LISA  LYNN

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LISA LYNN, I’M NO ANGEL (NEW ORLEANS ANGEL)


As the title suggests, I’m No Angel presents Lisa Lynn in the red hot momma tradition. From the album opening “Keep Your Hands Off It” on, almost everything here has a randy edge to it. Vague pronouns and commonplace language sound like code words for getting it on, so much so that “Kitchen Man” makes “succotash” sound entertainingly dirty. Lynn and her group bring these songs to life with just enough swing and sass to make the album fun, but she’s not enough of a stylist to steal the spotlight from the songs themselves. She could also stand to be a little more attentive to her material. “Cry Me a River” has one of the great, showy rhymes, pairing “plebian” and “me, and” before returning to the verse. You really can’t add an extra “l” to the second syllable of “plebian” without it being noticed, particularly because it’s in the bridge and occurs twice in the song. Such a gaffe, unfortunately, gives listeners reason to wonder if her commitment is to being a singer, an interpreter, or simply red hot. It’s a shame because otherwise, I’m No Angel is an unassuming pleasure.

LISA LYNN

Taking All My Secrets to the Grave

(New Orleans Angel Records)

Lisa Lynn, Taking All My Secrets to the Grave, album cover

South Toledo native Lisa Lynn has been a fixture in the New Orleans music scene for more than 15 years, leaving briefly after the federal flood in 2005. After many years as a regular at Fritzel’s singing jazz standards, she made her way down to Frenchmen Street, where she performs original material at Three Muses.Buy on Amazon

Lynn’s latest, Taking All My Secrets to the Grave, reveals her songwriting skills. The tunes offered here are a down-to-earth indulgence. From the sultry title track to the country-tinged “Don’t Forget to Call,” the songs are unassuming but memorable. Guitarist and co-composer Jason Quick’s “Going Back to New Orleans” is clearly the standout track, as Lynn curves her voice around its lilting melody, cheerfully affirming, “I’m going to make me some money singing this sad song for you.”

Lynn’s excellent band on the disc also includes Chris Adkins on guitar, Roland Guerin on bass, Doug Belote on drums, and Leslie Martin on piano.

LISA LYNN, CALL ME BABY (INDEPENDENT)


Torch singer Lisa Lynn manages to light a few fires on her latest disc, including a couple of country and western tunes penned by another Lynn who goes by the first name of Loretta (no relation except perhaps in spirit.) I’d say Miss Lisa does a pretty good job on the C&W numbers, but my own tastes go into sharp decline a few miles west of Lafayette. Loretta Lynn is no slacker when it comes to songwriting and both these tunes, “You Ain’t Woman Enough” and “Wings Upon Your Horns” are hamonious and clever. Dave Easley’s steel guitar works well in creating the proper mood for this material.

I still prefer Lisa Lynn doing the “Red Hot Mamma” style that she does best, and her opener on this CD is a grand example of the genre. “Don’t You Feel My Leg” managed to be pretty steamy as well as wonderful fun when Danny Barker wrote it and wife Blue Lu Barker recorded it back in the 1930s. Blue Lu was still doing it in the ’80s, by which time Maria Muldaur had also latched on to the number and made it into one of her super specials. You could have heard both of them doing it at Jazz Fest some 20 years ago. Lisa’s version isn’t quite strong enough for her to claim total contemporary ownership, but she does a more than creditable job here and I’d call it the most memorable piece on the disc.

Producer and pianist Leslie Martin is a great help on that one and also provides some very solid Professor Longhair style accompaniment to the next cut, “Sweet Dreams.” There’s some other very nice things here, a pleasant version of “Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans”, a very strong “At Last” which seems to be getting a great deal of local attention these days, and an interesting closer, the John Lennon / Paul McCartney song “Oh Darling.” All in all it’s a solid job and I’m glad to see “Don’t You Feel My Leg” is still making it around. You know who else recorded it in 2006 under the title, “Don’t You Get Me High”? Van Morrison! Never thought much of him when it comes to legs, though.

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