about Eliza Lynn
When Eliza Lynn tosses her long red hair back and steps up to the microphone to sing, a world of music comes pouring out. Foothills folk, backwoods hollers, playful pop, lilting Texas Swing and deep country blues; over the course of her young-but-well-traveled life, the Nashville and Asheville based singer/songwriter has absorbed it all, and with the release of Haven, her career-defining third full-length collection, Lynn succeeds in integrating those freewheeling influences into a compelling and seamless musical whole.
Working with Nashville producer/guitarist Thomm Jutz [Nanci Griffith, Mary Gauthier], and a core group of Music City's finest players (including Griffith drummer Pat McInerney and longtime Ricky Skaggs bassist Mark Fain), Lynn hits a deeply traditional vein only hinted at on her two previous critically acclaimed releases, 2005's Frisky Or Fair and The Weary Wake Up from 2007.
It was "Sing A New Song," a track from her debut album, that helped to spread the singer's reputation beyond her loyal Asheville fan base and kicked off the chain of events that would lead up to the making of Haven. Citing Lynn's "enormous talent," Putumayo World Music featured the song on their 2007 compilation release, Americana. Lynn rode the success of that track all the way to London, where, accompanying herself on guitar and clawhammer banjo, she dazzled her hosts at famed Abbey Road Studios in a live worldwide broadcast for XM Radio/Worldspace. From there, she was off to the 2008 Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival, where she first encountered both producer Jutz and Scottish folk star Dougie McLean, who subsequently invited Lynn to join him at his own festival, Perthshire Amber, in Scotland.
Inspired and energized by her overseas successes, Lynn headed straight to Nashville and into Jutz' TJ Tunes Studios to record the album of her career. From the sultry groove established on the disc's opening track, "Hard To Let It Hurt," it's clear that, armed with the strongest and most personal songs she's ever written, the singer is taking no prisoners this time out.
Built on a sturdy Appalachian foundation and soaked in the blues, Lynn's evocative singing voice, which has drawn comparisons to everyone from Bonnie Raitt to Peggy Lee, is the driving force and centerpiece of Haven. Her interpretation of "I'll Fly Away" transforms that gospel classic into a stirring, minor-key lament, and Lynn performs similar magic on the album's closing song, a bare-bones take on the traditional Irish hymn, "Be Thou My Vision." But, from "Rush Of The Fall," a poignant waltz-time ode to the loneliness of the road, to the banjo-driven, back-and-forth struggle of "Pulling Of Tides," it's her own soul-penetrating songs that carry the day.
Rarely has time-tested tradition sounded so utterly fresh and contemporary. Whether she's displaying those banjo-and-Piedmont guitar chops on the playful "Lazy Day," or letting the band's sultry groove carry her away on "Chicken Bone," every song on Haven provides brilliant musical proof that Eliza Lynn is an artist who's time has come.
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