The Record, Canada
By Robert Reid
After releasing six albums since 2004, Kitchener-based singer/songwriter Lynn Jackson decided it was time for a retrospective. “The Acoustic Sessions” offers 13 “favourite” songs gleaned from her catalogue.
Although all the tracks were written or co-written by Jackson, who sings lead vocals and plays acoustic guitar, the album is a collaborative project with regular concert mate Chris Boyne, who gets co-billing. In addition to contributing acoustic guitar and harmony vocals, the SexDwarf member plays harmonium, melodica and piano. Jackson and Boyne also share co-production credits.
The album’s title is a little confusing, since whatever genre she happens to be exploring on any specific album, Jackson’s approach is essentially acoustic irrespective of the arrangements and instrumentation. Nonetheless, “The Acoustic Sessions” boasts a live, off-the-floor vibe and the vocals are front and centre. Jackson has never sounded stronger and more self-assured as a vocalist.
Guest musicians include friends and members from her various bands, including Joe Dunn on national steel and electric guitar, Scott Fitzpatrick on mandolin and upright bass, Nick Storring on cello, Steve Wood on pedal steel, Wendy Wright on violin and Norman Blake on shakers.
Whether you call it folk, country, introspective songwriter or roots, “The Acoustic Sessions” is, hands down, my favourite of her albums.
Jackson and Boyne host a CD release party on Sunday at Waterloo’s Jane Bond. Guests include Dunn, Fitzpatrick, Wood, Wright and Andy Miller. Ottawa’s Slo’ Tom opens. Admission including a CD is $10. Doors open at 8 p.m.