Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Lynda Kay – Dream My Darling

Dream My DarlingI was in Cozumel, Mexico and, after a day of SCUBA diving and sunbathing, I sat at the resort hotel bar with piña colada in hand. I made the usual acknowledgments of the presence of the other bar patrons.  After exchanging pleasantries, Dennis (a frequent hotel visitor from Houston) and I started to talk about music.  He confided in me that he was a retired high school teacher and devoted barbershop quartet singer.  I took a long sip on my drink, smiled, and told him that I played a little guitar.  He said, “Hey why don’t you grab another drink and head on out to the beach and play some guitar with Timmy.  He plays guitar and fronts a famous German country band.  Meet you there.” Then Dennis got up and left.

German country band? I gulped my drink and ordered another - to go.  I thought, “what in God’s earth is a German country band?”  I grabbed the drink I had ordered to go and made my way toward the beach. “This I have got to see.” My familiarity with country music stems from long cross-country family road trips in the late 1960’s.  My father loved the genre and would play country hits on the AM Radio in the Oldsmobile as we cruised across country from New Jersey to Los Angeles and back and back again.

When I arrived at the beach there were about ten people gathered around “Timmy.” With a beat-up old Hofner western style acoustic guitar in hand, Timmy was singing an impeccable cover of Blake Shelton’s “Some Beach” with a perfect country drawl that made him sound like Alan Jackson. When he stopped singing he spoke in broken English with a heavy German accent. I learned Timmy’s real name is Oliver Timm and that he headlines a country band in Germany called the Oliver Timm Band.  Apparently, western country music is very popular in Germany. Go figure.

As the night wore on, Timmy and I exchanged songs and licks and we discussed folk and country music.  Timmy knew Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney and Rascal Flatts but he had no idea who Hank Williams, Jimmy Rodgers, Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline or Kitty Wells were.  I agreed to enlighten him and have sent him some old recordings.  Among the audience it was the general consensus that modern country singers don’t have the same raw unbridled emotion as those country crooners of days gone by.

Fast forward two months and I’m in the Bay Area sitting at the computer in a thermal shirt, wearing a fleece jacket.  It is about 45 degrees outside, it has been foggy for a week, and there is a winter rainstorm predicted for this coming weekend. Lynda Kay’s album Dream My Darling arrives in the mail.  The CD is packaged like an old vinyl LP with 12 songs equally divided between “Side 1” and “Side 2.” The CD also notes that the ninth song, “All I Ever Wanted,” is a duet with Billy Bob Thornton. So here’s another WTF music moment just like the one I experienced when I heard the term “German country band.”  I stuffed the CD into the player and pressed play.

Our little group on a Cozumel beach was wrong; this album proves that there is at least one country crooner left to carry traditional country music forward – Lynda Kay. On Dream My Darling Ms. Kay (her full name is Lynda Kay Parker) wowed me with one beautiful old time country ballad after another.  She clearly loves the music of Patsy Cline, Brenda Lee, June Carter, Loretta Lynn, and Tammy Wynette.  Her voice is dynamic, strong and soulful.

Ms. Kay wrote all twelve tracks, although two of them, the title song “Dream My Darling” and “I Don’t Know Why,” are co-written by Jonny “Coffin” Edwards, who is the Executive Producer of the album.  Her country music writing skills, combined with a beautiful vocal range, result in memorable performances with a traditional country feeling.

Billy Bob Thornton does an admirable job singing the duet but his presence on the album is not really necessary.  Lynda Kay is front and center.  This album is a must for traditional country fans but may not make your collection of German country albums. 

- Old School

Buy here: Dream My Darling

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