7 Minutes in Heaven with: Lera Lynn

Photo: Steven Landry

Lera Lynn

Artists Website: http://www.leralynn.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/leralynn

Bio: What’s in a name? It’s an age old question — and for Athens, Ga., based performing songwriter Lera Lynn on her new record, the answer is simple: a summation of all that has been, and a bold thesis of what is yet to come. The Houston-born Lynn, who in March will release her debut, Have You Met Lera Lynn?, is already well-known in Athens for her time spent as the sultry voice of mainstay folk-poppers Birds & Wire. However, the multidimensional record’s title is telling; in the days since that band’s dissolution, Lynn’s taken an honest and painstaking inventory of her past experiences, and out of that process a song cycle has emerged that serves as a true representation — and a reintroduction — of the artist.

1. Where are you from and how long have you been making music? 

I was born in south Texas to two native Texans, Robert and Lyn. In search of work my parents moved eastward to Shreveport, LA and then eventually landed in the suburbs of Atlanta. It’s hard for me to say where I’m from but Athens GA is definitely where I call home. I remember singing in the church choir as a child but my first significant music memory came when I was 6 years old and we had just moved into an apartment in Peachtree City. The song, “More Than Words” was popular at the time and it was through that song that I discovered how to harmonize vocally. From that point forward, singing became an addiction and a constant pursuit of mine, though unconsciously.

2. Describe your sound in 5 words: 

honest, simple, subtle, sultry, and dark

3. Who would you list as your top 3 musical influences?

Ray Charles for his soulful voice, Joni Mitchell for her candid lyrics, Johnny Cash for his style, delivery and indifference

4. If you were to choose one song from your most recent release to share with our readers, what would it be and why? 

Humm… It’s hard to choose because they all mean and showcase different things. I guess the first track on the record, “Whiskey,” would be my choice, should I be forced to be make one. It was one of the first songs I ever wrote and pretty much sums up a strong side of my style and story. It’s terribly sad but seems to have an element of hope somewhere in there. My second choice would be “Bobby, Baby,” just in case you were wondering ;) Or maybe “Gasoline”… ahghgh! I can’t choose!

5. What were your 5 favorite albums of 2010? 

Man, that’s another tough question. I think The Black Keys, Brothers is definitely in there for a lot of folks, and it certainly is for me. Alexander Ebert’s self titled debut album was released this year (2011). Jesus. What a force he is! I love that album. “I’m Having Fun Now” by Jenny and Johnny is another good one and great live. Another 2011 release I’m digging is “The Harrow & The Harvest” by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. I also really enjoyed (and continue to enjoy) Atlanta-based Janelle Monae’s “ArchAndroid,” released in 2010.

6. Name a band that we might not have heard of yet but we should definitely check out? 

Shovels & Rope, from Charleston, SC., is a husband and wife duet comprised of two insanely talented heavy weights, Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent. If they don’t make it big, something is very wrong with the world.

7. What’s been the most exciting thing about 2011 for you so far and what do you have to look forward to? 

In addition to winning a few awards this year for songwriting and general ass-busting, we have just landed “Have You Met LERA LYNN?” (2011) in all CIMS (Coalition of Independent Music Stores is a group of some of the best independent music stores in America) stores, which is pretty exciting. The music is traveling farther that I imagined. We have also started to see some radio play which is always a plus! We have quite a few shows booked for the fall and then we’ll finish recording the follow-up album that we plan to release next spring. Recording is my favorite part of this whole process so I’m really looking forward to that!

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