The Ottawa Sun, Canada
By Denis Armstrong
Lynn Jackson is a songwriting Superman.
By day, she’s the the hard-nosed desk editor at the Kitchener-Waterloo Record.
It’s a tough job. You have to have a thick skin to do it.
But then, there’s the other side of Jackson, the softer side as the mild-mannered songwriter who’s written so many songs, she’s released an album of new songs every year since 2004, including her latest, 2010’s Coming Down.
It may sound like Jackson’s leading two lives or juggling two careers but she considers them two halves of the same coin.
Not surprisingly, Lynn Jackson is a talented and prolific writer of songs that have the same emotional urgency of news stories.
“I tend to write a lot about people, and the human condition, the things that people don’t talk about and just suffer through,” Jackson says softly.
“Working where I do, I often come home with my head swimming with stories I’ve read. To unwind, I’ll pick up the guitar and start playing. That’s when new song ideas will just come to me. I can play with words and music all night. I have to write them down before they escape me.”
Her new album Coming Down, out on Busted Flat Records, is about such a day, a stressful day at work, when you come home upset, only to have your better half puts things into perspective.
Produced by Sexdwarf’s Chris Boyne and The Spirits’ Ian Smith, Jackson’s fifth album is a dramatic departure from the more serious, roots tunes she’s known for. Despite its sobering title, the album’s pure pop, the most
experimental album she’s ever made surely, drawing on Soul, R&B, vintage pop and old-country music she loves. Consequently, it was also the most fun she’s had making a record, once she allowed the boys to take her out of her comfort zone of the acoustic roots singer and songwriter she demonstrated a knack for on 2008’s Soft Stars produced with help from Bob Egan (Blue Rodeo), Restless Days in 2007 and 2005’s Sweet Relief.
Those albums cut deeper in a more personal folk-roots and alt-country style similar to her favourite songwriters Lucinda Williams and Tom Waits.
“You don’t want to do the same thing twice,” she cautions. “I wanted to do something fun, something sunnier than I normally do.
“Putting out records is addictive,” she adds excitedly. “I’m a music geek.
I’ve got a ton of new songs I want to record.”
Lynn Jackson, Brock Zeman and The Skydiggers’s Paul McLeod play the blacksheep inn on Jan. 8