The first gig of 2018 started for us a couple of days before with The LYNNeS appearing on BBC Essex with Tony Fisher and BBC Radio Suffolk with Stephen Foster talking about themselves, their music, history and influences.
It was great to hear The Little Rabbit Barn get a good mention along with a preview of what they were going to play for us, all topped off with a live studio rendition of ‘Recipe for Disaster’ on BBC Radio Suffolk.
So tonight, just ahead of the cold artic weather predicted to sweep the UK, we have Hannah Paris, who with 100,000 streams on Spotify of her new EP ‘SHORT STORIES...’ to her name, is joined by Jake Priestley on electric guitar and making her LRB debut.
You you you, track one from the EP is the fine opener.
Halfway home is next; a new song Hannah tells us, about a lady who decided not to go through with her wedding. ‘Running Home in a White Dress’. A great image.
Scared of the dark, from fan feedback, is a song a lot of people seem to relate to and it’s track 2 on SHORT STORIES...
Favourite Hello, track 3 was written for a mystery person in the room tonight and it’s the penultimate number for this set.
Hannah says that she is not used to such an attentive audience but she happily appreciated it as she introduced her last song for us. LA, a song inspired by an American road trip.
Thank you Hannah and Jake, that hit the spot to get the 2018 season moving. We hope you enjoyed playing the LRB as much as we did having you here.
So now for the big show. “You guys are nuts” says Lynn Miles as Jonathan tells the tale of her first visit and how much it meant to him, having a major artist support the LRB back in 2011. “I’m going back to Canada to get warm” quips Lynn.
Lynn Miles at the ‘House Piano’
Moth and Flame was the stunning opener leaving the audience spellbound from the very start. You instinctively know when your in the presence of a major artist.
Three chords and the the truth is next. “Mediocrity borrows, Genius steels” Lynn tells us, “and I’m a genius”
“So I wrote a song called Three Chords and the Truth not knowing there was a hit song with that title, but I got a spin off from the royalties”. laughs… “My next song will be called Stairway to heaven” more laughs... “This is my version” Lynn says as she plays harmonica on what is a beautiful original song.
“It’s really hard to pick four songs”. “I have 900 songs”. “I do this for a living as my goal in life is never to have to clean an oven, which explains why I have moved 50 times”. More laughs… This is fun.
The death of Merle Haggard inspired this next song, Merle. Her third song of this set tonight, followed by Black Flowers before Lynne Hanson is invited on stage to do her first four songs.
Wow, that set the bar high. “I just remembered why we do this” says Jonathan as Lynne Hanson gets ready to play. She opened with a song inspired by being stuck on the M62 on route to Shrewsbury, Counting Heartbeats.
“I was in a bluegrass band once, for a month; they kicked me out”. Laughs… “I don’t take rejection well”.
Turns out there is a great tradition of ‘Murder Ballads’ in Bluegrass and I couldn’t seem to stop writing them after being kicked out of the band”. “Perhaps I’m a serial murder ballad writer”. Laughs
“For the album SEVEN DEADLY SPINS I had six songs, six Murder Ballads, and I needed a seventh for the joke to work”.
“I was reading about this hotel where they had 1700 phone calls in a year to the police and I wondered what it must have been like to live there”. “This song just popped into my head”. ‘I sleep with one eye open, and a shotgun by my bed’. What a great lyric and what a great way to deliver it!
It’s great to hear the inspirations and ideas behind songs, and Lynne Hanson also keeps us entertained with her stories.
“None of us gets through life unscathed and it’s the scars that make us interesting” she says. “We become more accepting of the bumps and bruises on the way, so this is a love song for all the broken people”. Broken.
‘If I have to be broken, let me be broken with you’, another beautiful lyric and melody.
The next song was inspired by 5 days of binge watching ‘Sons of Anarchy’ on Netflix. “You have to watch something to come down after a gig” says Lynne. River of Sand followed with a false start before the Stomp Box was quickly dialled in by Simon Allen who has done an amazing job with the sound, as always.
After the show Lynn Miles laughingly told Simon “I didn’t think about you all night, and that’s the sign of a great sound engineer”. That’s a nice thing to hear from one of the best in the business.
Wow! that was really something special. At this point we can only imagine what it will be like to see and hear The LYNNeS perform together.
However, there is another Lyn at LRB to trifle with and this one is in charge of the catering. A Bludgeoning of Lyn’s is the collective noun I am reliably informed, and it’s time to enjoy an amazing Chicken Curry Lyn number three has prepared whilst we mix and mingle before the raffle.
