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Kentucky girl Gayle Lynn Schmitt writes songs of wit and sadness - bourbon soaked originals for the soul. The Hired Hands - Rik Elswit (Dr. Hook) on guitars, Mike Roper (Shut-Ins) on harmonica and vocals, Tom Drohan (Chazz Cats) on stand-up bass and Corey Losee (Riff Riders) on drums - give her music that "just right" twangy touch of country that makes you feel at home - whether you're dancing to the roadhouse jukebox or crying in your beer.
The Hired Hands are joined by several special guests on this project, including David Phillips “the reining king of the pedal steel in the Bay Area,” Diana Greenberg (Belle Monroe & Brewglass Boys, Whoreshoes) on triple fiddles, Scott Young (Red Meat) on trombone and many other “helping hands” who add seasoning to each song and provide a finely crafted backdrop for the talented songwriting of Gayle Lynn.
The tunes cover the range of Americana roots music from alt-country to folk, fused with a flavoring of rock. They tell wry tales of small town life, long-ago love, dissolving relationships and barroom regrets. Bourbon soaked originals for the soul.
Gayle's songs are like a fine Kentucky bourbon—smooth going down with a little kick at the end to make sure you didn't miss one of life's truths.
—"Brenda and the Reviews," from Bluegrass Breakdown
Just Came Around, the debut CD from Gayle Lynn and the Hired Hands...(contains) beautiful songs sung with great care. They don't drag, they don't whine..., and they float easily on a sea of sincerity.
—José Segue, from hickswithsticks.com
HICKS WITH STICKS BY JOSÉ SEGUE
Just Came Around, the debut CD from Gayle Lynn and the Hired Hands, has been a long time in the making and it's been worth the wait.
There are different sides to this band starting with Miss Gayle herself. To know her is to know a social, out-going person who is living a full, fun life. But when she sits down to write a song, she can wring some real weepers out of the ol' cryin' towel.
The band itself has a barroom side and a studio side. They began playing weepers live, but that just wasn't working in Bay Area bars like the Riptide, Ireland's 32 or Amnesia, so Ms. Lynn wrote up-tempo material for the Friday and Saturday night crowds. Their CD finds GLHH in a pensive mood; their live show goes better with beer. There are the two sides of the band's line-up as well. One is a five-piece on stage and the other called 11 guest players into the studio.
David "But I'm on Everybody's CD" Phillips plays pedal steel on four tracks, "Where's the Misisipi Rider CD?" Mike Wolf, the man of many bands, becomes a Hired Hand for one tune, Diana Greenberg (Belle Monroe, Whoreshoes) adds her new top secret triple fiddle, Chuck Poling (Jeanie & Chuck's Country Round-Up) plays mando, and the Hired Hands themselves morph into the Shut-Ins to back "Norma Jean," a song about Gayle's dear Kentucky mum and her ham, ham, ham, ham.
These may be sad songs, but they're beautiful songs that have been hand crafted in the studio and sung with great care. They don't drag, they don't whine..., and they float easily on a sea of sincerity.
"Just Came Around" by Gayle Lynn and the Hired Hands is a wonderful country music album with a hint of folk attributes. Lynn's vocals are strong and heartfelt while her creative lyrics express everything from harsh realities to love. These lyrics are exhibited in the ballads and lively tunes alike, creating a nice assortment of songs on this album. Strong musicians reflect the solid harmonic foundation throughout the entire album. You'll love the steel guitar with its sliding characteristic feature on "Think of You Sometimes." A dash of rock gives "Live Oak Lane" a lively tempo and the feeling of happiness. The harmonies on "Singing Cowboys" and "Whiskey Shot Side" are an impressive flavor of the country sound. The traditional country music with a taste of folk is well worth listening to on the album "Just Came Around" by Gayle Lynn and the Hired Hands
-Diane and the RadioIndy.com Reviewer Team
A Dutch language review of Just Came Around on their website.
"BRENDA AND THE REVIEWS," FROM BLUEGRASS BREAKDOWN
Known mostly for her children's programs with the Toodala Ramblers, Gayle Lynn Schmitt is a fine songwriter with “bourbon soaked originals for the soul.” Her Kentucky home-grown roots shine through this collection of songs that have touches of country, folk and some rockin' rhythms. Gayle Lynn's Hired Hands are Tom Drohan on bass, Rik Elswit on guitar, Corey Losee on drums and Mike Roper on vocals, harmonica, guitar and ukelele. The band has a cohesive, enveloping sound that frames Gayle's vocals with carefully crafted guitar solos, paralleled by a strong bass and drum backdrop.
David Phillips adds some moody pedal steel and there's some lurking horns, but mostly it's Gayle Lynn's winsome vocals matched with a fine perspective on life that can be ironic, plaintive and altogether realistic. Gayle captures the quiet reverie moments of life, where the singer thinks of past lives as a “Rodeo Queen” or of a lover gone away—”Think of You Sometimes.” But there's also song with a bitter truth—Whiskey Took My Darlin (Brown Glow) is a chronicle of lives ruined by alcohol, wrapped in a bouncy, almost happy melody that could easily mimic the smooth brown glow that makes whiskey so enticing at the beginning. “Live Oak Lane” has an upbeat, bouncy rhythm like some of the early Dire Straits recordings (Think Sultans of Swing) that belies the lyrics that proclaim “this good feeling's gonna go.” “He's A Man” is a gentle, prodding song that addresses the differences between men and women—”you were taught to keep me safe, pretty and fit” and “I was taught to care and praise without shaming.” Gayle's songs are like a fine Kentucky bourbon—smooth going down with a little kick at the end to make sure you didn't miss one of life's truths.