BY JOHN B. MOORE
Six records into her career as the perennial “up and coming” country singer, in 2000 Lynne finally made the record buying public pay attention with her strongest, most eclectic collection of Alternative Country songs yet on I Am Shelby Lynne. Confessional, soulful, dripping with originality, and more than a little not so subtle sex appeal tossed in (sexism is still alive and well in the music business), the album was 10 tracks of brilliant music meant to appeal to folks way beyond Nashville. And in true Grammy fashion, 11 years after her debut album, I Am Shelby Lynne ended up earning the singer the “Best New Artist” award.
Rounder Records is re-releasing this fantastic album with six new tracks and a concert DVD, recorded live at the House of Blues in Los Angeles just months after the record came out. Whether this re-release was a cynical cash grab or simply an opportunity to highlight a stellar record (a 14 year anniversary celebration?), the release is a welcome gift to anyone who still gets chills from hearing a song like “Lookin’ Up” or “Where I’m From.”
The half dozen extras here all fit in nicely with the original album tracks and you can only assume they were cut to keep the record from going on too long. The real attraction here, though, is the live DVD, catching Lynne in her prime running through her strongest songs as well as a couple of inspired covers (John Lennon’s “Mother” and Jimmy Webb’s “Wichita Lineman”).
DOWNLOAD: Take your pick. Not a bad song in the entire collection