Lynne Jackaman has unveiled the video for “Beautiful Loss”, shot at Fame Studios Muscle Shoals during the recording of her debut solo album One Shot – which is released on August 14 – and featuring legendary musicians Spooner Oldham and Will McFarlane.
A tender and deeply emotional track, “Beautiful Loss” was written about Jackaman’s former Saint Jude bandmate Adam Green, who tragically died from cancer in 2012. Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section organist Oldham had been to a close friend’s funeral on the day of recording, with producer Jamie Evans lighting a candle for the session.
“On the last note, the candle puffed out just as we finished,” Jackaman recalls. “There was no breeze, no windows open: this was a closed, soundproofed studio. It felt like Adam was gone, and I can’t think of a better place for him to have left us.
“It was an emotional day recording and I was exhausted,” she continues. “We were working close to 16 hours each day just to get the album done. When you’re in a studio like FAME surrounded by so much talent and professionalism you don’t want to miss a beat.”
Bonnie Raitt’s guitarist Will McFarlane, who adds his delicate magic to the track, comments, “I have the good fortune of being able to record with a bunch of different folks, and enjoy them all, but every now and then someone comes in who really lifts the day…that was Lynne. As soon as her voice came up in the phones, we knew we were in for a good one. Lynne and Jamie brought some great energy to some great tunes…truly a pleasure!”
Spooner Oldham adds, “I listened to the song today and found it to be as good as the day we recorded it.”
Other storied Muscle Shoals musicians who appear on One Shot include Marvin and Aretha’s keyboardist Clayton Ivey, Ray Charles’ bassist Bob Wray, and The Shoals Sisters, backing vocalists for everyone from Etta James to Alicia Keys.
It follows that One Shot has an authentic Muscle Shoals sound in keeping with the legacy of FAME studios. That being said, this is no dusty tribute album in thrall to that heritage, but a record in tune with peers like Brittany Howard, Michael Kiwanuka and Yola.
With her debut solo album, Jackaman knew she wanted to make a soul record rather than try to sound like her old band. ‘One Shot’ producer Jamie 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.'”
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 East 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