Lydia Loveless will bring her fiery brand of country-punk rock to Uncle Slayton's this Thursday, May 10, touring behind her Bloodshot Records debut, Indestructible Machine. Born and raised just outside of Columbus, Ohio, Loveless has captured the attention of music critics and fans with her big voice and brash lyrics that place her squarely in the "outlaw" canon of drinking, fighting, cheating, and heart-aching songs. Bloodshot, home to such familiar talents as Ryan Adams, Justin Townes Earle, and Neko Case, signed her after hearing some music sent by her manager and watching her perform at SXSW.
One suspects that Loveless, just in her early 20s, has a long way to go before storing up the real-life experience of the original Outlaws, but when the petite blonde -- who cheerfully admits that she once aspired to dance like Britney Spears (and, let's hope, that's all) -- belts out one of her beer-soaked odes to the miseries of hangovers and picking the wrong men, she really sells it. Perhaps part of that ability was absorbed even as a child -- her father owned a country-western bar and her mother had an affinity for the Clash. Throw in an older sister who was always listening to "all the sad, angry 'old man music' -- Grunge and Post-Grunge," Loveless explains with a laugh, and you have a pretty good idea of the influences that have helped shape her sound.
In talking to Loveless, you get the impression of someone who, though young, has a clear-eyed view of the world, short on illusions, but who has a sympathetic view of people who struggle with their personal demons and the wounds that are so often self-inflicted. "I try to be straightforward and honest," she says about her approach to songwriting, and cites Hank Williams III as someone who has influenced her, at least in attitude -- "pretty brazen and not really delicate," she declares with the air of understatement. When I asked if there were any mainstream country artists that she felt any kinship with, Loveless mentioned both Miranda Lambert and Sunny Sweeney. "They've managed to get into the mainstream scene and still kinda be cool...and a bit rebellious."
As far as what you can expect at the show, Loveless says to come ready for a good time -- "we are fun, and loud, and rowdy." Her band members are Ben Lamb on the upright bass, Parker Chandler on drums, and Todd May on lead guitar. In addition to her album, Loveless also has a new 7" record with a song from Indestructible Machine and her cover of Elvis Costello's "Allison." You can catch her at Uncle Slayton's, along with Louisville's Alabama Brown and the Inside Outlaws, at 8:30 p.m. for a 21 and over show. Entry is $8 at the door (8:00 p.m.).
The video below is a live radio session of Loveless performing her song, "Learn to Say No," which showcases her powerful voice.