Shelby Lynne, Unlikely Honky-Tonk Heroine
Randee St. Nicholas
Until the advent of the Internet and blogs and all that, Lonesome Onry and Mean seldom had the time/space to go back and rethink what we'd written, to tweak it more into what we came to think than what we initially thought or add new revelations. I'd published one Shelby Lynne preview last Wednesday, but last night we were listening to Tears, Lies and Alibis after an evening of carousing when it became apparent there was much more to say than the rather cursory "here's what you might want to know" blog we posted. LOM admits alcohol was involved, but as we ate a sobering, life-saving bowl of beef stew, we listened once again to Lynne sing the sparse
and realized we were listening to a very accomplished honky-tonk lyricist. And honky-tonk is hardly the first term that leaps to mind to anyone familiar with Lynne's body of work.
You may judge for yourselves if you buy Tears, Lies and Alibis, but LOM knows from how we feel right now, at 2:45 a.m., at this keyboard that this is Willie-quality honky-tonk, just without the steel guitar/fiddle overlay. In fact, these tracks remind us in several ways of the early Willie demos that Buddy Miller so painstakingly restored on 2003's Crazy: The Demo Sessions.
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It's almost like Eva Cassidy singing honky tonk, and that is certainly not a bad thing. Hear for yourself. This lady is the real deal.
Shelby Lynne plays with Findlay Brown, 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 18, Warehouse Live, 813 St. Emanuel, 713-225-5483 or www.warehouselive.com.
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