by Sean Jewell::
Barbara Lynn is truly one of a kind. Aside from being the rare, left handed, guitar playing bandleader in the ’60s, and scoring a #1 hit with her own material, Barbara’s exit and re-entry into rock ‘n’ soul were her own trajectory, piloting her career, her way. As a child Lynn played ukulele in Beaumont, Texas; after hearing Elvis Presley she switched to the guitar, rebelliously played local shows under age, and was heard by Huey P. Meaux and the rest –like her left handed ukulele thumb and strum style– is unorthodox history.
After years of touring with the world’s greatest musicians, and recording her now famous Here Is Barbara Lynn for Atlantic, Barbara was 28, a mother, and simply chose to stop and raise her children. This decision must have disappointed some at the time, but seems to be the catalyst for setting off Lynn’s cult status; a pendulum that inevitably swings back around. In 2014 Seattle based Light in the Attic Records, a boutique label specializing in forgotten (and yet unknown) treasure, reissued Barbara’s album with Atlantic and a career was reborn. It’s not like Barbara had been quiet, though, during the ’70s and ’80s she released albums on her time, toured Europe and Japan, and kept her skills sharp (see: the devastatingly cool Hot Night Tonight from 2001). Truth be told, watching videos of her now performing in New Orleans and parts unknown, she’s a better guitar player than she’s ever been.
Light in the Attic and Barbara Lynn are two recording giants, working unconventionally to get the most out of music. This is why you absolutely have to catch Light in the Attic’s 2nd annual Summer Spectacular out in Ballard on Saturday. There are few stories in rock & roll of artists and labels doing things their own way and succeeding so soulfully.
From the press release:
The festivities kickoff at 3pm on Saturday, August 15th at our record store/warehouse at 913 NW 50th Street, Seattle 98107. The event is free, all ages and open to the public.Everything in the LITA record store (excludes online) will be 20% off the day of the event. RSVP at our Facebook event page for more details.