Shelby Lynne is one of country music’s most-venerable stars. Since 1988, she has pushed the genre to its limits—transcending the industry’s mechanical categorization of pop and rock music. Shelby’s musical diversity and internal battle for artistic integrity would bounce her GRAMMY-winning career around several record labels, however: Epic (1988-1992), Morgan Creek/Mercury (1993-1994), Magnatone/Curb (1995-1996), Island (1998-2002), Capitol (2003-2006), and Lost Highway (2007-2009).
Taking full control of her artistic vision, Shelby Lynne founded Everso Records, an imprint distributed by Fontana, and the label’s first release, Tears, Lies & Alibis stands as her eleventh studio album. In the midst of a promotional tour for Everso’s grand debut, Shelby Lynne managed to squeeze some time out of her busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry – reflecting on her departure from Nashville, her new-found independence, and the 10th Anniversary of I Am Shelby Lynne.
You just recently celebrated the close of your second decade in the music business. When you look back over the years, what do you think has allowed you to have such tremendous longevity in the cutthroat music business?
Well, I think it’s just about just being consistent and putting out albums that will last. You know, just not really the hot new thing, but just kind of get with the classics. Good songs and simple production and try to get to the heart of things.
Starting out, I know you had a lot of different hands on your work, especially on the production side. Is there a particular person or is there a particular reason why you stuck to that philosophy, to just make consistent work that you know that you felt would really last? How did you really focus on that as an artist?
I’ve always been at the head of the ship, even though there’s been other people who wanted me to do thing differently through the years. But I kinda just stick with what I know works for me.
This particular album is the first release on your very own label, Everso Records. What particular tasks or challenges have you had to take on this time around that you have not had to handle in the past?
Well, it’s definitely a hands-on thing; I mean, being that it was just—the label is me. I am the label. I’ve been doing a lot of work, basically stuff that I wish I had been doing for ten or twelve years, really. I seem to get things done a lot better, a lot easier, a lot faster. I get a lot of answers quicker without the man in the middle or a B-man at the corporate label. You know, I definitely can see a difference already and my record hasn’t even come out yet. I think that I’ve already been able to get a lot more done than with my experience with the majors.