This one was a real bolt from out of the blue! I had been reading snippets about Shelby Lynne's Dusty Springfield tribute album but hadn't heard any tracks until I went on iTunes and downloaded five songs. It took me a few days to listen to the tracks, but once I did I
was hooked. This is one of those albums that becomes a whole new point of reference for your musical taste and knowledge.
In short, Shelby Lynne, who's been around for a while, is deeply rooted in country but with great range into other genres. Her first album was released in 1989 followed by albums on three different labels, so it was kind of an ironic joke when she won the Grammy for Best New Artist for her 1999 album "I Am Shelby Lynne".
Dusty Springfield was one of the first blue-eyed soul singers of the sixties whose hits included "I Only Want To Be With You", "Wishin' and Hopin'", "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me", and "Son of a Preacher Man:" She became one of the most influential singers in the business working with amongst others - Jimi Hendrix, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Elvis Costello, Sinead O' Connor, and the Pet Shop Boys. She died of cancer in 1999.
Shelby Lynne's Springfield album - "Just a Little Lovin'" - was produced by Phil Ramone who uncharacteristically strips down the music to the bare essentials, letting Lynne's voice and a slowed down jazz tempo bring new meaning, pathos, and focus to the lyrics. You get a good idea from this concert clip of "I Only Want To Be With You", but the title track on the album, given its relative obscurity in the pop archives, is the one that should really not be missed.