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I Am Shelby Lynne

by: Shelby Lynne

Album Artwork

(Mercury Records)

Sometime it's hard to be born with beauty and blessed with the voice of an angel. You can ask Shelby Lynne. She came to Nashville at the age of 18 itching to sing pure country music. Her voice caught the ear of George Jones who immediately asked her to sing a duet with him - a song that probably represents the most memorable moment in her country career. After five albums with different producers, songwriters and musicians, Lynne finally abandoned the Nashville machine.

During a retreat to her home state of Alabama, she plotted a new musical direction. Drawing on all of her influences from country, pop, jazz, and southern soul, Lynne has now put something together that is all hers.

The songs here were all written or co-written by Lynne providing her confident voice some material to match. The lush opener "Your Lies" gives way to stripped down Hi-era soul of "Leavin'"and the infectious pop soul of "Gotta Go Back".  Producer Bill Bottrell's (Sheryl Crow) modern sensibilities combine with his pedal steel to create a unique down home groove.

Perhaps "Where I'm From" highlights Lynne's songwriting talent best. This song captures the timeless feel of the Band's best work as it celebrates her "Alabama frame of mind". When she sings, "I know that it might sound kind of simple, oh but it's mine, oh it's mine," it's at once a statement of purpose and a moment of peace. Pure "simple" genius.

-Jim Markel

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