Heartbreak song for the radio opened set 2 with Lynn Miles on Piano and backing vocals whilst Lynne Hanson sang the lead.
“This next song, Cost so much, was written by a man named ‘Lonesome Paul’”.
“Yes, that’s his real name” says Lynn Miles…
He writes great songs but just doesn’t want to persue it. “I follow him around as you always get a great song title from him”.
You can see the LYNNeS are enjoying strumming acoustically through this great song harmonising beautifully. Paying their dues no matter the cost as the song infers.
Pic Andy Sheard
Now Lynn Miles tells us about how this project came together. Lynne Hanson paying Lynn Miles to sing on her album. “I paid to much” quips Lynne Hanson. Laughs....
They became friends over time. Lynne Hanson booked a studio and a tour so they were forced to write some songs.
This is Dark Waltz. Track 6 from HEARTBREAK SONGS FOR THE RADIO with Lynne Hanson on her stunning looking and sounding Gretsch Guitar
Now this is where I got the hear about a Bludgeoning of Lyn’s “whenever two or more Lynn’s are gathered together”. (Any spelling) it’s amazing what you can learn at a gig like this.
Don’t look down, Track 5 from the album is next with Lynn Miles using an interesting device on her guitar to make haunting harmonica style tones along with singing beautiful harmonies whilst Lynne Hanson played percussive guitar to great effect. Simply put, Stunning and original.
The next song, Cold front, “Since it’s been so cold”. “It’s really about an emotional cold front”. Lynn Miles says as she straps a tambourine to her foot with difficulty which led to some healthy jesting between The LYNNeS. The opening track from the album.
“They call me Shaky leg Miles”. Laughs…
“We don’t have enough songs on the album for an hour set, so we each get to bring one of our own” Says Lynn. This is a song from My DOWNPOUR CD called More.
“It’s a cheer leading song for me as I get older”. “To help me stay open and to want more beauty and experiences, not more ‘Stuff’”. Simply Beautiful!
Lynne Hanson. “This is a song about loss, I lost a very good friend and my father within a month”. “I sat down with Lynn and we decided I have to get through this just for now”.
“Writing a song about it helps so this is Just for now”. You could hear a pin drop.
Unfortunately, during this song someone knocked a glass over.
At the finish Lynn Miles dug into her hand bag and presented them with a sticker saying, “We don’t care and we love you anyway”. That was a lovely fun moment.
Canada not doing so well at the Winter Olympics came up. Lynn Miles is not a sports fan. “Curling is housework on ice with drinks after”. However Lynne Hanson is a sports fan and didn’t agree. Laughs…
Blue Tattoo is next. Apparently men got a Tattoo after sailing around Cape Horn in the old days as a badge of honour. Things have changed today with any Tattoo you can think of available and placed anywhere. Track 8 on HEARTBREAK SONGS FOR THE RADIO. “There is a Tattoo inspection before you leave everyone, be ready”. Quips Lynn…
“Songwriters are famous for stealing things on pen and paper (Lynn Miles, Analog) and iPhone (Lynne Hanson, Digital)”. Says Lynn.
“If your with a song writer and they make notes, ask for 30% as you said something interesting and they are gonna write a song about it”.
Blame it on the Devil next, ‘it’s only walking through the fire we learn just who we are’, amazing lyrics once more...
The stories from The LYNNeS keep tumbling out as we get towards the last song. “Clapping is a very warming activity”.
I can’t reveal Lynn Miles Irish accent joke, you’ll have to go to a show to get that one! Needless to say the LRB crowd had a great laugh there...
The LYNNeS were very appreciative of the LRB and its audience making the life of touring musicians worthwhile. “These are the moments we will remember and talk about when we get home. Thank you all”.
Recipe for Disaster Track 3 from the album closes the show; or does it?
In true LRB style we couldn’t leave it there. We wanted more, but what we got was a complete surprise.
After a well deserved standing ovation, The LYNNeS unplugged, roaming dangerously around the room playing We Gotta Have Rain.
“We wrote it unplugged and are going to play it unplugged”. “Where the hell is she going”? asks Lynn. More laughs....
The next few minutes were pure magic as The LYNNeS toured the room as only they can on the edge of havoc!
You just have to have been there to experience the joy of it all.
I often say this, but if you’re at the LRB you’re in the band in one way or another.
The performance is greatly enhanced by the chance interactions of artist and audience and we couldn’t possibly do this without you all.