your alibi.”  Another in a long line of great ones from Shelby Lynne. — Tony Peters

#11 – Shelby Lynne – Tears, Lies & Alibis

Shelby Lynne - Tears, Lies & Alibis

Shelby Lynne won a Grammy for Best New Artist in 2001 after being in the music business for more than ten years.  Shelby has followed wherever her muse has taken her: elements of country, soul, folk, and rock have all been blended into her music.  Because she’s difficult to categorize, she’s had a hard time with record companies.  Her latest CD “Tears, Lies & Alibis” remedies the situation by coming out on her own Everso Records label.  All ten songs on the disc were written, sung, and produced by Shelby, with help from notable session folks like Spooner Oldham.  Icon Fetch talks with Shelby about her new CD, record label and the benefits of having a home studio.  Click below for the Shelby Lynne interview.

  • Read a review of Shelby’s new CD here.
  • For more information on Shelby Lynne, visit her official site, www.shelbylynne.com.