Country singer Jessica Lynn set to bring real energy to Cambridge Junction
Roadhouse is my favourite Jessica Lynn song to date, along with The Morning Always Comes off the New Yorker’s impressive debut album Lone Rider, which was released last year (she had put out some EPs before then), and I was pleased to learn that Jessica was fond of them too.
“Ah thanks, those are my two favourites!,” she exclaims, speaking to the Cambridge Independent from New York City, the day after filming a new music video in the city. “There’s a line dance to Roadhouse so you’ve got to get to learning it if you’re going to come out to the gig!”
The video the singer was working on, from 4am to midnight, is for a new single called Mixed Signals. “I’m really excited, it’s a fun song,” says Jessica, who notes that the track is not on Lone Rider. “The record is still doing so well; it charted a bunch more this week in some other countries and it’s been really exciting to just kind of see it get its legs, but it’s been out since September so we decided it was time for some new music.”
Jessica, who says she feels “most at home” on the road, is to embark on a seven-date UK tour in July, with Cambridge as the first date. Something of a regular visitor to these shores before the pandemic, this jaunt will be the first time the artist has performed here in four years.
“I am so excited, the UK is one of my favourite places to play in the world,” she enthuses. “I feel like there you all just appreciate live music so much; it’s just so nice to see and so refreshing.
“The last UK tour was 2019 and it kept getting pushed and pushed, the 2020 tour, so we finally rescheduled the dates and I can’t wait to see everybody.” Jessica has performed in the UK several times since 2016-17.
The ’90s was an amazing time for country music and it has been said that it has come back in a “big way” into the modern mainstream scene in Nashville. As she was born in 1990, Jessica does have some memories of this golden decade, when the likes of George Strait, Alan Jackson, Clint Black, Reba McEntire and, of course, Garth Brooks reigned supreme.
“I grew up on all types of stuff,” she recalls, “so I was playing in rock ‘n’ roll bands my whole childhood, there’s rock ‘n’ roll definitely just deep rooted in my heart.
“But my dad was a huge country music fan so when I was a kid, all we had on in the house was country music; he loved George Strait and he loved Glen Campbell.
“My earliest memory of country was Glen Campbell’s Rhinestone Cowboy – me and my sister used to dance around the house to that for hours on loop.
“I’m a big fan of Phil Vassar… I’m just very inspired by the older music – I think today’s music has not enough variety in it; everybody’s using the same sound and the same vibe.
“Back then when you heard an artist, you knew who they were within five seconds and that’s something that really inspires me.”
Stateside, Jessica Lynn is famed for the spectacle and quality of her live shows and stagecraft – not to mention her TV specials – as well as the energy and excitement of her live performances.
American Songwriter not only praised Jessica’s strength in “country arena rock” but also acknowledged her “genre-defying” range and appeal. Happily, her music, though it has these ‘outside’ influences, often features a pedal steel guitar, perhaps the ‘countriest’ of instruments.
“I can’t tell you how many industry people told me to not include it,” she reveals, a sad state of affairs indeed for those of us who love that traditional country sound, “because it wasn’t cool anymore, but I’ve built a career on being different.
“I’m a New York Italian that always loved country music, and I always kind of made it my mission to do music that I liked, whether it fit in or it didn’t fit in, and it worked out. I think the best music is being authentic and genuine.”
Jessica has been featured on magazine covers including Maverick and Guitar Girl Magazine and has shared stages with the likes of Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Loretta Lynn, ZZ Top, Richard Marx, Lonestar, and Kelsea Ballerini.
She’s also found time to livestream, bringing her music to fans all over the world – Jessica has toured in more than 14 countries – on her Facebook page, becoming one of the top-rated livestreaming artists, ranking in Pollstar’s livestream top 10.
You can watch this fast-rising country star live at Cambridge Junction (J2), the first date of her UK tour, on Wednesday, July 5. Tickets, priced £19, are available from junction.co.uk. For more on the singer, go to her site at jessicalynnmusic.org.