Lera Lynn w/ Ernie Hendrickson
When Lera Lynn takes the stage, there is an undeniable feeling that she is something different – something special. Her sultry voice has a way of wrapping around melodies, enveloping the listener in her lyrics, rife with a plainspoken yet cutthroat honesty. When combined with her chordings, which are distinct, original and timeless in their own right, what is revealed is a songwriting craftsman already well on her way to establishing a niche that is very much her own.
In March 2011, Lera Lynn released her debut solo album, Have You Met Lera Lynn?, to international acclaim. Hand picked from Lynn’s collection of songs written over the previous decade, the album elucidates a painstaking inventory of past experiences, as well as artistic challenges in her present pursuits, and her hopes for the future. The opening track, “Whiskey,” is in fact one of Lynn's oldest songs, a portrayal of a young girl trying to cope in an environment of addiction and denial. Fast forward to the present in “Good Hearted Man” and find that girl fully grown and brazenly facing an increasingly hostile world.
Lynn won the 2011 Chris Austin Songwriting Competition held at Merlefest for her song, “Bobby, Baby,” sharing the honor with such alumni as Gillian Welch & Tift Merrit. “Bobby, Baby” also won an award for Best Alt. Country Song in the 10th Annual Independent Music Awards Vox Pop poll, which is determined not by judges but by online fan voting. Just as important to her, Lynn walked away with "Best Americana Artist” at her hometown of Athens, GA's 2011 Flagpole Music Awards, quite the distinction in a town so saturated with musical talent.
Lynn kicked off 2012 by releasing two brand new songs, one a cover of June Carter’s, “Ring of Fire” and the other an original tune, “Don’t Make Me Wait”. Both tracks are currently offered as a free download. In May 2012, Lynn will enter a studio in Athens, GA to record a host of new songs that will make up her sophomore release. Fans can expect to see the new record out later this year.
Lynn and her band will be hard at work on the road this year touring across the entirety of the US and UK, playing prestigious events like NPR’s Mountain Stage, Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion, Cambridge Folk Festival, and supporting the likes of K.D. Lang, Joan Osborne, Sarah Jarosz, Todd Snider, Sam Bush, Paul Thorn, JJ Grey & Mofro, and Band of Heathens.
Born and raised in the Midwest, Ernie Hendrickson grew up on a steady diet of Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Cat Stevens, and Jerry Garcia. These early heroes opened the gates to the deep well of American roots music which he continues to draw inspiration from. In 2007 he self-produced and released a highly acclaimed solo record, Down the Road, of which the Illinois Entertainer deemed "Groundbreaking" and pushed him straight onto the Midwest's radar as an emerging singer-songwriter. Hendrickson set the talent bar high in the studio for this album with a cast of players that included the subtle and angelic backing vocals of his sister, Kelly Hendrickson, and the legendary harmonica player, Howard Levy (Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, Paul Simon), aligned with an all-star group of Chicago musicians.
Hendrickson's new record, Walking with Angels, began with a chance meeting between Ernie and veteran producer Bo Ramsey (Greg Brown, Lucinda Williams) in the spring of '08 in Iowa City, where Ernie was opening a show for an old friend of Bo's, Kevin Gordon. Even in early conversation, the two agreed that there was a chemistry evolving that would only deepen once the sessions began. At Bo's urging, Ernie sang and played nearly all of the songs on the record with a live band which consisted of Bo, Jon Penner on bass (Junior Brown, Bo Ramsey), and Steve Hayes on drums (Greg Brown, Bo Ramsey). This call was made by Bo to try and capture the energy of a great performance and the result could not have been better. All twelve songs on the record feel as though these four guys had been playing together for years. After adding legendary Chicago pedal steel player Brian Wilkie (Alison Krauss, Pam Tillis) on several tracks, Bob Black's banjo (Bill Monroe), and taking a trip to Nashville to record keyboardist Kevin McKendree (Delbert McClinton), the record shines as a true testament to Hendrickson's ripening powers as a songwriter. Radio promotion has taken the sophomore album's success to a higher level on both AAA and Americana stations, having spent over 25 weeks in the Top 20 on Roots Music Report's Folk charts and in regular rotation at nearly 100 different stations across the country including Nashville's award-winning WSM-AM The Legend.?