Shelby Lynne Previews New Album With Stark ‘Here I Am’
Self-titled LP was inspired by Lynne’s collaboration with Cynthia Mort on upcoming indie film
STEPHEN L. BETTS
With her first solo album in five years, Shelby Lynne has put a hint right in the title that it could be her most intimately honest. Out April 17th, Shelby Lynne is prefaced by the release today of “Here I Am,” a stark but hopeful piano ballad accentuated by Lynne’s achingly intense, vulnerable delivery.
“If you get lost I’m strong enough to come and find you,” Lynne sings, “If you forget about me I’ll stay here to tell you that I know … it’s hard to dream in the light of day, it’s hard to hide from what they say, and I know deep in my heart you will pray you will find me.”
The recording of the forthcoming LP was inspired in part by Lynne’s collaboration with lyricist-director-screenwriter Cynthia Mort on the as-yet-unreleased independent film When We Kill the Creators, in which Lynne appears. More than half of the album’s 11 new songs were recorded during the filming, harnessing the profoundly intimate nature of those performances, including “Here I Am,” which was captured with a piano and a single microphone.
“As an artist, I don’t mind being naked,” says Lynne, whose previous acting roles include playing Johnny Cash’s mother in the Oscar-winning 2005 biopic, Walk the Line. “Everything is so fake, so manufactured these days. I want to get real. It’s the only way to communicate these days. These are 11 songs I love and want to share with the world. They were recorded in very different circumstances at various times, but I think they go together. It’s time to not hide behind the game but put your work out as it is.”
Joining Lynne on the new project are keyboardists Benmont Tench, Mimi Friedman, Ed Roth, and Billy Mitchell, yet the multifaceted performer remains the key musician on most tracks, playing guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, and even saxophone throughout.
Lynne’s most recent solo album was 2015’s I Can’t Imagine. In 2017, she teamed with sister Allison Moorer for the duets record Not Dark Yet. Lynne is, of course, also a central figure in Moorer’s stunning 2019 memoir, Blood, which details their turbulent childhood and the sisters’ unbreakable bond.