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Now several discs removed from her oddly timed 2001 Grammy© for best New Artist for the disc I Am Shelby Lynne which arrived 13 years and six discs into her professional career, singer/songwriter, Shelby Lynne follows her own path, the popular spotlight be damned. Like her more recent efforts, this disc features a spare, mostly acoustic, musical backdrop that provides a warm embrace for Lynne’s often dark and devastating tales about life and love gone bad. While this isn’t a blues disc, it shares the same view of the bottom of life with the best of that genre. On "I Don’t Need a Reason to Cry" she finds herself in an unshakable emotional rut which appears again on "I Want to Go Back" where she yearns for the days when her guitar produced something other than yet another addition to her collection of broken dreams. The source of some of this angst gets revealed on "Woebegone" where she’s stunned to find that she didn’t see her irrelevance coming and on "Toss It All Aside" where she’s abandoned by a lover and contemplates suicide when she’s forced to move on without the love she had finally let inside. On "Heaven’s Only Days Down the Road" her empty soul and empty hopes lead her to a crime spree without regard to the consequences since she knows she will end up in a better place. On the other hand, she’s not real fond of the purveyors of easy salvation as takes a hard look at the tension between preachers and sinners on the title cut and spits out ”revelation” like a bitter mouthful. Even though she struggles with dark feelings, all is not lost as Lynne finds time for tenderness on "I’ll Hold Your Head" and "Even Angels", warmly embraces new love, "Lead Me Love", pledges a robbery spree to get the one she loves, "The Thief", and assures us she isn’t finished yet on "I Won’t Leave You". With a voice that can soar like Sheryl Crow one moment and croon like Dusty Springfield the next, Lynne delivers these sharply wrought tales with a conviction that leaves no doubt that she has lived every single word. Smitty

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The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.