(5 / 5)
On hearing just a few tracks, it is therefore a surprise to find out this is the debut album from this Canadian pair. A massively accomplished result for a first go!
Lynne Miles and Lynne Hanson have toured and written together across the last decade, but this is their first album project together. Of these 10 cuts, nine are are co-writes from the two and one song, “Cost So Much” is penned by the two Lynnes with Paul Monnette.
A folk core perhaps, but there’s loads of country and Americana flavour, for sure. The overall mission statement is simple: Sheer class, irrespective of labels and genres. Quality always sells. Fact.
Produced by Hanson and Miles. Lynn Miles takes on lead vocals, backing vocals, piano, acoustic guitar and electric guitar, as does Lynne Hanson, minus the piano. They are aided and abetted by award-winning player Kevin Breit on guitars and mandolin, who has played with Nora Jones, k.d. lang, Roseanne Cash and many others.
Dave Draves on keyboards, Peter Von Althen on drums, Steve Clark on bass, Keith Glass on baritone guitar and Don Cummings on Hammond B3 organ.
Lynne Miles produced two of Ms Hanson’s solo records, “River Of Sand” in 2014 and “7 Deadly Spins” in 2015. For this equal billing, they focused on writing their best songs yet. The album was recorded “as live”, to tape, and has that on stage vibrancy and energy.
Lynn Miles is one of Canada’s most accomplished singer-songwriters, with 14 albums to her credit, the winner of four Canadian Folk Music awards and a 2003 Juno (Canadian Grammy) for Roots and Traditional Solo Album Of The Year.
Lynne Hanson has been playing her brand of music for the past 10 years, and released half a dozen albums, won the Colleen Peterson Award for songwriting and was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award.
On “Heartbreak Song For The Radio”, the harmonies are exquisite, the performances and production values spot on; and the standard of the songwriting really is faultless. The melodies and lyrics just superb. Lots of infectious hooks.
I cannot praise this record enough, and for a debut, it is pretty eyebrow-raising. The chemistry between these two is palpable. There’s an old saying: Every lid has a pot, and I think as a musical pairing, these two nail that old adage.
I yearned for Albert Lee or James Burton to be fast picking their twangy skills on the fabulous track “Halfway To Happy”. Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks, Chris Isaak, k.d. lang territory on the lovely “Blue Tattoo”. You’ll be singing that chorus 48 hours later! “Recipe For Disaster” is stunning. Everly Brothers meets Nashville.
There’s a slew of cuts on here for radio programmers to get spinning, and I am pretty sure there’ll be a good few artists discovering songs that they’ll end up covering on their own records.
This is not only a showcase for two individually talented artists coming together as a formidable unit, but also a brilliant portfolio for these gals as master craftsmen songwriters.
One of the front runners for Americana album of the year 2018 for me, and surely a hot contender for a Juno award. If not, I’ll want to know what the heck is going on? No heartbreak here folks; unless they fail to make a good few more albums together, that is!
By Simon Redley
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’