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Just a Little Lovin'

Just a Little Lovin'

4.8 6
by Shelby Lynne

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Audacious and moving, Shelby Lynne's Dusty Springfield tribute, Just a Little Lovin', does right by everyone involved, including the immortal pop-soul diva being honored. Both Lynne and her producer, Phil Ramone, have thrived in lush production environments, but for this project, intimacy is all. For Lynne, that means singing from deep inside the songs'


Audacious and moving, Shelby Lynne's Dusty Springfield tribute, Just a Little Lovin', does right by everyone involved, including the immortal pop-soul diva being honored. Both Lynne and her producer, Phil Ramone, have thrived in lush production environments, but for this project, intimacy is all. For Lynne, that means singing from deep inside the songs' emotional freight of hurt, longing, and heated desire, as if she were addressing not an audience but more the image looking back at her in the mirror. Interpretive singing has rarely been so deeply personal, so much an interior monologue, as it is in Lynne's aching, nuanced performances, whether it's in the near-whispered anguish of Bacharach-David's "Anyone Who Had a Heart" or the sturdy, deliberate, unabashed commitment she announces in "I Only Want to Be with You." For his part, Ramone, whose daunting credits include Billy Joel, Frank Sinatra, and Barbra Streisand (for starters), casts Lynne's meditations in low light, backing her not with strings and orchestras but with a small, rootsy combo: electric and acoustic guitars, bass, drums, a keyboard here and there, conjuring a raw, swampy ambiance for Tony Joe White's backwoods tale, "Willie and Laura Mae Jones" and effecting a laconic, saloon-style blues mode for the title track (one of three songs from the classic Dusty in Memphis album, which has also inspired the cover art here). He also manages to summon fresh beauty from the Rascals' evergreen "How Can I Be Sure," in a treatment that features Lynne's swaggering vocal backed only by moody, fingerpicked guitar lines designed to underscore the subsurface melancholy informing her wary inquisition. Everything works in Just a Little Lovin'. It's a great moment for Shelby Lynne and listeners everywhere.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Shelby Lynne has followed her own sometimes reckless, always adventuresome muse throughout her career. Just a Little Lovin' is her personal homage to the late, legendary Dusty Springfield. Nine of its ten cuts are inextricably linked to the late British vocalist whose sway Lynne came under years ago, but a chance conversation with Barry Manilow -- of all people -- led to the making of this record. Lynne doesn't attempt to sound like Springfield. She uses her own phrasing and rhythmic sensibility. Four cuts here come from the Dusty in Memphis period, as well as the title track to The Look of Love and some of her mid-'60s British hits that were not released in America. All these songs, with the exception of the self-penned "Pretend," were recorded by Springfield. The album was recorded in the Capitol Records studio with Frank Sinatra's microphone and producer Phil Ramone. Lynne's aesthetic sense serves her well: most singers automatically shoot for "Son of a Preacher Man," but Lynne steers clear. She does, however, tackle some truly monolithic Springfield hits: "Just a Little Lovin'," "Breakfast in Bed," "Willie and Laura Mae Jones," and "I Don't Want to Hear It Anymore." Lynne's readings are close, intimate. They're understated but more direct. Ramone used a small quartet in guitarist Dean Parks, keyboardist Rob Mathes, drummer Gregg Field, and bassist Kevin Axt to give her that edge. Lynne's delivery takes these songs straight to the listener's belly. The taut but easy sensuality in her voice adds a very different dimension to them. When she gets to the in-the-pocket feel of "Breakfast in Bed," she comes at the tune's subject with an up-front sexual expression -- Springfield's trademark vulnerability is willfully absent. A Rhodes and Parks' guitar give her plenty of room to pour out the lyric. "Willie and Laura Mae Jones" has a rough, swampy earthiness; Lynne adds her guitar to its sparse, slow growl. Springfield recorded this tome about interracial love when the subject was taboo in America. She made it palatable with her innocent delivery. Lynne gets at Tony Joe White's lyric with a bluesy toughness expressing incredulity toward injustice. Randy Newman's "I Don't Want to Hear It Anymore" carries inside it the trace of both Lynne's Southern homeland and her adopted West Coast residency. She can tell this heartbreaking tale as if it were her own while uncannily recalling Springfield's empathy. Signature Springfield pieces such as "I Only Want to Be with You" are astonishing for their contrast. The bubbly, poppy original version is slowed here; it offers the impression of genuine surprise by an unsuspecting protagonist. The jazzy piano and Parks' lush guitar lines entwine perfectly. Springfield's version of "The Look of Love" has remained unchallenged for more than 40 years. Lynne doesn't even try. Instead she offers tribute. It's not as sultry as the original was, but feels honest and hungry in stripping off the lyric's mask with her voice. "How Can I Be Sure" by the Rascals -- cut as a British-only single by Springfield -- is startling: Lynne sings it accompanied only by Parks' guitar. It's a radical but fitting closer. Just a Little Lovin' is the finest tribute Springfield has ever received on tape. That such a fine singer and songwriter interpreted her in such an empathic and sophisticated manner is respect personified. Ramone's care with the project is, as usual, celebratory. The multidimensional persona Lynne usually displays on her records is still here in spades. Her diversity, confidence, and wide-ranging ability are the standard to aspire to.
New York Times Magazine - Rob Hoerburger
Forty years or so on, these songs are served both by Lynne’s respect for them and by her wariness of them. You can feel her tunneling a little harder to the deep emotional warrens that Springfield had express access to, but she gets there just the same. ...The album’s highlight may be her conversion of Springfield’s first big hit, “I Only Want to Be With You.” For Springfield it was a mid-’60s carnival joyride. For Lynne, it’s a country-lane saunter that celebrates the satisfaction of adult romance.

Product Details

Release Date:
Lost Highway

Related Subjects


Album Credits

Performance Credits

Shelby Lynne   Primary Artist,Guitar
Kevin Axt   Electric Bass,Upright Bass
Curt Bisquera   Drums
Rob Mathes   Keyboards
Dean Parks   Guitar
Gregg Field   Drums

Technical Credits

Shelby Lynne   Composer
Randy Newman   Composer
Burt Bacharach   Composer
Donnie Fritts   Composer
Barry Mann   Composer
Tony Joe White   Composer
Simon Napier-Bell   Composer
Eddie Brigati   Composer
Felix Cavaliere   Composer
Hal David   Composer
Gary Gilbert   Legal Advisor
Eddie Hinton   Composer
Phil Ramone   Producer
Ivor Raymonde   Composer
Schmitt   Engineer
Cynthia Weil   Composer
Russell Lefferts   Legal Advisor
Elizabeth Jordan   Management

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Just a Little Lovin' 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Shelby reminds us in this album of the incredible talent of song writers such as Burt Bacharach. I love when the younger folks say, "I know that song!" and it is 20 or 30 years old. Nice album and she does a great job with some great covers that you forget were so darn good in the first place.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Shelby has done it again. She shows her vocal talent by taking wonderful songs from the Dusty Springfield songbook, changing the arrangements a bit and putting her own stamp on them. Dusty had a very distinct voice and so does Shelby. This is a very relaxing and romantic CD. When she sings "Just a little lovin'..early in the morning..beats a cup of coffee..for starting out the day", I heard those words like I've never heard them before!
mali0066 More than 1 year ago
Nice vocals, soothing music, and excellent recording quality.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I heard this song on my favorite radio station from the Hamptons and I was hooked immediately. This is a beautiful song and I recommend it to anyone who has ever loved and lost. I will buy this CD as soon as it is available.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago