Heart Songs & Laugh Lines
January 2011 brings a year of hard work to conclusion for Karen Lynne, with the release of her ninth album Heart Songs & Laugh Lines. This album salutes & returns her to a Classic Country setting, without even a hint of new-age Country Rock or Pop. This is old fashioned pure Country, a style that has been a little lost in the Industry’s current wave of younger contemporary artists. The album contains 14 new tracks, produced by Sydney producer Herm Kovac who uses a solid line up of well known Australian musicians & singers including Stuart French, Michel Rose, Brad Bergin, Ian Lees, Gary Steele, Bill Risby, Luke Moller, James Gillard & Mark Punch. Kovac also draws on some great USA talent, namely Tim Crouch (Fiddle & Mandolin) and well known Nashville based Resonator Guitar ace & singer/songwriter in his own right, Randy Kohrs. Randy contributes some outstanding Resonator Guitar playing and also joins Karen in a stunning rendition of the classic Louvin Bros cut Every time You Leave.
This is mostly a collection of more known country songs, either written or made famous by Country Music’s best. They include hits from George Strait (I Cross My Heart); Clint Black (Something That We Do); Patsy Cline/Willie Nelson (Crazy); Mary Chapin Carpenter (Dreamland); Collin Raye (Corner Of The Heart) and Vince Gill & Guy C Clark (Jenny Dreamed Of Trains), but also draw upon some top Australian writing talent as in Bruce Woodley & John Farrar (The Rose & the Briar) and two of her own co-writes with Allan Caswell. The songs are sewn beautifully together with threads of the many and varied facets of love and how it has graced her life & musical journey, hence the title. Being in love, out of love, lost love, unrequited love, spiritual love, love of children, friends and the relationship journey itself. Her voice is effortless & emotive, and this combined with great songs, make this album a must have in any true Country Music lovers’ collection.
While a writer herself, Karen has never filled her albums with her own work, it’s clear that she is about great songs, not just showcasing herself as a writer. That said, her co-writes are well-written solid songs, one being a biographical style glance at her life in music and a reflection of what that journey has ultimately meant to her. As with the music, the album artwork is top class work from StudioGoonga, a perfect representation of the singer herself, the look & feel radiating beauty, maturity and class; and includes a special dedication of note to some of her greatest fans.
Heart Songs & Laugh Lines is only Karen’s second full ‘classic’ country album in an impressive career & music catalogue containing Country, Australian folk & Bluegrass, although her obvious love of acoustic music does shine through on such tracks as Jenny Dreamed of Trains and Friends, with their tasteful fiddle & banjo adding a subtle bluegrass feel throughout. Even after 25 years, Karen continues to gain credibility as an artist and consistently delivers quality product, an achievement which is never easy for older female artists in such a vibrant and ever changing Country Music Industry. For lovers of the classic Country sound, this album is a breath of fresh air in a persistent smog of Country Rock & Pop.