Ten years after definitively establishing both her artistic vision and independence with the release of I Am Shelby Lynne, the former Nashville up-and-comer who chafed at the country establishment's constraints has reached another watershed with her latest album, Tears, Lies, and Alibis. Lynne wrote all the material and produce it herself, with a deft, economic touch that maximizes the lyrics' resonance, and it's the initial release on her own label, Everso. I Am and subsequent albums showed her to be far more eclectic than Nashville would allow—with a country element certainly, but also major doses of Southern soul and gospel inhabiting a voice that can be laid-back and sultry, sad and reflective, tough and resilient. TL&A's "Old Dog" is a sinewy, driving blues. "Old #7" could be a Patsy Cline outtake. "Alibi" is a soulful ballad about infidelity that Lynne sings with fluctuating degrees of regret, resignation, and jealousy, but no self-pity. "Family Tree" is a darker, stormier response to a "callous heart" with a gospel-bluegrass windup. Among those contributing to the gorgeous arrangements were drummer Kenny Malone and a pair of Muscle Shoals aces: keyboardist Spooner Oldham and the late bassist David Hood. Opening will be Yorkshire native Findlay Brown, whose U.S. debut, Love Will Find You, features dramatic, over-the-top ballads billowing with Brown's compelling, crooning emulations of Roy Orbison and Elvis.
Sat., May 1, 7 p.m., 2010
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