Directed By Alexandra Hedison
Produced by Shelby Lynne
Produced by Shelby Lynne
Directed by Alexandra Hedison
Produced By Shelby Lynne
Released May 24th 2005
My second album for Capitol Records recorded in my home recording studio in Rancho Mirage, California and in Nashville at The Rendering Plant. The Rendering plant was the home studio of my dear friend Brian “Brain” Harrison. We gathered in November of 2004 at his place after I sent the 2-inch tapes from California. Imagine that. It was considered old school even in 2004 to record on tape but Brain and I were such tape and gear sluts we wouldn’t have it any other way. When Brain and I met we instantly were tight like old family. He spoke my language. It was an Alabama girl and a Mississippi boy meeting in the parking lot of the 7-11 after both parties walked outside and realized they had both bought a six-pack of the same beer.
Capitol wanted me to record an album of cover songs. They wanted to see if it was possible to sell records on Shelby Lynne. I thought about it, met with the heads, listened to their ideas about how great it could be, with them producing, of course. We talked about great cover songs, how we could make them cool again… See, when a record company wants an artist to record a certain kind of record the artist needs to listen to them because they know if they don’t the interest will just disappear. But really I knew. I wasn’t ready to become an instant jukebox because it’s the easy thing to do. When one decides to make a cover record, it better have a reason.
I had songs that I felt I was ready to share with the world already. I took my chances once again and told them I would produce and make the next record on my own. It was like closing down the garage door on a classic car… they kept me but didn’t check on me too often. In one way this is great for somebody like me. I had the freedom to do anything I wanted with whomever I wanted to do it with, but interest from the record company was done. They turned away.
My grandmother always told me to “suit yourself”… and I did… always have really… and I kept hearing her voice in my head a lot during that time. Her ghost was telling me to suit myself. So I decided to call the record Suit Yourself. Not just for me, but like a message, we should all just suit ourselves sometimes. I think we try and do what makes everybody happy more than we make ourselves happy and then everybody winds up miserable.
Johnny Met June, Iced Tea, Where Am I Now, Sleep.
Just a few of the tunes on this record. I still do them in the shows sometimes. It was a great experience. Benmont Tench on piano and organ, Brain played bass and engineered it, Robbie Turner on the Steel, Bryan Owings on drums, Michael Ward on guitar. Just a great bunch of guys and me drinking a lot of brown liquor and smoking weed. But one magic part of this record is one of my treasures. Since we were in Nashville, I had to call Tony Joe White and ask him to come over on one of the evenings and play on a tune he wrote that I decided to cut called OLD TIMES SAKE. One of my favorite songs he wrote years ago, it’s magical. He was magical. I called him and said we were having red beans and rice and pork shoulder on the BIG Green EGG, to bring his famous cornbread and his Strat. And what a night. We enjoyed a fellowship that evening we will never forget. We even cut Rainy Night In Georgia and put it on as a hidden track. I still get chills thinking about that cut. It was meant to be. Tony Joe was my family and I miss him sometimes so bad I just cry. But the times we had together I knew even then not to take for granted. He’s a lesson to me in so many ways. Life, music, storytelling, cornbread, guitar playing. Just soulful beyond words. With him and Brain being gone now, remembering that night we all shared together I am reminded of what Brain used to say about life; “Life is so short. You gotta enjoy every sandwich.”