On April 20th, Shelby Lynne will release her latest album, Tears, Lies, And Alibis, on her own newly founded label, EVERSO RECORDS, which is being distributed through Fontana, the award-winning independent distribution division of Universal Music Group. This sparse, intimate collection of 10 songs, all written and produced by the GRAMMY award-winning artist, follows 2008’s Just a Little Lovin’, a lush, pop collection paying tribute to Dusty Springfield that was produced by Phil Ramone.
“I’ve made records for 20 years and never been more excited,” says Lynne, who has released 10 studio albums in that period, including her 2000 breakthrough, I Am Shelby Lynne. “I finally have the creative control I’ve needed to get my vision out there.”
”Shelby has always been a true original,” stated Ron Spaulding, President of Fontana. “She stands atop the list of innovative songwriters and soulful vocalists. Tears, Lies, And Alibis is a stunning and true revelation by one of the world’s most insightful and unpredictable artists. The entire Fontana family is thrilled to be part of the next chapter in an already critically-acclaimed career.”
While Tears, Lies, And Alibis signals increased independence for an artist already known for defying tradition, it was shaped by those close to her, who encouraged Lynne to venture down paths she might not have otherwise explored. “Loser Dreamer” was triggered by a phone conversation with Brian “Brain” Harrison, who engineered the sessions and played bass, Moog and percussion. Their talk about musicians and relationships ended the dry spell she’d been experiencing as a songwriter.
“Rains Came,” the album’s first song and lead single, came about in an equally organic fashion, inspired by a rare storm in the Southern California desert where she resides. As the rain fell one Sunday morning, Lynne, who misses the Southern rainstorms of her Alabama childhood tremendously, resisted the impulse to go outside and stand in it and grabbed a pen instead. The resulting song, with Randy Leago on horns and Val McCallum on guitar, is perhaps the sunniest sounding one ever written about having the blues. “The dark side of me seems to like how it feels when it’s pouring,” she sings with unabashed exuberance. Like “Something To Be Said,” her ode to the iconic Airstream trailer, it’s a song that might not have made the album if her collaborators hadn’t encouraged her to “give it a whirl.”
Drawing inspiration from the everyday, Lynne uses the familiar to render a complex internal landscape. From the lost dog searching for a porch to lie on in the restless, bluesy “Old Dog“ to the wife starching the collar of an errant husband in the poignant “Alibi,” her evocative imagery brings to life the scarred yet determined group of survivors whose stories are told in Tears, Lies, And Alibis. A stellar group of musicians enhance the immediacy of the songs, bringing a vintage, live-in-the-studio vibe to the album.
Recording initially at her home studio in Rancho Mirage, CA, she was joined by Harrison, McCallum, Ben Peeler (steel guitar, mandolin and banjo) and John Jackson (guitars, dobro, harmonica). Then she flew to Nashville for sessions at The Rendering Plant.
“I enlisted a couple of the Swampers from Muscle Shoals – David Hood (bass) and Spooner Oldham (Wurlitzer, Rhodes) – and Rick Reed (drums), Bryan Owings (drums, percussion) and Kenny Malone (drums, percussion), who had played on my very first record,” says Lynne. “Dave Jacques, one of the best upright bass players in Nashville, can be heard on “Like A Fool,” as can Mark Jordan, who plays the haunting piano solo.” (“Like a Fool” was already tapped for an episode of the Lifetime series “Army Wives” that Lynne appeared in. She made her acting debut in Walk the Line, released in 2005.)
Lynne, who played a sold-out concert at New York City’s Carnegie Hall in December for public radio station WFUV, will be touring in support of Tears, Lies, And Alibis. Dates will be announced shortly.
The track listing for Tears, Lies, And Alibis is as follows:
1. Rains Came
2. Like A Fool
3. Why Didn’t You Call Me
5. Something To Be Said
6. Family Tree
7. Loser Dreamer
8. Old #7
9. Old Dog
10. Home Sweet Home
Here are the dates on the Shelby Lynne – Spring 2010 Tour
4/22 West Hollywood, CA The Roxy Theatre
4/23 San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall
4/26 Portland, OR Doug Fir Lounge
4/27 Seattle, WA The Triple Door
5/1 Minneapolis, MN Dakota
5/2 Milwaukee, WI Turner Hall
5/3 Ann Arbor, MI The Ark
5/4 Chicago, IL Martyrs’
5/5 Cleveland, OH Beachland Tavern
5/7 Northampton, MA Iron Horse Music Hall
5/8 Somerville, MA Johnny D’s
5/9 Philadelphia, PA World Café Live
5/10 New York, NY The Concert Hall
5/11 Alexandria, VA The Birchmere
5/13 Nashville, TN The Belcourt Theater
5/15 Atlanta, GA Variety Playhouse
5/17 Dallas, TX Granada Theater
5/18 Houston, TX Warehouse Live
5/19 Austin, TX St. David’s Episcopal Church
5/25 Solana Beach, CA Belly Up Tavern