Tuesday, March 11, 2008

"Shelby Lynne channels Dusty Springfield on new album"

from pe.com by VANESSA FRANKO

Shelby Lynne loves vinyl records. She savors the ritual, waiting for the moment to flip a 12-inch disc to its second side and the conversations that spring up as the needle floats on the grooves.

"It's a different experience. You have to almost commit to puttin' on a record. There's no fast-forward," Lynne said in a recent telephone interview from her home in Rancho Mirage. "It's fun to get together and listen to records, drink wine and talk. It really causes more talk about the musical experience you're on, you know?"

Her love of vinyl isn't surprising considering her latest record, "Just a Little Lovin,' " reworks nine Dusty Springfield classics.

She'll be playing some of those tracks and others from her 20-year career, which has touched on everything from country to rock to jazz to pop, at the Stagecoach Country Music Festival in Indio at the Empire Polo Field on May 2.

Growing up in Alabama, Lynne says music has been one of the constant threads for her over the years.

"My whole life is a musical memory," she said in her twangy speaking voice. "It's just what I do."

When she was 20, Lynne packed up and went to Nashville, and for the past 10 years she has lived in the Coachella Valley.

"I love the desert," she said.

Lynne said her Stagecoach performance would be her first time attending the country-music festival or its alternative-music cousin, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which takes place at the Polo Field the weekend prior, because of her touring schedule.

She won't be able to attend the full three days because of her tour to support the new album.

Lynne got the idea for cutting some of Springfield's tracks courtesy of fellow Coachella Valley resident Barry Manilow.

The pair met at the Grammys a few years ago and became friends. Three years ago, he e-mailed Lynne, asking if she had ever considered covering the Dusty Springfield songbook.

"She's one of those great singers who can tear your heart out," Lynne said.

Lynne let the idea percolate before ending up in the studio in January 2007 with producer Phil Ramone. The recording was made inside the Capitol Records building in Los Angeles, where she sang into a microphone Frank Sinatra used.

"That's what they told me. They may have told me that just to get me to sing," she said, laughing.

Lynne said she really kept the songs simple and didn't go into the studio with arrangements.

"We got together as a band and found a key and a good-feeling groove there and put it down," she said.

The musician doesn't like to overdo things, noting that the studio can be a wonderful thing or a place that offers so many attitudes that a record can become perfect. That isn't what Lynne is after, similar to her love for the scratches and imperfections on a vinyl record.

"My idea of perfect is a little ragged around the edges," she said.

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