For Lynn Jackson, it is all about the songs.
Ten years and six albums into her recording career, the one constant fans have come to expect is top notch songwriting and that voice.
“When I write a song, I often hear the arrangement fully formed – I let the songs lead me into whatever direction they want to go. I guess I'm considered a folk-roots artist, but if my writing and ideas take me outside the genre, I'm not afraid to stretch out creatively. There are no rules when it comes to songwriting."
To celebrate her ten year milestone and bookend that part of her career, Lynn is gearing up to release her new album ‘The Acoustic Sessions’ (Busted Flat Records).
Released as a duo album with her long-time collaborator Chris Boyne, the album revisits 13 songs from her past albums in a more sparse acoustic setting.
“Chris is a really talented songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who fronts my one of my all-time favourite bands called Sexdwarf. We've worked together for the past five years and he is often my accompanist when I play live. The idea behind this recording is to give people a little taste of what we do in concert. Everyone on the record has played live with me in some form or another.”
Recorded basically live off the floor at Norman Blake’s (Teenage Fanclub) home studio, The Acoustic Sessions showcases the strength of Jackson’s writing with the songs nestled in arrangements that are tasteful but minimal.
“On the original recordings, some of these songs featured strings, electric guitars, piano – much bigger arrangements. The tracks on the new album are closer to how they sounded when I wrote them. But instead of just releasing bare-bones version of the songs, I've fleshed them out a bit with upright bass, pedal steel, violin, national steel – still minimal, but with a little extra sparkle here and there.
> Norman has a great ear and captured everything beautifully.”
Mark Logan of Busted Flat Records says of Jackson:
‘I never know what to expect when Lynn hands in an album. To go from something like ‘Restless Days’ which is pretty gritty and electric to ‘Soft Stars’ as the follow up which is primarily piano and cello, it’s always interesting and unexpected. Lynn’s records are always deep with songs and reward repeated listening as the songs reveal themselves.’
In a review of Jackson’s last release ‘Down in the Dust’, Thom Jurek of Allmusic wrote:
‘Jackson is an excellent narrative songwriter; she tells stories that the listener can climb inside and inhabit for as long as she wishes, and is haunted by them long after the recording ends. Down in the Dust is full of such moments. While we should expect nothing less from an artist of her caliber, it would be wrong to expect more, because here, she has already given us everything.’
“The Acoustic Sessions feels to me like marking the end of a chapter. The songs I am writing now are leading me into a more atmospheric electric direction. Some are going to feature my 4-piece band with me playing electric guitar on some of the tracks. I'm going electric - It’s exciting !”
Jackson is hitting the road this fall to bring the album to Western Canada in addition to her regular list of gigs across Ontario.
All Music.com - May 2013 - Thom Jurek
Canadian singer/songwriter Lynn Jackson’s catalog has deep Americana roots, in the very best way that tag implies. . . Jackson is an excellent narrative songwriter; she tells stories that the listener can climb inside and inhabit for as long as she wishes, and is haunted by them long after the recording ends. Down in the Dust is full of such moments.
PENGUIN EGGS - DECEMBER 2012
There is something hauntingly familiar about Lynn Jackson’s Down in the Dust. Whether it’s the inspired first cut Paper Airplanes, where Jackson delivers a stellar performance, or the terrific cover of Lawrence KS (Josh Ritter), sliding this CD into the tray feels very comfortable. . . . . it is a well put together package by a talented artist and team.
CBC - NOVEMBER 2012 - BOB MERSEREAU
Jackson’s a strong roots songwriter with five previous albums to her credit, and a growing body of high-quality, emotional and open tunes. . . .it's all connected by fine writing, some soul-deep stuff.
THE WATERLOO REGION RECORD - OCTOBER 2012 - ROBERT REID
With the release of Down in the Dust, her sixth album since 2004, Lynn Jackson has quietly but insistently become one of the most prolific roots artists in this area. . . finely crafted original compositions. The closing, title track sends pricklies up the back of your neck.
NIGHTLIFE - SEPTEMBER 2012
Lynn Jackson, Busted Flat Record’s premier songbird, has had an impressive musical career. Now eight years and six records in, Jackson has developed into a sophisticated songwriter . . . ..She’s no one-trick pony. . ..It’s easy to believe that she’s capable of conquering any adventure she embarks upon.’
Exclaim! Magazine, 2010
On her fifth studio CD, Coming Down (2010), Jackson stretches creatively out of her patented blend of folk-roots into “into more pop-informed territory. . . . potentially reaching a wider audience. Jackson has made a creative breakthough.”
The Waterloo Region Record, 2010
“Coming Down (2010) ventures more deeply into pop – with forays into reggae, funk, blues, Klezmer and jazz – than previous releases. Enjoy the ride and stay tuned.”
Vue Magazine, Edmonton, AB
Soft Stars (2008) is “sweetly urgent honky-tonk infused with lush and unexpected orchestral touches . . . boosted by Jackson’s pliant whiskey ‘n’ honey voice. A deft innovator, Jackson dangles her rootsy tunes into other genres.”
On Restless Days (2007) Jackson offers up “spare poetic mood-songs and a
wistful whispery voice that conveys a palette of emotion from longing and regret to freedom
and nostalgia.” But it is often her song-writing itself that is the focus of reviews and acclaim.
The Victoria Times Colonist
Restless Days (2007) “Even the arrangements put an emphasis on her words. The rootsy instrumentals are stripped-down and full of delicate acoustic plucking. It allows her high,
fragile voice to take the fore.”
Restless Days (2007) “Lynn Jackson is carrying on a glorious tradition. Like Cash, Dylan,
Cohen, and so many other songwriting pillars before her, Jackson is writing for the people."