British singer-songwriter Lynne Jackaman, former frontwoman of cult rock band Saint Jude, has announced details of her debut album One Shot, to be released August 14 on CD, DL and limited edition vinyl LP.
Recorded at the legendary FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, One Shot sees Jackaman’s mighty voice supported by a cast of its storied musicians: Spooner Oldham, whose organ playing helped bring ‘When A Man Loves A Woman’ and ‘Mustang Sally’ to life; Marvin and Aretha’s keyboardist Clayton Ivey; Ray Charles’ bassist Bob Wray; Bonnie Raitt’s guitarist Will McFarlane; and The Shoals Sisters, backing vocalists for everyone from Etta James to Alicia Keys.
Despite the incredible recording legacy of FAME Studios, One Shot is no dusty tribute album in thrall to its heritage. London-born Jackaman’s own life experience and wisdom are shot through her music, telling her deeply personal story of a relationship gone wrong in eleven swinging, wild and ultimately redemptive songs. One Shot is a record in tune with peers like Brittany Howard, Michael Kiwanuka and Yola as much as Jackaman’s spiritual predecessors.
“Recording at Muscle Shoals makes you up your game,” comments Jackaman. “When you’re singing, you look up and see albums on the wall by Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Clarence Carter, Bobbie Gentry… But the most arrogant thing anyone could do would be to try to imitate those artists. Aretha and Otis were the sum of everything going on around them politically, from growing up singing in the church. I grew up in a very different place in a very different way. But that music has always made me think it’s home.”
One Shot began in sadness, when Jackaman’s former band Saint Jude ended following the death of guitarist Adam Green from cancer in 2012. Best friends Green and Jackaman had founded the Southern Rockers, who found acclaim for their swaggering 2010 album ‘Diary Of A Soul Fiend’. They headlined London’s Scala, played Royal Albert Hall, and a residency at The 100 Club saw Jimmy Page become a fan and Ronnie Wood guest on stage. But, after Green’s passing, trying to continue with Saint Jude “was like living in the same house after a divorce.”
Jackaman knew she wanted to make a soul record rather than try to force herself to sound like her old band. She was introduced to One Shot producer Jamie Evans via a mutual friend in the industry, and the two had an instant connection: on the day they met, they spent six hours discussing music. Evans had worked at Muscle Shoals the year before and suggested recording there might just be a possibility. John Gifford, Muscle Shoals’ veteran in-house engineer and studio manager, championed Jackaman after hearing her demos, and the woman who grew up in Sidcup was on her way to Alabama.
“Jamie producing helped to make sure One Shot isn’t a retro album,” says Jackaman. “You’ve got these two relatively young, relatively inexperienced Brits in Muscle Shoals. We knew we wanted the album to have a nice balance between the contemporary and the classic. The classic sound is a tip of the hat.”
Written in the aftermath of a broken relationship, One Shot is lyrically rich and varied in dissecting love turning sour. “I wanted to write in a way that still hits hard emotionally, but with an upside too,” Jackaman explains. “I didn’t want to just moan, to say instead ‘Yeah, that’s shit, but you can still get out of it.'”
Jackaman is a singer who, like her idols, has a raw power that never descends into needless vocal gymnastics. “My vocals were properly produced for the first time,” she comments. “Jamie’s attitude was very much ‘We know you can sing the phone book, but do you need to do that on this song?’ He was challenging and there were times I didn’t know whether to hug him or punch him, but it really focussed me on what was best for the song.”
The recording of One Shot was crowd funded via the now defunct Pledge Music, with Jackaman’s funding target achieved in just three weeks through Saint Jude’s dedicated fanbase. She is remarkably stoic about Pledge Music’s collapse last year, noting: “Nobody won. It was fascinating that a company set up to support artists ending up screwing them, but they went into liquidation and I’m sure people their side were affected too.”
Having moved from North London, Jackaman is now happily living in West Yorkshire in a new relationship. She hopes One Shot will help others going through the hard times she experienced while writing the album, saying: “I’m not frustrated anymore, I’ve moved on. I’m singing these songs now from the other side of the fence, and I just want to be proud when I sing them now. If anyone gets those feelings from these songs, that’s amazing.”
The album is being released into a very different world than when it was recorded. “I wasn’t sure whether I should even be releasing music at this time,” comments Jackaman. “It felt kind of trivial. But as time has passed, I’ve been thinking we need music more than ever, so I’ve decided to release One Shot this summer rather than wait until the world goes back to normal…whatever and whenever that is. In these testing times, what are recording artists expected to do? And although touring is not possible at the moment, I hope the record propels you into the live feel we captured at Fame Studios.”
02. Nobody’s Fault (But Yours)
03. On Your Own Now
04. I’ll Allow You
05. One Shot
06. Red House
07. Beautiful Loss
08. Sooner Or Later
09. Nothing But My Records On
11. On My Own Stage