Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

LERA LYNN

Have You Met Lera Lynn

2011-10-19

FCC ALERT: “05, Good Hearted Man" "

Nick's Picks: 03 Gasoline; 05 Bobby, Baby; 06 Good Hearted Man;

Review by Steven "Nick" Nickelson of Lera Lynn Have You Met Lera Lynn:

If it weren't for this reviewing thing, I know I wouldn't have the opportunity to hear some great music from very talented musicians – not the least of which is the very young, very talented singer-songwriter Lera Lynn most recently of Athens, Georgia. She has had prior performing experience being part of Bird & Wire, but this is her first (and I hope not only) solo release. If what she said is true about her music coming from her experiences, then she has either had a very busy life, she is older than she says she is, or she is a very old soul. We start off this release with a she-done-me-wrong-so-I'm-drinkin'-myself-to-death-song with a blurry sense of humor (“Whiskey”). This is classic country, with the requisite melancholy carried by the steel guitar; although written by Lera Lynn, the song takes the male perspective – much like another well-written song (“Good Hearted Man”). “Good Hearted Man” seems to take from an old Waylon/Willie classic, except with the inclusion of a couple of key words that the FCC doesn't like; thus, even though an excellent performance by Lera Lynn and crew, it will never be broadcast over the public airwaves. “Happy Ever After” has a happy little a little stutter-step rhythm that is reminiscent of a song performed by Ricky Nelson. I'm not sure how Ms. Lynne selected the order of the song list, but she goes from that little ditty to a tongue-in-cheek “torch song” set to an alt-country-punk sound (“Gasoline”). From there, we segue into an actual torch song for which I can find no comparison (“Fire and Undertow”), and from there even deeper into the depths of human emotion with a Judy Collin's-like story song (“Bobby, Baby”) - sung in a tonally perfect voice by Ms. Lynn. Even though this is an up-and-coming singer/songwriter, I think the songs, “Paper Anchor” and the cover of the Leonard Cohen song, “I Tried To Leave You” were added as filler to get the cd out for release. That's not to say they were bad – no, they were as exquisitely performed as the rest of the cuts on this release; they were too short, compared to the length of the other songs. The last two songs (“For The Ride”, and “You And Me Alone”) are lyrically well crafted, and beautifully performed. I'm not sure of the genre, unless it could be called alt-country-blues. Labels really shouldn't matter, though when you're treated to such great music. And that's my two nickels' worth....................................Nick

ARTIST BIO: What’s in a name? It’s an age old question — and for Athens, Ga., based performing songwriter Lera Lynn on her new record, the answer is simple: a summation of all that has been, and a bold thesis of what is yet to come. The Houston-born Lynn, who in March will release her debut, Have You Met Lera Lynn?, is already well-known in Athens for her time spent as the sultry voice of mainstay folk-poppers Birds & Wire. However, the multidimensional record’s title is telling; in the days since that band's dissolution, Lynn’s taken an honest and painstaking inventory of her past experiences, and out o f that process a song cycle has emerged that serves as a true representation — and a reintroduction — of the artist. “Like many songwriters, most of my songs come from turbulence in my life, be it with a lover or with family or with myself as an artist, or my job,” laughs Lynn. “This record is about my rebelliousness in love, hard-headedness, distrust. It’s also about being confused about where I’m going and not always getting what I want out of my creative self.”

The Musicians:

・ Lera Lynn – songwriter, producer, vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, rhodes piano

・ Robby Handley – bass, acoustic guitar, drums, percussion, foot stomps

・ C.k. Koch – producer, drums, percussion, claps, snaps

・ Marlon Patton – drums (tracks 1 & 8)

・ Aj Adams – pedal steel, electric guitar

・ Thayer Sarrano – piano (track 7)

・ Karolyn Marie Troupe – viola

・ Daniel Clay, Alfredo Lapuz – electric guitar (track 2)

・ Eunice Kang – cello

The Songs:

1. Whiskey

2. Happy Ever After

3. Gasoline

4. Fire & Undertow

5. Bobby, Baby

6. Good Hearted Man

7. Paper Anchor

8. I Tried To Leave You (L. Cohen)

9. For The Ride

10. You & Me Alone

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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.