Barbara Lynn

It Ain't Good to Be Too Good

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Texas-born Barbara Lynn was anything but run of the mill as a singer, guitarist, and songwriter, and her recorded legacy is solid and sound, even if she never has quite caught on as a household name. A left-handed guitarist (she at least reversed the strings, unlike Jimi Hendrix, another left-handed guitarist), Lynn could more than hold her own as an instrumentalist, and her soulful, blues-nuanced vocals were equal to any issuing from the Southern soul genre in the 1960s. She got her start recording for Huey P. Meaux's Jamie Records label in the early '60s, moving to Atlantic Records in 1971 before returning to Meaux's imprint in 1974. This set, which was issued previously in 1999 under the title Crazy Cajun Recordings, features tracks done for Jamie Records as well as a handful of her Atlantic sides, and it makes for a nice introduction to this painfully ignored artist. Highlights include a wonderful reading of “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye,” a solid version of Dan Penn's “You Left the Water Running” from 1966, the odd “Poor Old Trashman,” and her self-penned “This Is the Thanks I Get.”

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