The Sounding Board by R J Lannan
When The Monster Bites
As I sat and listened to A Cold Wind Blows, the new release from Debra Lyn, I felt that I had gone back in time a bit. Not too far. Somewhere after WWII, maybe in the early fifties. A time when the world was changing, standing in the doorway of a burgeoning modern era, but still with its feet in a proud past. There are stories to be told, emotions to be satisfied and a history to be written and perhaps, defeated. Debra Lyn has a storyteller’s voice, soft when need be, convincing and assuring at all times, with just a note of adventure. Her tale is one of inner turmoil
mixed with exterior forces that led to her becoming a victim of life, a soldier of strength, and a woman of enormous courage. The mix is soft ballads, a few pop crossovers, and a mild jazz tune which blends well on the album to tell the stories.
Debra Lyn was born in the north, but found herself in the heart of the Country Music, in Nashville singing, composing, and performing with her band Soulgrass in many parts of the south. She performed at numerous live shows and garnering awards and attention, began getting airplay. A Cold Wind Blows is her third album. She is joined by co-writer and producer Jeff Silverman with whom she formed the label, Palette Records.
The story opens with the title tune, A Cold Wind Blows, where the character is standing on the outside of the relationship, defeated, alone and only now aware of the betrayal. It is devastating. It is as if your life is there, hanging by a single thread and the only person you love is standing there with a large pair of scissors. You close your eyes for a second and…
“Oh do you know that I am waiting here …
and a cold wind blows when he holds you near.”
Swim the River is a song of doubt. There is some great guitar courtesy of Tyler Reese and Tim Lorsch on violin adds the emphasis that makes the ballad memorable. The melody sounds familiar, the story common as the girl sees uncertainty wherever she looks. The relationship is on the rocks.
“You won’t look me in the eye
Don’t leave this way, give me one more day.
One of the more poignant tunes on A Cold Wind Blows is called With or Without You. The relationship has fallen apart and the sense that she might soon be alone is terrifying. The melody is almost too sweet for the story, but the warm voice of Debra Lyn carries through to the end.
Despair is exemplified in the song, If I Never Wake Up. The subject bothers me on many levels, but hopelessness, the feeling of no way out of a terrible situation, is life changing and not for the better. The song is short, sung a cappella and tinged with pathos.
So Long Since September is one those story songs that should get some airplay. It has a catchy melody and a great vocal. It could have been a turning point, but we are just not sure what will happen next. The love hangs in a precarious balance and he must choose.
“The key’s in the front door from where he left before
he knew that no one in the world could take her place.”
She has given her all and the next step, which could be the last, is up to him. The final tune is called Till I’m Gone and it is has unexpected jazz vibe to it that was quite good. A grooving electric guitar and Debra Lyn’s voice is all the song has, but it is all it needs. Her plaintive tone has a bit of attitude to it that is just perfect for the occasion.
It appears that Debra Lyn is just the voice we need to tell the story of heartbreak, loss, and hopelessness. It is not as though the love was doomed, but more like it was never given a chance to grow. Debra Lyn tells her story and we are witness to heartbreak and the future of uncertainty. Perhaps she is singing her heart out for the rest of us.
Rating: Good +
– reviewed by RJ Lannan on 3/26/2015