Lynn Drury

All You Need

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Singer/songwriter Lynn Drury was raised in Mississippi, became a professional musician in New Orleans, and then in 2005, relocated to Memphis after losing her possessions in Hurricane Katrina. The one constant is that she stayed in the South and it's that influence that most informs her work. All You Need is her fourth album -- she had previously performed with her band Bad Mayo -- but her first available nationally. The years of playing live as house artist at Margaritaville in the French Quarter have paid off. This is a confident and emotional release that feels like the work of a professional comfortable in her sometimes prickly skin. Recorded primarily at Jim Mathus' Delta Recording Studio in Clarksdale, MS, Drury's regional drawl, husky voice and tightly knit country-rockers are edgy and compelling. There is no getting around the vocal and musical similarities to Lucinda Williams, but Drury isn't as angry and approaches her subjects with a lighter touch. Comparisons can also be made to Shannon McNally who, like Drury, never rushes or extends songs beyond their breaking points. Credit co-producer Mathus with keeping the rawness in these songs and adding rootsy guitar and mandolin. The music is acoustic based but electric bass, drums and the occasional electric guitar make it feel fleshed out yet far from slick. Rather, the recording is natural, tough and deliberate, perfect for this ornery country-rock. There are also similarities to Neil Young's work with the Stray Gators, especially when pedal steel enters the picture in "Last Waltz #371." The songs seem to meander on first listen, with few identifiable choruses rising to the surface. But subsequent spins reveal a solid groove that unwinds leisurely over the course of the album's ten tunes. There are sections of intensity in songs such as "Soundtrack," that recall some of Van Morrison's acoustic work. Certainly any fan of Williams will want to check this out, and those looking for a fresh breath of Americana air will delight in Drury's earthy and expressive approach.

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