New Shelby Lynne album coming in May; hear the title track now

February 24, 2015

Lawrence Specker | AL.COM

Singer-songwriter Shelby Lynne has set a May release date for her next album, "I Can't Imagine," and given listeners an early opportunity to hear the title track.

Lynne and Rounder Records recently announced a May 5 release for "I Can't Imagine." Lynne, who was born in Virginia, grew up in Coastal Alabama before moving to Nashville and later to California, where she has lived for more than a decade. According to information provided by Rounder, Lynne returned to the South to record this project, working at Dockside Studio in Maurice, La.

Aside from "Just A Little Lovin'," a Dusty Springfield tribute, Lynne's recent albums have often had a sparse, stripped-down feel. Rounder, and the title track itself, suggest a more luxurious approach to this project: According to the label, the production "reflects an array of Lynne's influences - from Southern soul, Crescent City R&B, and California country & western to the ardent social consciousness of precursors like Woody Guthrie and even the roots 'n blues vocalizing of Billie Holiday."

In an interview with, Lynne says topics on the album include at least one story based on her family history, and one prompted by "stories about people in the South throwing out their kids for being gay." The title track, she said, is inspired partly by the experience of feeling herself drawn to the open desert country of the West.

In news likely to be of particular interest to longtime fans, Lynne also told Rolling Stone she's planning a tour that will focus tightly on the new album and on "I Am Shelby Lynne," the one that won her a Grammy for best new artist 14 years ago.

"One long, two-hour show," she says. "I want to give people their money's worth. No intermission, two great albums. Boom!"

Tour dates have not yet been announced. For updates, visit

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