BY JOHN BOYDSTON
Lydia Loveless is ripping country music a new one, one lonesome town at a time. She’s on tour for the next couple of months, with shows across the south before heading west to California then off to Europe. These photos are from The Foundry in Athens, Ga Tuesday April 14th. Great intimate setting for Lydia and her crack band of players, who are: Todd May guitar & vocals, Benjamin Lamb on bass, Jay Gasper on Pedal Steel (mostly), and George Hondroulis on drums. Lydia plays guitar and sings of course.
A must-see show for anyone who appreciates great songs and music. Notice that last sentence didn’t use the word ‘country’ before the word ‘music.’ She seems to transcend the genre, which is a real bonus to those of us can’t stand modern country schlock. So I guess she’s in the alt-country genre, but to me it’s rock with a country heart. And a pedal steel player in a live rock band format, is there anything better?
But if modern country music wasn’t in such a terrible place right now Lydia Loveless would be on top of the charts out there in country land. She avoids all the clichés that have about killed the genre from a creative standpoint. No phony voice cracks, no auto tune vocals. No over the top stadium-style stage stomping, or mighty power rock guitar riffs. And no songs about pick-up trucks, Stetsons, keggers, or good old boys drinking whisky and rye. She is still writing from a barstool, but she’s crying about the fucked up nature of life and love before the first round has been served. And yes there will be hangovers, so one senses Hank and George would be right at home in Lydia’s world.