The new album Badlands, from North Dakota Indie Blues artist Jennifer Lyn, couldn’t come at a better time. As a new generation takes the reins, bringing Indie Blues to the forefront to remind us the true tradition of the blues has always been driven by Innovation and creativity. This tradition will show the power of the blues and help reintroduce this unique music to a new generation.
Born in Minnesota, Jennifer Lyn grew up between two worlds: one, her family’s love and appreciation for traditional country, folk, and gospel music in her home; the other, the years she spent absorbing many diverse forms of music while living in various places throughout the United States. Getting serious about the guitar in 2013, it didn’t take her long to decide to front her own band, Jennifer Lyn & The Groove Revival, and share her diverse musical background with her growing group of fans.
Her debut album I’m All Wrong for You Baby (released in October 2016) touched on her musical diversity with songs ranging from traditional Blues, Rock, and ballads with gospel undertones. Her new album, Badlands (released in February 2018), delves even further and casts an eye on a blend of different musical experiences creating a variation of Blues music that embraces a wide pallet of many sub-genres. Her songs on the new album are fueled by her soulful vocals, burning desire to play guitar and beautiful accompaniment from band members Darren King (bass) and Kevin Holm (drums).
Recorded in Bismarck, ND, Badlands was produced by recording artist Richard Torrance (Capital, Shelter Records), who also produced her last album I’m All Wrong for You Baby and is featured instrumentally on the new album. Badlands weaves between hard-hitting, guitar-driven songs that touch on stories of love gone wrong and society pressures; like a cheating lover or finding your place in today’s world (“Burned it Down” and “Anything But Me”) and more personal narratives speaking of life (“Let Go This Time” and “Muddy Water”). While these stories are deftly crafted, this is really an album of moments. Lyn’s solo voice and clean guitar speak to overcoming the fear of love in the ballad “Give Into You” while the opening sparseness of the song breathes life into the words. The driving groove of the title track “Badlands” accurately echoes the heaviness of the lyrics and topic matter. The traditional Blues format of “I’m Running to You” and “West to Bismarck” pay tribute in form and measure to those that came before. The Southern Rock influenced song “Gonna Let You Go” breaks any trance as the smoke of the electric guitar cuts through in the opening lines. The final song “Goodnight Sweet Darling” dives deeper into the diversity of Lyn’s childhood playing heavily upon her folk/country roots as she weaves a beautifully well-written story that leaves the listener wanting more.
All of these moments point to an artist wise beyond her years and on the move to preserve Blues music for years to come.