Live review from Sub Terra #6:
1. Glass Castle
2. Let Me Love You (Justin Bieber cover)
3. Missing You
4. Can’t Let You Go Again
5. Crazy (Gnarls Barkley cover)
Let’s face it – we’ve all seen acts you frankly can’t wait to get off the stage. Then on the flipside, we’ve all had the (usually rarer) experience of performers who are great but seem to finish their set and disappear almost before they’ve started (which clearly is impossible but simply adds to their musical and time travelling je ne sais quoi). Tonight, as the opening act, Dixie Lynne is definitely in the latter camp.
The Californian cut her gigging teeth in San Francisco cafes and even though she’s still only in her mid-teens is already an accomplished performer. She’s also come a long way since making her Underground debut in November 2015 at True To This. Since then her voice has matured into something soulful and emotive and she’s written some excellent songs.
So, it was with some crowd anticipation that Dixie took to The Hub’s stage on Saturday. And she didn’t disappoint.
Glass Castle is understated, low, with almost husky verses leading to a catchy chorus that show off her Whitney Houston-esque range. “I hope you see I’m not gonna change for you … you can’t hide inside your glass castle,” she croons. The guitar tapping style sets the tone for the entire set, and is a definite musical motif. You’ll be humming the hook three days later.
Let Me Love You is a Justin Bieber cover featuring Ed Sheeran-style guitar tapping, over which Dixie’s singing is almost effortless – she truly has amazing vocal power and delivery. She tells us that the next track Missing You was “One of the first songs I wrote, about a year ago”, and is a simple, sweet strummed tune with heartfelt lyrics.
Can’t Let You Go Again is another tearjerker, again featuring that chord/tapping/strum pattern. To end she gives us a gorgeous cover of Crazy by Gnarls Barkley, her voice becoming sombre as she picks her way through the stripped-back, sultry number that sounds like it should be played in a smoky Parisian bar.
Dixie has undeniable God-given talent and is just getting better and better. She is still young, and needs more life experience to inform and enrich her music, and she needs to vary her guitar playing, but these things will come with experience. And stay longer next time Dixie!
– Dan Creffield
Live Review from True to This:
1. Rip Tide (Cover – Vance Joy)
3. Me & Bobby McGee (Cover – Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster)
4. Electric Love (Cover – BØRNS)
5. Three Sixty
It’s always nerve-wracking to open a show, especially when the succeeding acts foster sounds designed to give the listener a headache the next morning. But when Dixie Lynne Lonergan takes to the stage on her own and begins to sing, the bustling Hang Out gymnasium shuts up and listens.
This pitch-perfect singer-songwriter and guitarist has all the makings of a major star. Performing a carefully-picked mix of country pop covers and originals, she leads an enraptured audience into her soul and invites them to stay for five electrifying songs.
She opens with Vance Joy’s emotive ‘Riptide’. His lyrics “I was scared of dentists and the dark/I was scared of pretty girls and starting conversations” take on a new gravitas at Lynne’s lips, before she introduces her first original, ‘Crown’ – a soft song oozing with romantic languor.
Lynne’s voice is stunningly clear. Without a hint of the shrieking, rasping or warbling attributed to many female soloists, her crisp, earnest vocals deliver thoughtful lyrics that send shivers down the spine.
‘Three Sixty’ shows a startling songwriting maturity and musical wisdom rare for even most established country artists. A simple lyrical hook and tender themes makes the set closer one of the evening’s standout performances.
There’s a sharp inhalation of disbelief when Chris B reveals that Lynne is just 14 years old and somewhere in the crowd, her parents chuckle in recognition. It’s inevitable Lynne will be likened to Taylor Swift, whose own career began aged 14, but with such stage presence and emotional dexterity, it’s a trajectory this promising new star may well follow.
– El Jay