If you’re seeking to define Lera Lynn’s music, the best description may be “beyond category.”
The Nashville-based, Georgia-bred singer-songwriter, whose new self-released sophomore album The Avenues, out this winter, can easily be filed under “Americana” and “country.” But those categorizations tell only part of the story.
“There are definitely aspects of earlier country in there, and rockabilly and Western swing, music of the Patsy Cline era,” Lera Lynn says. “I take some things from people like Conway Twitty and some of the other old country greats, and that’s very different from what country is now. Maybe that’s why the ‘country noir’ label is applied to my music so frequently.”
She adds, “My parents listened to a lot of country music. My mom was really big on Joni Mitchell, and I think that’s a pretty obvious influence on me. They were also listening to ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd – my dad was a total redneck. That’s worked its way in there. Then, when I went away to college, I started listening to a lot more jazz, and for a short period of time I decided I was going to become a jazz singer, and I started listening to a lot of jazz singers – Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, the obvious greats. Ray Charles and Harry Nilsson are big influences. And there’s a lot of pop in there, too – from the Feist or Fiona Apple or Cat Power world. I can’t deny that those female singer-songwriters have had a large influence on me.”