Monday, May 01, 2006

Eliza Lynn

by Frank Gualtier -- 04/27/06, 05/02/06, 06/17/06
Photo by Dale Roberts
Eliza LynnPart I

I find it infinitely easier to write about music that I'm listening to while the writing occurs. Seems obvious enough.

Right now I'm listening to samples of the complilation Frisky or Fair by Eliza Lynn.

Tastes like blues/jazz/bit-o-swing.

I happened upon Eliza Lynn early yesterday morning. I had headed into the waters of solo female blues artists and twenty or so frights into the murk she came out of nowhere like a crack in the clouds letting a bolt of sunlight into a precarious storm.

CD Baby quotes a review by Bob Gottlieb written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange with regard to her Frisky or Fair release. Here's part of that review:

"This disc surprises (pleasantly) right from the git-go. There is the picture on the cover of the disc of a red haired, freckled, fresh-faced country girl, and then, the disc opens with a tune that sounds as if it is out of the Cab Callaway song book (including muted cornet)."

She certainly furthers and expands that with songs like Honeysuckle, a song that drips with a bluesy strutting electric guitar. This one took me back to the 60's when they used to project psychedelic scenery behind bands and dancers. Eliza Lynn's voice adds a slightly more jazzy edge to it and brings it back in line with the genre theme of the compilation. It's a delightful and memorable song. At the time of this writing she has the song available as a full download on her website.

She's got miles of soul in her voice and she writes her own music. And like a bolt of sunlight peering into a tempest she's a breath of fresh air. No easy task in a genre that has been so well established as to be caricaturized and permanently etched into our cartoon backbrains (literally - listen to a lot of those blues and jazz tunes behind the old 'Looneytunes' cartoons).

Here you can hear several two minute samples of Frisky or Fair.

Part II

I've written a bit about Eliza recently in my 'Touring the Indies' blog post (see above) on Eliza Lynn based on CD Baby's 2 minute samples and the song Honysuckle which I was able to download in full (see the blog - you can do the same). Today the full 'Frisky or Fair' cd arrived and here I am again beyond helping myself for want of expression.

Straight away I want to mention a couple of genre comparisons that ran through my mind when I was writing that blog but that I don't think actually made it to my fingers. One is to 'The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band'. Anybody remember the song 'Mr. Bojangles'? Eliza has a great deal of that flavor coursing right through the heart of much of her music. Another comparison that I think would not be out of line would be some of the music of 'Maria Taylor'. Two songs from Maria's '11:11' solo debut, 'Hitched!' and 'Speak Easy' come to mind specifically.

As well, and as true, there is Bob Gottlieb's review (which I read as quoted at CD Baby) where he mentions Eliza's cd starting out as if right "out of the 'Cab Callaway' songbook". He captured the flavor of the opening song, 'Not 10 Miles', perfectly right down to the muted horn.

What sets Eliza apart are her voice, which perfectly reflects what she is singing, a charm all by itself - this girl can sing, and her ability to de-caricaturize these genre giving distinct and vivid personality and colorful flow to each song. She is an impressive songwriter both in music and in lyric.

'Frisky or Fair' is one of only a small handful of cd's I've had in my player over the past several years that has remained in place for no less than 10 complete runs (where it is still playing as I write this) because I cannot get myself to take it out. While it is true that I always come back to music I really love, it is a marvel to me that I am able to not only sit and listen to any one cd for so long but that it just sounds better each time I hear it.

I am thoroughly addicted to Eliza Lynn's music and am eager to hear more from her.

Links for Eliza Lynn:

1 comment:

jds said...

Amen brother!