SXSW showcase reviews
Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., March 14, 2008
Shelby LynneAustin Music Hall, Friday, March 14
Folks were surely aware that Shelby Lynne would be showcasing the songs from her new disc, Just a Little Lovin' (Lost Highway), her homage to Dusty Springfield. It's an intimate, late-night kind of tribute that demands attention. So why did so many of them come to talk while she was onstage? Fortunately, the rudeness of the audience didn't seem to phase Lynne. Performing almost all of Just a Little Lovin', she inhabited each tune with her essence. Yes, she was singing someone else's songs, but she was hell-bent on making them her own as best she could and succeeded more than not. Lynne's voice, the night's main instrument, was smoky perfection, especially on "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" and "Breakfast in Bed," which positively oozed Southern charm. The slender blonde exclaimed: "I truly think Dusty's here with us tonight. I love these songs!" "Willie and Lauramae Jones" picked up the pace a bit and featured a stylish solo from guitarist John Jackson, whose light-fingered touch mesmerized throughout the 40-minute set. Lynne closed with "Pretend," the album's sole original. The tune fit in neatly with the mellow soul that preceded it, a testament to the fact that the singer's writing talents match her abilities as a vocalist.