Travels of a Homebody
Lashley is an odd personality (by her own admission) who no longer performs live because of stage fright. Despite her fear of crowds, and the fact that she sees herself as an emotional misfit, she is still able to see things in everyday life and convert them into songs. However, her desire to lead a quiet life is perhaps reflected in the fact that this is an enjoyable trip, but one on which nothing particularly exciting happens.
Some of those songs are presumably based on her life experiences, “Kiss Indiana Goodbye” suggests that her personality led to a difficult childhood, whilst “Emmett Till” came about as a result of watching a TV documentary. The lively “Livin’ On Beans and Cornbread” sounds like the lament of many a struggling songwriter but is instead sadly inspired by a series of books written by Rick Bragg.
The album was produced by Lashley’s longtime partner Otis Gibbs who also contributes his guitar playing. Other contributors include engineer Thomm Jutz on dobro and mandolin amongst other things, Shawn Cobb on fiddle, Mark Fain on upright and Pat McInerney on drums.
This is an album of simple, well-written songs about life and its hardships, although it is never a sad album with Lashley always seeming to look on the bright side. This can easily be seen in the opening line of “Ode to Middle Age”: I’d rather be forty than five. No hankering for the past, just a positive attitude for the present.
Excitement is not always necessary to make the ride enjoyable.