Gayle Lynn and the Hired Hands
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Gayle Lynn and the Hired Hands

San Francisco, California, United States

San Francisco, California, United States
Band Americana Country

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"Brenda and the Reviews"

by Brenda Hough

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. - BLUEGRASS BREAKDOWN


"Just Came Around"

By Dennis O'Neil

There are plenty of good-natured country vibes on Lynn’s latest, but the songstress is at her best when tackling darker issues. Alcohol is a recurring character on the record, not the happy-hour type but the type that gives you the blues at 4 a.m., and the rest of your life thereafter.

Lynn’s lyrics are observant, soulful and staggeringly sad. “Feeling This Way” paints a character self-medicating at a bar, desperately avoiding the empty house she’ll find at the end of the night. “Let Myself Be” shudders with disappointment, lamenting a wasted life (The dreams still in this heart of mine, I can’t find the time).

Don’t worry. Hopeful moments (“Live Oak Lane”) show the lead character unloading her problems, if only for a bit. Lynn’s tender, soulful voice might depress you, but it’s still mesmerizing.
- LEO Weekly, Louisville, KY


"GAYLE LYNN SINGS IT PURDY"

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 (got that, Lucinda?), and they float easily on a sea of sincerity. - Hicks with Sticks


""Just Came Around" by Gayle Lynn and the Hired Hands"

"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 - RadioIndy.com


"Belgian Review"

Geen twee zonder drie ..... Barry & Holly Tashian, Chris Coady en dus mag Kentucky girl Gayle Lynn het (traditionele)country hoofdstukje van deze week op een sublieme wijze afsluiten. Gayle Lynn writes songs of wit and sadness - bourbon soaked originals for the soul en the Hired Hands ( Rick Elswit - guitars, Mike Roper - harmonica & vocals, Tom Drohan - stand - up bass en Corey Losee - drums) give her music that "just right" twang of country that makes you feel at home - whether you're laughing or crying in your beer. Leuke dingen voor de mensen die maar niet genoeg kunnen krijgen van traditionele country maar dan wel met niveau en wars van van ook maar één spoortje Nashville gezeik. Remember me in mijn betere dagen is nu al ooit van toepassing op ondergetekende maar Gayle Lynn heeft het over the prettiest girl die ooit mocht opdraven als "Rodeo Queen", herinneringen aan een long - ago love ("Think Of You Sometimes"), dissolving relationships ("Feelin' this Way", "He's A Man") en barroom glow ("Brown Glow - whiskey took my darlin", "Whiskey Shot Side")

Gayle Lynn beschikt over een fantastische stem die ook buiten de traditionele country tot haar recht komt. " Let Myself Be" "Singing Cowboys" en "the Farm Song" zijn achttien karaats folk / country pareltjes, het Dire Straits gitaartje on "Live Oak Lane" durft zelfs rockend voor de dag te komen en het duetje "Norma Jean" een geheide Radio 2 hit mocht het programma "Countryside" nog bestaan. Gayle Lynn and the Hired Hands zijn een verademing in het country landschap en dat is mede te danken aan sommige Extra Hands ....David Philips ' the reining king of the pedal / lap steel in the Bay Area", Diana "Triple Fiddle" Greenberg (The Woreshoes) en Scott Young (Red Meat - trombone on de titeltrack "Just Came Around") laten zich immers van hun beste zijde zien. Prima band & album ! (SWA)
- Rootsville


Discography

Gayle Lynn and the Hired Hands released their debut CD "Just Came Around", consisting of 12 self-penned songs that cover the range of Americana roots music from alt-country to folk, with a little bit of rock. The songs tell tales of small town life, long-ago love, dissolving relationships and barroom gloom. And there are funny songs too!

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.

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Bio

Gayle Lynn Schmitt was born and raised by the banks of the Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky.

In 2005 Gayle Lynn formed the Hired Hands as an outlet for her roots oriented songwriting. They released their first CD to a packed crowd in October 2008 and brought down the house at Slim's in January 2009. They toured Missouri, Kentucky and Ohio in Summer 2009, performed at the San Francisco Bluegrass and Old Time Festival in February 2010, and will play the prestigious Freight & Salvage in April 2010.

Gayle Lynn's songwriting reflects her influences (Lucinda Williams, Gillian Welch, Loretta Lynn), but the feel is original and personal. She communicates that while life doles out sadness to each of us in a random fashion, our music and friends are there to help to us get through it, and life remains a celebration.

The Hired Hands’ subdued arrangements on the debut CD complement the singing and songwriting. Tasty, selective guitar licks from Rick Elswit have just enough pedal steel feel to them to set up the honky-tonk atmosphere. Mike Roper adds husky but tender harmony vocals and subtle harmonica fills that push the sadness factor to the edge but not over it. Corey Losee’s loping rhythm on the snare drum and Tom Drohan’s driving bass keeps the rhythm bouncing along.

The CD is receiving international airplay (Belgium), and has been raved about by the likes of KPIG DJ Cuz'n Al, Blue Highway's Tim Stafford and Hicks With Sticks editor Jose Segue.

Gayle is also well known in the Bay Area as the leader of the Toodala Ramblers - a high energy band that plays bluegrass music for kids and families and has recorded two award winning children's CDs.