Linda Gail and brother Jerry Lee grew up in Ferriday, Louisiana along with cousins Jimmy Swaggart (controversial, but world-renowned evangelist) and singer/songwriter Mickey Gilley (who was also owner of the famous 'Gilly's' Honky Tonk). Most of their colourful, but poverty stricken childhood was spent in their hometown church . built by members of the family where Jerry and Linda would sing.
Although most of her attention came from the rocketing stardom of her brother and cousins, she herself claimed a very astonishing life pattern. Linda has been married 8 times and 3 of those marriages were before she was 16 years old, while brother Jerry trails behind with just 7 marriages under his belt
Already much respected in rockabilly circles, Linda has now broadened her appeal, as this new album moves from good old fashioned Rock 'n' Roll, through Blues and Soul and very successfully, into Country music. Creating her own identity as a singer, songwriter and musician, the appropriately titled "Out Of The Shadows", is another step away from the image garnished by her elder brother, Jerry Lee Lewis.
Strangely, the album contains an initial 10 tracks with an added 8 bonus tracks making a value for money 18 in all. Whether these extra tracks where added for the U.K release only, or as an afterthought I don't know, but it does seem a little unusual! Of the 10 main tracks, 8 are either penned or co-penned by Linda, starting off with "Baby, I'm In Love" a rhythm & blues co-write with Mark Potter, before slowing things right down with the very soulful, 70s styled ballad "Everything I Need." Other ballads on here include the similarly soulful and even slower "Life Without You," and the very bluesy, "The Sweetest Love" while the album's title track, the excellent, self penned "Out Of The Shadows" tells of trying to re-kindle an old love and is one of my favourite tracks on here.
Linda goes into Jerry Lee mode for the rock and rolling "Love So Real" while the Jerry Phillips penned "I'd Rather Stay Home Than Rock & Roll" is more in the style of Chuck Berry and is also reprised on this 'Enhanced' CD with a Video version.
Moving into the bonus tracks, this is where the brass instrumentation that was so prevalent in the first ten tracks, is dropped in favour of steel guitar and in some cases ..Hammond. B3 organ and there's more of a country feel. Opening with "Here Ever After" a good country/rocker penned by Tim Krekel, the song was released to radio a couple of years ago on the industry sampler, 'The Country Hotdisc,' as was the very catchy "Dancin' Round And Round," from the pen of Adam Mitchell. U.K. country's singing Gynaecologist, Hank Wangford provides the frantically paced "Never Wear Mascara (When You Love A Married Man)" while I was surprised to find that probably, the most country sounding track on the album was written by Tamla Motown artist, Smokey Robinson. "Relentless" is a terrific power ballad, that sees Linda teaming up with Jeff Bates ...a good voice, but a new name to me for my favourite track on the album. Each time I play this one, it raises the hairs on the back of my neck. Excellent!!!
"Out Of The Shadows" is a fine album and one that should bring this very talented lady to a much wider audience. I feel sure it will especially appeal to country fans, who like me, grew up listening to all the various styles around as a teenager in the 60s, while moving on to country music later. Containing18 tracks and a Video, you just can't go wrong as the album represents great value for money. It will definitely provide more than a few tracks for the Metro Country playlist's!!!