Exactly a week after that beautiful Union Chapel gig where Courtney Marie Andrews healed our souls and we in turned tried to heal her cold I was back in the capital again for a gig by Lera Lynn, Omeara at London Bridge being the most doable journey of the handful of UK dates. I was delighted to discover that support was provided by Worry Dolls, who I have seen and enjoyed a couple of times before, at Red Rooster and at OPEN in Norwich. They and Nashville-based Lera apparently met in that music city when Worry Dolls were recorded their album there.
There was a lot of interest in this gig which sold out many weeks ago, even though it was for a Monday night, I even saw people queuing at the door when I walked past the venue at 6pm. It was a bit later when I headed there though, shortly before the arrival onstage of Worry Dolls who played a most impressive set that the crowd clearly enjoyed. Their final song they performed completely unplugged right up at the front of the stage almost on top of the crowd. It was beautiful. I love their heartfelt and expressive form of Americana. Fans of Hope in High Water, whom we know well, will love them, they both have an obvious integrity and passion about what they are doing too.
Lera Lynn‘s latest album is called Plays Well With Others and as the title suggests is a collaborative work of co-written duets alongside names such as JD McPherson, Peter Bradley Adams, John Paul White, Dylan LeBlanc, Andrew Combs, Rodney Crowell, Shovels & Rope, and Nicole Atkins. The songs all fit together on the album well too, giving it a cohesive and whole feeling. I held back buying my album until this gig though as I wanted to get my copy signed! (So many thanks to the lovely lady on the merch table who kindly looked after my vinyl and t-shirt until the end of the gig, much appreciated!)
The lights dimmed and Lera came onstage illuminated by a single spotlight and went straight into the set, with her duet partner for the set, Todd Lombardo, who was brilliant taking on the roles of these other singers for the tour. The whole set seemed to pass so quickly as we enjoyed it so much, sublime playing and vocals, great songs and terrific sound and lighting in this lovely venue. Most of the material was obviously from Plays Well With Others but we also had some gems from Resistor and The Avenues which pleased the appreciative and attentive crowd too.
I’ve only seen Lera Lynn once before, at a Spiegeltent gig in Norwich for our festival a couple of years or so back and she’s one of very few that I will travel down to London for, what with all the expense that a day in the capital seems to entail but it was so worth it. To cap a special night Lera did come out to meet fans and sign records, and I was even lucky enough to get a photo. Thank you Lera.
“Throughout her career — a nearly decade-long run filled with three album releases, a career-shifting appearance and soundtrack for HBO’s True Detective, hundreds of shows on both sides of the Atlantic, and a sound encompassing everything from Americana to stark indie rock — Lera Lynn has balanced her fierce independence with a string of collaborations.
She’s written songs with T Bone Burnett and Rosanne Cash. She’s recorded albums with full bands (2014’s The Avenues, hailed by outlets like Rolling Stone and American Songwriter) and smaller lineups (the experimental, NPR and New York Times-approved Resistor, which Lynn co-produced at her Nashville home). On her fourth album, Plays Well With Others, she teams up with eight different duet partners and seven co-writers, resulting in her most diverse, collaborative work to date.
“…her gorgeous Emmylou-like voice which wraps itself around the varied tone of her collaborators…” – Uncut Magazine”
Norwich: Music City, UK. A Norwich playlist of well over 30 hours of local music on Spotify: