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Shelby Lynne: Revelation Road

Everso Records

"Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose," Kris Kristofferson wrote years ago. After bitter struggles with numerous record labels, Shelby Lynne has finally gotten the freedom she wanted. Since leaving Alabama for Nashville in the 1980s, she's worked for this moment, and she makes good with it. Lynne wrote, sang, played, and produced every song on Revelation Road, then released it on her own label. The maturation shows immensely in her songwriting, and her singing has grown more confident. The painfully autobiographical but heartwarming "I'll Hold Your Head" gives the listener another small peek into her tragic early years, exposing a tender side we rarely see. Equally strong is a melodic homage to idol Dusty Springfield on "Lead Me Love." Her rich Southern voice works well with the deceptively simple guitar and keyboards, and with Lynne putting her heart and soul into every note, she proves that with freedom, she wins. (4 out of 5 stars)