Sherry Lynn with Crystal Gayle Beautiful Life

“A Beautiful Life is a solid excursion into the still forming modern country sound, one that will kick your ass onto the dance floor while putting a smile on your face.”

Sherry Lynn sings like Ana Popovic plays guitar. I’m not talking the blues—though almost unknown in America, Ana’s one of the foremost queens of blues (and a hellishly talented guitarist) where Lynn lays everything on the table in country music—but rather the bold defiant confidence with which she steps to fore and belts it out.

Not a line in this disc is less than 100% full-hearted and dynamic, so you’d best not think for moment about getting in the way, Bertram, less’n you like getting yer toes stepped on while larnin’ a thing ‘r two. In fact, normally I’d cite the musical accompaniment spilling out all over the place in this CD as ‘over-produced’, but I’m not so sure that’s even possible with Lynn. I’ve no doubt each player was puffing and panting to keep up with her in the studio. The woman’s a force to be reckoned with.

Then there’s the laconic Slip Into Something Mexico, a wistful ballad of escape into the necessity of solitude amid life’s frantic pace, a cut in which the band shines just as lustrously (esp. Scotty Sanders’ pedal steel; reminds me of Red Rhodes and Pee Wee Charles). That slope into a more measured pace, though, is atypical and, even when indulged, is just barely reined in. Lynn’s effervescent with life, and you could no more hold her back than stop a storm from wilding across the prairie.

A Beautiful Life is a solid excursion into the still forming modern country sound, one that will kick your ass onto the dance floor while putting a smile on your face.

The clincher? Crystal Gayle liked what she heard in Lynn so much that she sat in on the title cut…’n Crystal’s dueted with the heavyweights, including Tom Waits, so if thet h’ain’t a sizzling stamp of approval, Jehosaphat, then I’m turning in my urban cowboy python boots and taking up CPA.

And am I crazy or is there not a recessed banjo in Fallin’ in Love? It’s uncredited, but I swear it’s there and elsewhere, well modulated like an Alan Parsons bit of sly enhancement.

– Mark S. Tucker, FAME

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