Lynne Jackaman – One Shot (Self Released)
Incredibly, it’s five years since the No Halo EP offered a timely insight into Lynne Jackaman’s often troubled transition from blues queen to rock and soul diva.
As that mixed release proved, the arduous journey from St Jude frontwoman to solo artist has been far from smooth for a supremely talented singer songwriter seeking her true identity and her ultimate creative calling.
Jackaman has suffered more than her fair share of heartache and frustration during the last decade and One Shot is an honest reflection of that often-painful period of flux.
As such, it’s a career-defining step on the road to redemption.
Lyrically and sonically, the 11 songs here are a glorious amalgamation of raw emotions and provide proof positive that artists frequently triumph in the face of adversity.
Sure, One Shot deals with some pretty serious stuff.
Beautiful Loss is a genuinely affecting tribute to former St Jude band mate Adam Green, who tragically passed away after battling cancer in 2012.
And the record’s underlying theme is one of bitter frustration – albeit against a backdrop of brave recovery and stubborn optimism.
Opener Supernasty is a compelling case in point.
The bullish tune is an instant reminder of Jackaman’s exceptional talent: a visceral vocal is juxtaposed with a red hot horn section to create a ‘feist-funk’ storm.
Supernasty, it’s fair to say, is super tasty.
And it points the way on a record built to last.
Recorded at Muscle Shoals’ Fame Studios, One Shot leans on an array of Alabama-based talent that reads like a who’s who of soul music royalty.
Keyboardist Clayton Ivey worked with Marvin Gaye and Aretha Franklin.
Bob Wray played the bass with Ray Charles.
Backing singers The Shoals Sisters have added their unique talents to everyone from Etta James to Alicia Keys.
And organist Spooner Oldham and guitarist Will McFarlane (Bonnie Raitt) bring Beautiful Loss to life with their exceptional touches of musical genius.
Reassuringly, Jackaman’s consistently stunning contribution proves she was born to perform in such exalted company.
Given the chance to work with like-minded soul brothers and sisters, she’s found her natural groove.
And if this is her One Shot at glory then it hits the target in every respect.
Fans of Vintage Trouble will love this album’s rockier moments.
Yola converts will adore its classic funk and soul foundation.
But one word of warning: One Shot finally – and firmly – closes the door on the St Jude era as Jackaman finally completes that decade-long evolution.
It’s as necessary as it is exciting.
On an album bursting with self-belief, the highlights come thick and fast.
Nevertheless, One Shot’s standout track is tucked away in the final third and it’s an absolute treat.
Nothing But My Records On (a genius play on words) could give Fishbone and White Trash a run for their money.
And it might even prompt the odd pang of jealousy in Lenny Kravitz when the king of rock and soul realises he’s missed out on a surefire hit.
Euphoric set closer On My Own Stage offers a simple yet poignant sign-off: the perfectly pitched piano ballad finds Jackaman at the top of her game and looking forward with confidence.
It’s about time.
One Shot is a perfect 10. And then some.
Main Image By Raymond Clayton Thomas