The Record, Canada
By Jason Schneider
After establishing an honest, laid-back folk-country sound on her previous four albums, Kitchener singer/songwriter Lynn Jackson decided to shake things up for her latest CD, Coming Down. To achieve these ends, she called upon two friends whose work she has long admired but had never worked with before, Chris Boyne of Sexdwarf, and Ian Smith of Spirits.
With each of them guiding her in the studio, Jackson wound up producing her most pop-friendly work to date, without sacrificing what she feels is the emotional core of her songwriting.
“Last summer I made a demo of a song called Picture Of You, just me and my guitar, and sent it off to Chris for fun, just to see what he thought of it,” Jackson says.
“He must have had insomnia that night, because the next morning it came back to me with beats and other instruments on it. I was amazed because it didn’t sound like anything I would have thought of doing ever. I asked him right away if he would produce my next album, and it all came together at Ian’s home studio.”
Jackson adds that having two other creative minds carry the bulk of the production load this time was something she wanted, and she’s pleased with what they each brought out of her musically.
“The reason I wanted to work with Ian was that he writes such great pop songs,” she says. “At the same time Chris and Sexdwarf are so original and brilliant, so by putting them together, I knew that they would take care of things.
“My main goal for Coming Down was to have it be a departure from the last few albums. They all shared a rootsy vibe, and I wanted to try out some different styles. Those guys both have great ears and great ideas, so they contributed a lot in terms of how the songs turned out.”
Jackson also collaborated with producer/percussionist Arun Pal and pedal steel guitarist Steve Wood, as well as local legend Paul MacLeod, who co-wrote the album’s opening track, When You Were Mine.
“I think that was written a couple of summer’s ago,” she says. “He started playing the riff and I just started making up lyrics, after a couple of cocktails, of course. It turned out to be pretty straight-ahead poppy, which is why I didn’t put it on my last record, but it totally fit with this one. I wanted to save it for the right moment because I knew it was a special song.”
Jackson hopes to tour with MacLeod later this year or early next year, but in the meantime she says she’ll keep writing new songs at her usual steady pace.
“At the end of my day I just like to chill out and listen to some music or play guitar, and when you put yourself in that position on a regular basis sometime the songs just come. I can go for months without writing anything, and then all of a sudden a whole bunch of stuff with come out. When that happens, it’s just a matter of getting it all down before I forget it.”
Live: Lynn Jackson CD release w/guests; Saturday, July 17; The Boathouse, Kitchener; Cost: $8/$12 w/CD; Show Time: 9 p.m.; More Info: 519-745-7202