I've never been a big fan of what most people call country music. The cheap sentimentality, the show business slickness and the simplemindedness of the ideas expressed by the majority of the mainstream performers have always left me cold. Too many seem more concerned with image rather than content. For a music whose roots lie in the folk songs of the British Isles and the dirt farms of Tennessee and Oklahoma, that strikes the wrong chord with me. This is probably unfair and pejorative on my part, but like so much of today's popular culture the genre seems to have come to the conclusion that playing it safe by appealing to what it thinks is the lowest common denominator is the surest way to be a success.
So one of the nicest surprises I've had this year was the DVD We Walk The Line - A Tribute to the Music of Johnny Cash and the voices it introduced me to. Not having heard her before, I was quite unprepared for the power Shelby Lynne packs. When she walked on stage and sang Kristofferson's "Why Me Lord", she blew me away and made me want to hear more of her. It was only shortly thereafter the press release announcing the release of Revelation Road: Deluxe Edition, on her own Everso Records label, arrived in my inbox.
While the disc was originally released in 2011, Lynne has put together a special package consisting of two DVDs and two CDs for fans of her work. Like many other independents, she raised the cash for this project though crowd source funding, in this case Pledge Music. Those who contributed to the project received the set in advance and, depending on the level of their funding, bonus gifts as well. However, the rest of us can purchase the set in its entirety at all the usual on line outlets. Considering it contains the original CD with five bonus tracks added, a live recording of her performing in the intimate back room of McCabe's guitar shop in California, Live At McCabe's, a short DVD documentary on the making of Revelation Road, and a DVD of her performance at Union Chapel in London England, it sounds like a great package. It also includes a 12-page booklet with notes about each performance, lyrics to the songs from the original CD, and the story behind each of the bonus tracks.