Friday, May 2, 2008

Shelby Lynne in SF

"I'm so happy to be playing the damn Fillmore," Shelby Lynne exulted several songs into her show at the Fillmore last night. Touting her Dusty Springfield cover's album "Just A Little Lovin" came on stage in black leather, all heartbreak and torch, but once she got past a few more Springfield tunes ("The greatest pop songwriter! ever" Lynne said, holding the album overhead at one point), she couldn't hold back her Southern exuberance and sass. "It took me fucking 20 years to get on an album," she said before giving the vinyl version of the release to a lucky audience member. The rest of her set was laced with profanity, humor and love for her fans, many who could sing along to the bulk of the songs from both her Grammy winning album of 1999, "I Am Shelby Lynne" (the CD that made me sit up and take notice of her). Nearly a decade later, those songs still hold up quite well, proving their mettle against Springfields standards ("I knew you'd know the words," Lynne said, as we all did on Springfield's "I Only Want to Be With You.") Don't be surprised if one day, another singer returns the favor and does a covers album of Lynne's work. Both these girls know how to work heartbreak into gold. Truth be told, it was an uneven show because Lynne did equal time between the Springfield homage and her own work. However, from this songwriter's perspective, it worked as a study in the craft. AKA, further inspiration and... and even when it's not sold out (as was the case), the "damn" Fillmore remains the coolest venue.

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