Lera Lynn is a slow burning sensation who typically builds her audience (and reputation) one room at a time. Her smooth vocals are an intoxicating blend of smoke and dark honey while her strikingly elegant stage presence demands both admiration and respect. However, this week, instead of using her admirable talents to win over the crowd at a single venue, Lera had a chance to treat a massive audience to her artistry via a stunning performance of her single, “Out to Sea,” on the “Late Show with David Letterman.”
The day after her performance, AXS talked with Lera Lynn about the experience.
“Performing on Letterman is one thing that every artist wants to do,” Lera expressed. “I couldn’t believe it when we got the confirmation saying that we were going to be on his show! Even looking back on it today, I’m thinking ‘did we really get to do that? It was amazing!’”
Lera and her band drove to New York all the way from Nashville for the appearance. “It’s just incredible, all the preparation that goes into that three and a half minutes,” she stated. “It was over so quickly, they push you out on stage… ‘And... go!’ That’s all you get! I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, am I singing right now?! Which camera’s on? What’s happening? Don’t look at the camera! Don’t look at the camera!’” she laughed.
Lera Lynn told AXS that there were many surprises on Letterman’s show (e.g., David likes to keep the studios somewhere around a brisk 50 degrees -- or lower). She also noted that she faced many procedural unknowns, as well (e.g., where does she stand, when does she take the guitar off, what does she look at, was she supposed to engage the host in conversation after her performance, etc.). Yet, despite the strange and unfamiliar situation, Lera delivered her sonic beauty with an alluring grace and ease. As proof of this, the views on her video from that night have surpassed nearly every other official YouTube clip from the “Late Show with David Letterman” that week!
But with all the aforementioned uncertainty and stress, what was it that possibly had the artist the most concerned of all? “We only found out that we confirmed the show a couple of weeks in advance, so I was scrambling trying to figure out what to wear!” she laughed.
Lera Lynn’s look is as strikingly distinctive as her music. Her fashion is a voguish nostalgia that depicts a classic yet stylized timelessness. She dresses with a sophisticated Americana flair.
“In just about everything that I do,” she informed, “whether it’s renovating a house, buying art, making art, writing music, or choosing clothing, I always go for simple and classic. There are times when I want to wear something that’s really crazy when I’m out because that’s a part of my personality, too, but when I’m on stage, I want to wear something that fits the music.”
In closing, when AXS asked the artist about her uncanny ability to sink deep into a song and perform from its soul with such a mesmerizing honesty that she utterly captivates her audience, Lera responded, “Well, isn’t it the performer’s job to be as compelling as possible?”
And, in a word, that’s exactly what Lera Lynn is: compelling. Her current album, The Avenues has received praise and critical acclaim from NPR’s popular “All Things Considered,” it was ranked #14 on American Songwriter’s “Top 50 Albums of 2014,” and it was awarded album of the year mentions from both Rolling Stone and the Huffington Post.
Coming up, you will be able to hear Lera Lynn on a one-hour radio special on Sirius XM’s “The Loft.” The segment can be heard starting January 26. The artist also recently worked on a songwriting project for “Acoustic Cafe,” which included writing and recording a song live for a music video all in one day! “Acoustic Cafe” will begin airing the segment on January 26 as part of Rob Reinhart’s two-hour nationally syndicated program (the video will be available on YouTube). A little later in the year, there will be a half hour television special depicting the experience. Additionally, Lera Lynn will be heading out for a brief three-stop tour in Texas. To keep up with this artist, visit her website, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.