Lynne Jackaman was 10 when she proclaimed to her school teacher, “I want to sing!” Since that moment, music has remained a constant and inseparable companion on her journey through life.
“I can remember my parents had a very extensive vinyl collection so I could pick from a whole range of fantastic music. Everything from country to blues to soul to Motown”, the London-based singer recalls.
Throughout her teenage years she earned her spurs singing in working men’s clubs, weddings and when she was sixteen, touring with a Stax/Motown band covering Etta James and Aretha Franklin classics.
Jackaman fondly remembers those formative years. “I would go out and sing some of the most amazing songs by these amazing performers and that was how I learnt my craft. The love of that music has never left me.”
In recent years she has fronted Saint Jude, a rock n’ soul band with which she gained wider prominence and a loyal fan base.
She is now charting a new course for her career. With a new solo project, aptly titled Jackaman, she has released an EP No Halo. Her formidable backing band includes Quireboys guitarist Guy Griffin with whom she shares co-writing credits. He’s joined by Keith Weir on keyboards, Nick Mailing on bass, John O’Neil on sax and the thunderous drums of Simon Hanson. Mailing also produced the EP.
On No Halo, her captivating vocal range and emotional depth are showcased magnificently. She has refined a unique style that epitomises modern British soul, but offers an appreciative, heartfelt nod to the iconic stars that shaped the soul genre.
It is a mature and confident statement of intent by Jackaman. From the funky strut of the opening number ‘Wasted’ to the closing bars of ‘You Can’t Take Back”, the four songs sashay and shimmy radiating a sensual, hypnotic groove. Quite rightly, the EP has been showered with rave, five-star reviews from critics and fans alike.
How does how Jackaman describe it?
Soul, funk, blues, it’s kind of like all my influences that I have merged into one sound that’s mine.”
‘Honesty (Can Be So Cruel)’, the third track, stands out. It is a slice of raw emotion that tells the story of heartbreak, a lost love, the pain of abandonment. Break out the Kleenex, it is lump-in-the-throat stuff. And that voice, wow!
Jackaman retains a steely, single-minded determination to succeed. She dictates the pace, the career path, the creative direction of travel.
“I’ve worked very hard and I’m very focussed. Be original, you don’t need to copy anyone. Just find your voice, find your sound and get out there and hope for the best.”, she declares without fear of contradiction.
“When you listen to Sam and Dave performing or Otis Redding, Wilson Picket, any of these people, they are soul and the blood sweat, and tears that goes into it”.
“There is nothing polite about it, they need it and that’s where I’m coming from. Singing is my therapy. I get up and I scream it out like it need it.”
No Halo will receive a live airing when Jackaman plays London’s Barfly on September 24. She will also use the occasion to road test material destined for her debut LP, which is currently in the pipeline. A more extensive UK tour is promised too.
No Halo is available now from Itunes and Amazon. You can also follow Lynne on twitter @lynnejackaman and http://www.facebook.com/lynnejackaman.
Photos by Eric Duvet. Follow Eric on Flickr http://bit.ly/1LwcT9F
Tickets for the Barfly show are now available.
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JACKAMAN is the new project of rock and soul singer Lynne Jackaman. Her first solo outing, the London-born singer/songwriter – already known for her work as the founding frontwoman of Saint Jude – decided it was time to breathe life into songs that didn’t fit the vibe of her old band, which is currently on hiatus as she pursues a new direction.