Lainey Wilson seemed to be the name on everyone’s lips after her first UK visit for London’s Country Music Week last October . I was among the many totally won over by everything about this exciting artist from Louisiana ( now residing in Nashville) and I was super stoked to see her name on this year’s C2C line up. If Ashley Mcbryde was my festival “ must see” last year, then Lainey was this year.
Sadly I was unable to catch any of her full band sets ( which i was told were explosive and exciting, something I have to look forwards to at some point in the future) but made my way to one of my favourite C2C venues “ The Loft ” for her acoustic performance on the Saturday morning of the festival. This intimate performance space means the artists are truly in the spotlight and under the microscope, and Lainey passed the examination with flying colours.
Accompanied on lead guitar by Aslan Freeman, the producer of her self-titled EP released last April, Lainey cut a super cool figure in her seemingly trademark flared trousers and wearing tinted glasses. Playing acoustic rhythm guitar she seemed totally at ease throughout the three song set. Telling us in her wonderful southern states accent how happy she was to return to the UK ( and how much US artists love OUR accents!!) she introduced each song and interspersed the factual information with amusing banter….” my Mama doesn’t even know the words” she joked when several of us sang along with “ Waste Of Good Whiskey” from her aforementioned EP.
This song was sandwiched in between two brand new ones, which we were reliably informed will feature on her upcoming album, hopefully to be released later this year on her new label, Broken Bow Records . The first we were treated to was a co-write between Lainey, Brent Anderson and Tammi Kid, the upbeat “ Rolling Stone”, a really clever song lyrically, sung from the perspective of someone who is a free spirit. “ Think you’re the one that’s gonna turn me round, give me the ring and settle me down? “ she sings with great attitude in the catch chorus, which concludes with the tag line “ Well you don’t give a rock to a rolling stone”.
Her set was rounded off with her other new offering, “ Dusty Diamond”, which she told us was largely inspired by her first guitar given to her when she was nine years old and the trailer in which she drove to Nashville and actually lived in there for quite a while on arrival. Both were beat up and had seen better days, appearing ragged and rough to an outsider, but to her were treasures. This was a gentler song, particularly at the start, showcasing the tender, emotional side of Lainey’s versatile vocals, the gist being that even if you are battered and bruised by your past you can be made to shine again if shown a bit of love….. “ we’re all rusty diamonds”. Speaking to Lainey after her set it emerged that this was a co-write with my all-time favourite country artist, Brandy Clark, and singer/songwriter/producer Tofer Brown.
Her all too short appearance definitely captured everyones attention throughout, and received well deserved applause at the end …..no doubt this C2C will see her UK fanbase grow considerably.
Named as one of CMT’s “ Next Women Of Country “ Class of 2019, the future certainly looks very bright for this artist and I’m hopeful we’ll see her back here to promote her album ( if not before) …..if the songs from it that we were privy to during this set are anything to go by it is going to be something very special indeed!
Keep up to date with all Lainey’s new at laineywilson.com
Review written by Lesley Hastings (twitter.com/lesleyhastings)