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Shelby Lynne  
Just A Little Lovin'

By: Jim Moulton, CSO Staff Journalist
2/25/08

Shelby Lynne has always sang and recorded music with passion and reason. Lynne's last CD was a very well done set of songs that she wrote called Suit Yourself. The last couple of CDs, Shelby has actually recorded her basic tracks at home on her analog Studer recorder and then taken them to Capitol to be completed. 

This time was different, listening to a beautifully textured sparse recording of Lynne singing "You Don't have to Say You Love Me," this is nothing short of a very high end recording, not to take anything away from her previous recordings. Barry Manilow suggested to her the idea of singing the Dusty Springfield catalog of songs. At the time, she was preparing to promote her last CD, Suit Yourself, so she dropped the idea for the moment, but held onto to it.

Lynne and her manager talked about only getting the best producer and band for this project. Phil Ramone was picked and he picked four musicians. Dean Parks on guitar, Rog Mathes on keyboards, Kevin Axt plays the electric and upright bass and Gregg Fields on drums. Shelby plays some guitar on the rootsy track 7. Recording engineer Al Schmitt and mastering engineer Doug Sax get this right. The only artifact you might hear is an occasional popping of one of Sax's tube compressors that he uses in the mastering process that help make the recording so warm. 

Lynne inadvertently changed record labels as she recorded this in Capitol Records studio A (a dream she had always had). Capitol records went under during the recording process. Lost Highway wasted no time in picking her up. 

I loved "Suit Yourself," but this CD shows the maturity of an artist who morphs styles into pure jazz, doing pretty familiar covers which could open more doors for new listeners. Her vocals are subtle, yet emotional and shows her singing ability more than any other previous recording. Dusty Springfield is not real easy to emulate, yet Lynne does an effortless rendition of ten of her catalog songs, including a song that she wrote. 

The disc starts out with a slow "Just A Little Lovin'' (Mann and Weil), guitarist Dean Parks is just a master and great to listen to. He always keeps Lynne in the spotlight, but can play quite a nice lead and rhythm, which fits in well with the rest of the band. 

Lynne is very intimate on "Anyone Who Had a Heart" (Bacharach and David). This disc reminds me a lot of Suzy Boguss's "Sweet Danger" where Boguss delves into jazz.

I like the improving artwork on Digitech packaging and better artwork for CD packaging which is done with this CD. When you pull out the disc, there is a stunning pic of Shelby's beautiful face with her gray eyes piercing with emotion. 

My favorite song here is "Breakfast in Bed" (Fritts and Hinton), with it's funky beat, guitarist Parks lets her rip with some southern sounding riffs and slide.

Released February 8 - Lost Highway


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