Thursday, March 26, 2015

Shelby Lynne - Thanks (2013)

Ever since Shelby Lynne's acclaimed I am Shelby Lynne turned her into a star (sort of) in 2000 one wouldn't be climbing too far out on a limb to say she could be the most outstanding female country artist on the scene today and one of the very best singer-songwriters to ever take a stage or enter a recording studio. She proves it once again with her brief, fifteen minute, five song EP, Thanks.

On this fine set of music the native Alabaman continues to demonstrate both her independence, originality, and eclecticism as she genre-jumps from album to album and song to song almost as often as she changes hair styles (and that's a lot if you look at her CD covers). From Texas swing, to roots rock, to gospel, R & B, and more, she has done it all while still keeping her feet firmly planted on her home turf of country music.

Thanks is Lynne's followup to the very personal and sparsely produced and arranged Revelation Road.

Lynne continues to write intelligent and personal music but this time she kicks the production up a notch while taking a more uplifting approach to the songs. The foot stomping single, "Call Me Up" is a gospel tinged affair greatly aided by guest pianist and vocalist, Maxine Waters, who is a perfect fit. Then she digs deeper into the genre. "Walkin'" is a pure gospel, toe-tapping, jaunt featuring some perfect steel guitar work, probably by her favorite sideman and friend, multi-instrumentalist Ben Peeler, who produced this EP. A Bonnie Raitt influence helps shape "Forevermore" and the title track is one of the best ballads Lynne has ever recorded. "This Road I'm On" is another emotional ballad that tunes us in on the artist's deepest thoughts.

Even the artwork suggests a spiritual turn. Lynne has never come across as a religious sort but it looks like she is praying on the CD's cover.

In addition to Peeler and Waters the set includes Michael Jerome on drums and Ed Maxwell on acoustic and electric bass, organ, synthesizer and background vocals.

As was the case with Lynne's previous three releases Thanks was recorded in her California home studio.

Lynne's website provides more information.

1 comment:

  1. Nice review Charlie. I am looking forward to hearing this.