The queen of country music, Loretta Lynn, is performing at the Uptown Theater this weekend. But she won’t be the only lady in town whose music is worthy of your attention. Here’s a look at three more, including the singer/songwriter who will open Saturday night for Lynn.
A 30-something native of Greenville, S.C., Lane lived in Los Angeles for five years and then New York for four, which is where a breakup and a bout of heartache inspired her to start writing songs. Her songs are rooted in the outlaw side of country, featuring lyrics that express emotions with unflinching honesty and piquant detail.
In 2010, she moved to Nashville, where her sass and style started getting attention, though her image doesn’t fit corporate, mainstream country. In 2011, she released two recordings: “Gone, Gone, Gone,” a four-song EP, then the full-length “Walk of Shame.”
In May, she released “All or Nothin’,” which was produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. It features songs like “Man Up,” an account of a marriage in decline because the man of the house isn’t being one: “You better get off your ass and man up / Or I’m gonna have to be the one who gets tough.”
On a performance this summer on “Morning Becomes Eclectic” on KCRW in Los Angeles, Lane unveiled a song called “700,000 Rednecks.” She explained: “I call it redneck recruitment. I figure if I can get half a million of them to like me, I’ll be in good shape.”
Lane is also the owner of High Class Hillbilly, a vintage-clothing enterprise with a store in Nashville and a pop-up component she brings to her shows and vends along with her merch. Click here to watch her performance on “Morning Becomes Eclectic.”
▪ Nikki Lane performs at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Uptown Theater, opening for Loretta Lynn.
Stremel is a former member of a few Kansas City bands, including Frogpond, who has forged a solo career that now spans almost 20 years and seven albums.
The latest of those is “Wildflowers,” released this month. It’s a collection of original children’s songs and poems from writers and songwriters in and around Kansas City, including Stremel, mother of a 1-year-old son.
Other performers include Kelley Hunt, Tina Schlieske (of Tina and the B-Sides), Kasey Rausch (see below), Victor and Penny, David George, Fred Wickham and Greg Wickham (formerly of Hadacol) and Bill McShane. Titles include “I Don’t Wanna Go to Bed,” “The Cat, She Played Piano,” “Nighty Night Song” and “Grandma’s Farm.” (Disclosure time: One of the poems is mine.)
On Friday night, Stremel is throwing a “Wildflowers” showcase at Vinyl Renaissance in Overland Park. Copies of the CD and its accompanying hardback, illustrated book of lyrics, will be available. Stremel, George and Greg Wickham will perform. Children of all ages are welcome. Click here to watch a video about the album.
▪ “Wildflowers” showcase starts at 6 p.m. Friday at Vinyl Renaissance, 7932 Santa Fe Drive in Overland Park. Admission is free.
Rausch is one of Kansas City’s premier songwriters. Her style is taproot country/Americana/folk with some bluegrass in the mix. She is also a seasoned and captivating live performer.
Friday night at Knuckleheads, Rausch will celebrate the release of “Guitar in Hand,” her third full-length recording and her first on Mudstomp Records, a label based in Overland Park. Click here to watch her performance of “Heavy Fog.”
▪ Kasey Rausch performs at 8:30 p.m. Friday in the Living Room lounge at Knuckleheads, 2715 Rochester Ave. Advance tickets are $12 and are available via knuckleheadskc.com. The lounge is small, so seating is limited.