Lera Lynn Plays Very Well With Others

Read our review of Lera Lynn’s new outing ‘Plays Well With Others’



By Michael Emmerich


Duets Album with John Paul White, Shovels & Rope, Rodney Crowell & more

Out Now Via Single Lock Records


Lera Lynn recorded Plays Well With Others at John Paul White‘s studio Sun Drop Sound in Florence, Alabama.  There with Lynn, White, and the Alabama Shakes’ Ben Tanner all serving as co-producers, she tracked nine songs in a series of live takes.


Lera Lynn – Plays Well With Others


The duet can be compared to dancing an intricate new step with an established dance partner or embarking on a grand slam mixed doubles trophy.  Lynn takes up the challenge and goes one better.  She presents us with a duet album with nine dance partners, taking tennis mixed doubles to a new level, confirming that she can play well with others.  This interesting and unusual synergy is her fourth studio album in over a decade in the music industry.  Personally, I’m a single malt man, but this blend hit all the right notes and the aroma that emanates from my speakers is just, oh so woody and well balanced, tempting me to reach for that blended bourbon and take a long draw from my cigar and just keep soaking up this beautiful aromatic music.

The gentle haunting breeze of her voice escapes from my speakers and her lilting dulcet tones, both soothes, and at times evokes feelings of loneliness and wide-open spaces.  Her lyrics challenge my perceptions of love, lust and loneliness, like a poet she teases her words out, taking you on a journey, to where, you may ask?  After numerous listenings I still must arrive at my destination, and that is what attracts me to her lyrics and the haunting complementary voices that she has packaged in Plays Well With Others.

Lynn says: “Honestly, duets are challenging to write in a modern way.  You want something that’s outside of a tribute or a novelty.  So, we tried to honour tradition but also create something modern.  Something people might want to listen to that isn’t necessarily cute.”  Further she says: “I think some of my favorite singers in a way are great actors, they act through their voice.”

My favourite song is track two – “Lose Myself” with John Paul White (see clip below), this song for me, just solidifies the beauty of complementary voices in the duet.  White’s voice vacillates between longing and desperation and the haunting sounds driven by Lynn’s intonation seems to drag the song together with a pain that at times can be felt.  The strength of emotion reaches across the void between singer/poet and listener.  After numerous listenings I still get goosebumps and the occasional tear. I must admit I got lost in this album.

Lera Lynn says that she wanted to connect to that classic country tradition of him/her duets, without simply aping it, in my opinion, she totally nails it with this album, one of the best duet albums I have had the pleasure of listening too.  I would urge you to take the time to hear, what Lynn has to say in this evocative duet album, you will not be disappointed.





1. Same Old Song with Peter Bradley Adams
2. Lose Myself with John Paul White
3. What Is Love with Dylan LeBlanc
4. Breakdown with Andrew Combs
5. Crimson Underground with Rodney Crowell
6. Wolf Like Me with Shovels & Rope
7. Nothin To Do With Your Love with JD McPherson
8. In Another Life with Nicole Atkins
9. Almost Persuaded with John Paul White


Via Cooking Vinyl Australia




Michael Emmerich hails from Cape Town, South Africa. although his home is the African continent, where he spends most of his time working. He has a passion for music and has been involved in the industry on the fringes over the years, as well as writing for medical journals/magazines and poetry. 


Read our review of Lera Lynn’s new outing ‘Plays Well With Others’





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