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ALBUM REVIEW

Aubrey Lynn and Yellow Rose
RAISINí HELL
©2011 Independently released
MTM256401
Review by Lucky Boyd
Co-Founder, MyTexasMusic.com

$13.99

Whenever I find out thereís a new disc out there with Mark Lafon on guitar, Iím interested.  Mark has carried more than one album with his outstanding Telecaster.  Usually, when Iíve finished listening to an album featuring Lafon, Iím impressed with his work and Iím usually convinced the album would have been diminished without him (with the exception of two previously reviewed albums). After hearing this disc from Aubrey Lynn and Yellow Rose, I had to ask myself a question, ďWas Mark on this album?Ē  I didnít notice the first time through because I was so distracted by the phenomenal vocal work from Aubrey Lynn England.  She has a beautifully trained voice, but her chameleon-like use of it will stand up in any genre.  This disc is full of country influences, folk expressions, and rock overtones throughout.  Once you settle down from the initial Ďwowí factor of Englandís vocal explosion, you can then begin to appreciate Lafonís contribution; shredding where needed, sliding where appropriate, and tasteful all day.  Now blend in a noteworthy performance by Kyle Wade Smith.  The harmonica work is stellar, and his work on the keys is solid.  Milo Deering jumps aboard on a few instruments, and Jeremy McFarland works well on the varied dynamics of the project.  I played just six minutes of this disc to a friend and she bought it on the spot.  England pens the lot but for one co-write, and the eleven-track offering has a hidden bonus after track eleven.  It has been a while since we were able to introduce such a powerful female voice in such a dynamic style.  (I'm reminded of Stevie MuRee's great vocals with Beryl Grady, which resulted in a Texas Music Award.)  England is able to soothe the listener with the well-produced ballads included in the playlist, but she is quite at home belting out aggressive country songs and rock anthems as well.  A singer for most of her life, England has no problem taking the stage.  As a sought-after National Anthem singer, she is quite comfortable in front of any size crowd.  Producer Paul Osborn assembles an adept list of pickers, only a few which have been named here, for one of the most exciting albums of 2011.  Youíll want to recommend this one to your friends.  Catch a live show when you can and watch this former Marine (yup) raise a little hell.  Watch for this one at award time, folks.

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