Lera Lynn: The Sage, Gateshead

While watching series two of True Detective, a rather beguiling, sultry songstress appeared in the background of a seedy bar room scene. This was Lera Lynn and the song was My Least Favourite Life.

Lynn`s voice combines the sweetness of Sarah McLachlan and a hint of Chrissie Hynde and that sounds tempting enough but adding just a dash of the sinister underbelly that twists Nick Cave melodies into an entirely different plane gives Lynn`s music a real edge. Shape Shifter and an up-tempo Drive from new album Resistor injected an air of urgency as Lynn and her band locked into an almost trancelike state during the instrumental break during Little Ruby.

Loading article content

Of course the aforementioned My Least Favourite Life, co-written with the legendary T-Bone Burnett and Rosanne Cash, sounded wonderful with Lynn`s captivating voice entrancing and caressing.

Attempting a cover is always a dangerous business and performing one as iconic as Johnny Cash`s Ring on Fire is literally playing with fire, yet Lynn`s rendition was stunning and totally captivating giving a golden lesson in how to cover a song, taking the soul of the classic and creating something new. Johnny Cash would have undoubtedly approved.

It was always going to be tricky to eclipse that but closing the show with all four musicians clustered around a single microphone with nothing to hide behind other than four voices intermeshed in a tight four-part harmony during The Way I Feel Inside brought a spontaneous and prolonged standing ovation. Absolutely perfect.

Mick Burgess