Spotlight: Barbara Lynn
7PM, Continental Club
"People would get all excited seeing a black girl play left-handed guitar," reminisces Barbara Lynn about her early days touring with the likes of B.B. King, Jackie Wilson, Clyde McPhatter, and Stevie Wonder. She's still a sight to behold, statuesque and beautiful, a left-handed guitar-slingin' blues 'n' soul queen from Beaumont, Texas.
The road years began in the wake of her huge 1962 hit, "You'll Lose a Good Thing." "We toured all over," Lynn remembers. "The Apollo Theater in New York City, the Uptown in Philadelphia, the Regal in Baltimore ..." Lynn traveled constantly for a decade, knocking out a string of smaller hits like "You're Losing Me," "Until Then, I'll Suffer," and "We Got a Good Thing Going."
"The Rolling Stones covered that one," she states proudly of the latter. In addition to still playing locally, Lynn treks out with former hit-makers Gene Chandler, the Chi-Lites, and Barbara Lewis. "I always thought of my music as rhythm & blues," she muses. "Now it's considered just straight blues."
Call it what you want, but Lynn still has that soulful touch, as her most recent LP, Blues & Soul Situation on Austin's Dialtone imprint, plainly attests. Her music retains that distinctively sensual Gulf Coast sound, and her chops, both vocally and instrumentally, still pack a wallop. Look, too, for Hot Night Tonight, recorded for Antone's Records in recent years.
"I first came to Austin in the mid-Seventies to play at Antone's blues club, and Mr. Antone has been calling me back ever since," she says. Lynn will be in fast company as part of the Ponderosa Stomp's cavalcade of Texas/Louisiana Gulf Coast luminaries that includes Houston's Archie Bell, New Orleans' Eddie Bo, and Lafayette's Lil Band O Gold.