Jessica Lynn: Country Soul and Family
Written by Staff on April 29, 2021
Music carries feeling like wire carries current. It’s all too tempting to believe your music is the best music, because it’s complex or it’s smooth or it has this history or that. But we forget sometimes that the music we love is the music that pushed a speaker when we fell in love or held our hand when we lost that person. And we learn that we find our tastes moment to moment and song by song.
Jessica Lynn has the voice and the presence to write memories in the hearts of those who find her songs. A rising force in the country-music world, Lynn’s crystal tones and infectious energy can entrance anyone they reach, and soon that reach will find you. Hope that the memory you write with her is a good one.
I sit with Jessica and we talk about famous highway robberies.
RRX: Family means everything. We all share a big musical family, but in your case, your actual family can count itself as members of your musical family. Your dad, your mom, your husband; all a direct, physical influence on your sound. Were they musicians to begin with, or did they evolve into it?
JL: My parents were always musicians. My dad, after retiring from the NYPD, actually became a new-age composer, and my mom always was very artistic, writing and performing in many different mediums. My husband actually didn’t start playing until after we met. He was pursuing a professional baseball career and his very first time on stage ever was with me opening for Brad Paisley. I am so proud of all he’s accomplished since then and of the musician he’s become.
RRX: Let’s go to that musical family you’ve played with. Loretta Lynn, ZZ Top, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, et al. … a “who’s who” of country music stardom. But asking what that’s like is sort of a non-question. You’re in that pantheon of talent now, and others list playing with you as an accomplishment. How do you feel about being an influence?
JL: Thank you so much! I am so incredibly flattered by your kindness! It is honestly the best feeling in the world to know that I have made some type of positive impact on someone’s life in some kind of way. That is my favorite part of making music.
RRX: We haven’t had a ton of country artists grace the pages, and it’s a shame. But it means that you can consider yourself one of country’s ambassadors here. I’m, at heart, a blues man, and so I know things about blues, its roots, that I wish other people knew. Do you hold anything deep like that about country? What do you wish we knew?
JL: I love the blues! There is just something about the blues that is unlike anything else. I think my favorite thing about country music is the storytelling aspect of it. I really do believe that the genre has a special way of painting a picture and that’s what really drew me to it.
RRX: One thing that people think about country music, and it may in many cases be born out, is that country is rural. It’s “country”; it’s not “country and city.” But I’ve known in my life that there is a place for country in urban areas. People migrate, and their taste in music migrates with them. How would you reach out to the eager-eared city kid?
JL: I believe that country music is not about where you come from but about how you want to tell your story. I think it’s genuine and honest and I love that about it. I only make music that is 100% reflective of who I am and I think any kid or listener can connect with that.
RRX: The pandemic, the scourge of the music scene, has been a mention in nearly every article, to the point it should be listed in the masthead. Country really celebrates the outdoors, the festivals, so this past year has had to hurt. How have you held onto the country feel when you may only have had a view of your own backyard?
JL: This year has been very difficult. I lost a world tour of 14 countries and about 100 different cities. It was hard to hold on to the faith but as soon as I knew what I was facing, I fought back and turned all of my performing online and worked very hard to still connect with my audience. I was extremely proud to be named a Top 40 Livestreamer of 2020 by Pollstar, the world’s largest ticket reporting agency. It was a testament to determination and resilience! I am very proud of that accomplishment in the face of such adversity.
RRX: So. “Getaway Car.” You’re latest if I’m not mistaken. And there is a string of other offerings you’ve forged ahead with. They’re burning up the charts. Have you had any socially-distant ways of test-firing them live? And if not, do you have a venue, order, or setting in mind for when we doff the masks and put the hand sanitizer away?
JL: I have been able to test them at my weekly livestreams, which has been awesome! I have been livestreaming weekly since the very start of the pandemic. We hope to reschedule my world tour for next year.
RRX: This is where you answer the question I didn’t ask. Best honky tonk in your travels? Any specific gear on your wish list? Educate, enlighten, emote – the floor is yours.
JL: Ah this is such a hard question because we’ve been to so many amazing places! A very cool place we have performed is the Rattlesnake Saloon in Munich, Germany. You would swear you were in the middle of Wyoming when you enter it! As for gear, I am working on my next guitar builds with Kiesel Guitars that I am very excited about.