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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Shelby Lynne- State Theatre, Falls Church, Virginia April 7, 2008

Last night we trekked out to Falls Church to check out Shelby Lynne. Fortunately for us the show was at the DC area's finest live music concert venue. I don't say those words lightly but the State Theatre really is perfectly designed! You can eat at a nice table or you can stand up right in front of the stage. Meanwhile the food is quite good. If they only had a bit of selection on the red wine- rather than a mediocre house red- and served ice tea it would probably be just about perfect.

Anyhow I'd never seen Shelby Lynne live although I had heard her Christmas song "Squat" years ago and its a perennial holiday season favorite. I had purchased her last album and her new album- at Barry Manilow's suggestion- consists of songs associated with Dusty Springfield and was produced by none other than Phil Ramone and recorded at Capitol's legendary Studio A where Sinatra himself put together the finest string of performances in American pop/vocal history. You want to argue about that with me? Think about it before you do!

Shelby took the stage about 9:30 with a four piece band and we heard the opening drum lick of the song that opens her new album: "just a little lovin'" and you could immediately tell that Shelby was going to put her heart and soul into the performance. This was followed by about five other Dusty songs. At one point she waved an LP copy of her new album and joked about how it had taken her 20 years in the recording business to get on vinyl and as I knew from reading an article she wrote on the Huffington Post Shelby loves them old records much like I do! Anyhow she gave an LP to a kid standing front and center and it turned out it was his birthday so he got the works: lp, signed and dedicated, KISS etc!

The version of Tony Joe White's Willie and Laura Mae Jones, live, seemed to go longer than on the record and get into more of a groove. These are the advantages of live shows sometimes. Shelby then played some of her own songs which I'm not that familiar with including the one about cornbread and ice tea. I can't emphasize enough how what we saw last night was a singer really SINGING and really pulling it from down deep. Much like the article I read about her feelings on vinyl and ipods Shelby did radiate a sense of cool. After the show her roadie was kind enough to take my newly purchased LP copy of her new album backstage for her to sign with dedication and all. Very nice! Word is Shelby will be swinging by the area again and playing the Ramshead Tavern in Annapolis so don't miss it!

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