Directed by Randee St. Nicholas

I Am Shelby Lynne
Produced by Bill Bottrell
Mercury/Island/DefJam
Released 1999

Bill Bottrell and I started working on this record in the winter of 98 in Mendocino, California at his studio overlooking the Pacific ocean outside one window and the damp deep dark forest outside the other. Writing Black Light Blue, Gotta Get Back, Where I’m From and Your Lies was a long process. It wasn’t an easy record to make. The whole damn thing was a laborious venture. But I knew on every plane trip, every 3-hour car ride from San Francisco to Mendocino, to every amazing Humbolt County joint I smoked that this record would be worth every pain I endured. It just felt right, free, and dangerous. It was out of control.

Bill was talented as a writer, producer, musician, engineer, mixer. We had good times, serious fights, and crossed up about several things in the process. The record represented a songwriting triumph for me and personal heartbreak for everyone involved. Everything about making this record was hard. And here Bill and I were off in the woods of Northern California sort of left alone because truthfully, nobody even knew I was making a record. Because we had little communication with anyone in NY except Danny Goldberg who we hadn’t heard from in months, we had the freedom to make the kind of record we wanted to make with no outside input. The result is a creative piece. The way making music should be. I truly believe in order to be creative the city isn’t the space to do it. I need nature and air, space where my head can roam and wander, no traffic, and no interruptions. We worked on it almost a full year before we even called anybody about it. I wrote Bill and Betty a letter thanking them for their patience and grace during the making of the record. I signed the letter I Am Shelby Lynne, hence the title of the record.

When the record was finished and Bill and I had decided to turn it over, we flew to NY to play it for them. They loved it, were blown away. But the label wasn’t ready. We were ready. The UK label was ready but NY wasn’t. So we all decided to put it out in the UK first. I am glad we did. Their sense for music and the authentic was open, they snatched it up and the press started coming in. They loved my story about growing up in the Alabama country, moving to Nashville at 19 making Nashville records, leaving Nashville to stretch out to make this record. So by the time Ny had been set up by the release in the UK, they were ready to ride on the coat-tails of an already spinning record. A lot of people thought it was the first record I had ever recorded.

The critics loved it and it was the talk of the business. Continual fighting with the label in NY which by this time had changed names from Mercury, Island, Island DefJam, and fuck it, it was a whirlwind of tumult all the time. But being out on tour was a serious-fun as Hell, drinking, partying, road warrior, crazy time. It was what Rock N Roll is all about. The record was as good as I knew it would be. I Am Shelby Lynne was the record that defined me and my departure from Nashville.

I won the Grammy for Best New Artist because of the critically-acclaimed album, toured all over U.S. and Europe. I was 30 years old upon its release.

12 years later I took possession of this record in 2012 after a contract flaw and the grace of GOD blessed me with ownership of the Masters of the 2 records I made while on DEF JAM. This included the Love, Shelby record I recorded with Glen Ballard after I Am.

I re-mastered and re-released the I Am SL record in 2015 on 180-gram vinyl with previously un-released B-Sides. It is my most popular record and helped me make my mark in the record business. The record still allows me to tour the world. It’s recorded perfectly because of Bill’s brilliant recording talents and sensibilities in the studio. The songs will always hold up because we crafted them as classics, poured over their purity and really took all the time we needed. There was no pressure to do anything on this record but to fulfill my vision, cross genres and do what I needed to do as a singer/songwriter.

This record changed everything for me.

BUY

Directed by Randee St. Nicholas

I Am Shelby Lynne
Produced by Bill Bottrell
Mercury/Island/DefJam
Released 1999

Bill Bottrell and I started working on this record in the winter of 98 in Mendocino, California at his studio overlooking the Pacific ocean outside one window and the damp deep dark forest outside the other. Writing Black Light Blue, Gotta Get Back, Where I’m From and Your Lies was a long process. It wasn’t an easy record to make. The whole damn thing was a laborious venture. But I knew on every plane trip, every 3-hour car ride from San Francisco to Mendocino, to every amazing Humbolt County joint I smoked that this record would be worth every pain I endured. It just felt right, free, and dangerous. It was out of control.

Bill was talented as a writer, producer, musician, engineer, mixer. We had good times, serious fights, and crossed up about several things in the process. The record represented a songwriting triumph for me and personal heartbreak for everyone involved. Everything about making this record was hard. And here Bill and I were off in the woods of Northern California sort of left alone because truthfully, nobody even knew I was making a record. Because we had little communication with anyone in NY except Danny Goldberg who we hadn’t heard from in months, we had the freedom to make the kind of record we wanted to make with no outside input. The result is a creative piece. The way making music should be. I truly believe in order to be creative the city isn’t the space to do it. I need nature and air, space where my head can roam and wander, no traffic, and no interruptions. We worked on it almost a full year before we even called anybody about it. I wrote Bill and Betty a letter thanking them for their patience and grace during the making of the record. I signed the letter I Am Shelby Lynne, hence the title of the record.

When the record was finished and Bill and I had decided to turn it over, we flew to NY to play it for them. They loved it, were blown away. But the label wasn’t ready. We were ready. The UK label was ready but NY wasn’t. So we all decided to put it out in the UK first. I am glad we did. Their sense for music and the authentic was open, they snatched it up and the press started coming in. They loved my story about growing up in the Alabama country, moving to Nashville at 19 making Nashville records, leaving Nashville to stretch out to make this record. So by the time Ny had been set up by the release in the UK, they were ready to ride on the coat-tails of an already spinning record. A lot of people thought it was the first record I had ever recorded.

The critics loved it and it was the talk of the business. Continual fighting with the label in NY which by this time had changed names from Mercury, Island, Island DefJam, and fuck it, it was a whirlwind of tumult all the time. But being out on tour was a serious-fun as Hell, drinking, partying, road warrior, crazy time. It was what Rock N Roll is all about. The record was as good as I knew it would be. I Am Shelby Lynne was the record that defined me and my departure from Nashville.

I won the Grammy for Best New Artist because of the critically-acclaimed album, toured all over U.S. and Europe. I was 30 years old upon its release.

12 years later I took possession of this record in 2012 after a contract flaw and the grace of GOD blessed me with ownership of the Masters of the 2 records I made while on DEF JAM. This included the Love, Shelby record I recorded with Glen Ballard after I Am.

I re-mastered and re-released the I Am SL record in 2015 on 180-gram vinyl with previously un-released B-Sides. It is my most popular record and helped me make my mark in the record business. The record still allows me to tour the world. It’s recorded perfectly because of Bill’s brilliant recording talents and sensibilities in the studio. The songs will always hold up because we crafted them as classics, poured over their purity and really took all the time we needed. There was no pressure to do anything on this record but to fulfill my vision, cross genres and do what I needed to do as a singer/songwriter.

This record changed everything for me.

BUY
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