Lynn Jackson, a singer-songwriter from Kitchener, Ontario, has increased her profile during the past decade over the course of a series of well-regarded albums that have straddled country, folk and pop, all characterised by her wonderfully clear-toned singing voice and a really solid grasp of the art of songwriting.
Her latest - and seventh - disc is the realisation of a more recently nurtured desire to produce a retrospective album, revisiting key songs from her exhaustive back catalogue in stripped-down - but not necessarily bare - mode, in tandem with Chris Boyne (of the band Sexdwarf), her latterly-regular touring accompanist. Lynn and Chris share the acoustic guitar duties, and on each track the sound is gently fleshed out with one or other member of an impressive roll-call of guest musicians, including Joe Dunn (National steel), Scott Fitzpatrick (upright bass, mandolin), Nick Storring (cello), Steve Wood (pedal steel) and Wendy Wright (violin) - most of whom have played live with Lynn at some point or other.
Lynn and Chris make sweet music indeed, with harmonies to die for when they sing together (as on Run With Me), and they gel so intuitively, while those limited extra instrumental adornments couldn't be better judged or executed. The problem with an album like this is that its very consistency makes it quite difficult to review, certainly in the sense of being critical. Every song is a gem in its own way, and these settings make them sound even more persuasive and direct than those on the few from the earlier albums that I've managed to hear. But Lynn's avowed intention in making this record was also to mark a kind of bookend, drawing a line under this part of her career (having marked the ten-year milestone, she says she's "going electric" from now on, fronting a four-piece band).
I do hope it isn't the last we hear of Lynn in purely acoustic form, though, for The Acoustic Sessions has given us some beguiling music.