To be a woman singing your own blues and soul songs in 1960s Texas was a rare thing. To do so while brandishing a left-handed Stratocaster and bashing out hard-edged licks was even rarer. Yet that’s just what Barbara Lynn did, inspired by Guitar Slim, Jimmy Reed, Elvis Presley and Brenda Lee. And it was a hit: her 1962 debut single, “You’ll Lose A Good Thing,” recorded with session musicians including Dr. John, gave her an R&B chart Number One and a Billboard chart Top 10 hit.
There was never any disputing the strong country influence Eilen Jewell brought to her retro-pop-folk, so it's no surprise that she detours into this short but extremely sweet tribute to one of her obvious influences, Loretta Lynn. It's a natural side road, especially since Jewell's sumptuous voice is similar to Lynn's, as is her delivery. Jewell already recorded Lynn's "The Darkest Day" on her previous album, but the dozen selections here are not the coal miner's daughter's best-known tunes, despite the obvious resemblance of the cover art to 1968's iconic Loretta Lynn's Greatest Hits. Rather, the tracks are carefully chosen to reflect only Lynn's original…..
Over the course of Lera Lynn's career, the Nashville-based songwriter has explored the darker corners of American roots music. With her brooding, sinewy vocals and penchant for chronicling the underbelly of interpersonal connection, Lynn's star has continually risen since her 2011 debut, Have You Met Lera Lynn, particularly finding new heights following the release of 2016's daring Resistor and her breakthrough gig with HBO's True Detective.
More than Afros and bell-bottoms, the 1970s pushed music and music-lovers onto a new plane. Fasten your seat belts and enjoy the ride.