Lynn Miles
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Lynn Miles

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | INDIE | AFM

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | INDIE | AFM
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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"A writer in full command of her craft - Review of Lynn Miles' "Fall for Beauty""

By Sid Smith

At first glance there’s something unassuming and, in some respects, unremarkable about the eighth studio album by this Canadian singer-songwriter. Like many albums from the country and western stable, these neatly manicured songs deal with the usual time-honoured themes and dreams familiar to both lovers and detractors of the genre. Yet the real measure of this particular record’s worth can be measured by the speed at which any of the tunes from Fall For Beauty burrow deep into the subconscious.

With a voice that hovers somewhere between the earthiness of Nanci Griffith and the light-as-air flutter found in the vocals of Emmylou Harris at her most ardent, Miles can work wonders on songs which might be worthy but otherwise undistinguished. Only a few singers have that kind of Midas touch and she shows off that rare ability to great effect.

Up-tempo, catchy-as-hell numbers such as Something Beautiful and Fearless Heart radiate a winning, good-time feel, and its impossible not to warm to the swaying charms of Three Chords and the Truth. Here she takes the quote about the essence of country music made famous by revered writer Harlan Howard, and marries it to a smart and affectionate pastiche of Willie Nelson’s Pretty Paper.

Perhaps the best moment on the album is also its most simplest and direct. On the starkly produced Love Doesn’t Hurt, she stares at the myriad of paradoxes and consuming energies created when two people fall in love, and considers the consequences of what happens when love turns into abuse. Poignant without being in any way sentimental, it shows a writer in full command of her craft. - BBC Online

"Toronto Star Top 10 Roots Albums of 2010"

By Greg Quill

"Lynn Miles's Fall for Beauty is a testament to the lauded Ottawa songwriter’s embrace of the healing power of music."

Not necessarily the year’s best, hottest or most influential roots music and country recordings, these 10 are, however, rewarding and worthy efforts that will enhance any collection, listed in no particular order.

1. Elvis Costello, National Ransom(Universal Music): The second phase of aging Brit-rocker Costello’s adventures in post-modern Americana boasts exceptional — often humorous and sardonic — insights into the state of the ailing republic, loads of adventurous musicianship and an authentic folk-country patina, thanks to producer T-Bone Burnett.

2. Robert Plant, Band of Joy (Universal Music): The second phase of aging Brit-rocker Plant’s adventures in post-modern Americana boasts a selection of exceptional covers (Los Lobos’ “Angel Dance,” Richard Thompson’s “House of Cards,” Townes Van Zandt’s “Harm’s Swift Way”) and beautifully reimagined traditional songs, and an authentic folk-country patina provided by Buddy Miller.

3. Ron Hynes, Stealing Genius (Borealis Records): A brilliant exercise in songwriting craft, inspired largely by words, imagery and turns of phrase in novels and poetry admired by Newfoundland’s excessively gifted gift to the nation is alternatively elegant, moving and profound.

4. Lynn Miles, Fall for Beauty (True North Records): A folk-country masterpiece chronicling this formidable songwriter’s altering states — from the vulnerable queen of heartache to graceful, self-forgiving survivor — is a testament to the lauded Ottawa songwriter’s embrace of the healing power of music.

5. Marty Stuart, Ghost Train: The Studio B Sessions (Sugar Hill Records): A Nashville veteran cannily conjures up many of his country music heroes — Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Elvis Presley and Conway Twitty among them —with carefully composed originals, a couple of killer instrumentals and some unusual covers. The album, enhanced by Stuart’s killer band, The Superlatives, is a reflection of the singer/writer/picker’s pure country soul and rock ’n’ roll instincts. And it’s all heart.

6. Johnny Clegg, Human: (Appleseed Recordings): Humanist poet/protester and veteran social activist Clegg’s first North American release in 14 years is a typically mind-bending blend of African rhythms, instruments and perspectives, overlaid with potent pop/rap trappings, propelling songs of conscience, love and optimism.

7. Natalie Merchant, Leave Your Sleep (Nonesuch Records): A gloriously ambitious, 26-song, two-disc set that sweeps across the folk spectrum — from Celtic to Arabian modes, and Appalachian balladry to middle-European dance music — with astonishing ease (and thanks to a musical crew that includes Wynton Marsalis, Medeski, Martin & Wood and The Klezmatics) draws inspiration from poets of the 19th and early 20th century, among them Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Graves, Charles Manley Hopkins, Ogden Nash and Edward Lear.

8. Richard Thompson, Dream Attic (Shout! Factory): Thirteen new songs encompassing murder, mayhem, jealousy, money rage and terrorism, recorded live with an audience, are served up with passion — and blistering guitar solos — that Thompson rarely achieves in his studio performances.

9. Tim Hus, Hockeytown (Stony Plain): A collection of compelling, sentimental and sometimes brutal narratives about hard times and good times in Canada’s remote Prairies certify Hus as perhaps the best of a new bunch of hardy, tall-tale-prone Western songwriters following the trail forged by Corb Lund.

10. John Mellencamp, No Better Than This (Rounder): Age compels some artists to revisit the comfortable past, others to gather their wits and strike out anew. Mellencamp’s latest is proof of his membership in the latter group. Smart, honest, incisive, intelligent, wise and poetic songs in stripped-down rockabilly, country and folk-rock formats actually sound like they’ve been with us for a long time.

Published On Sat Dec 25 2010. - Toronto Star

"Fall For Beauty - Review"

Lynn Miles
Fall for Beauty
(True North)

by Jim Blum

Unlike Jonathan Byrd (in my last review), Lynn Miles didn't have to travel to Canada to record her new album Fall for Beauty; that's where she is from. Lynn is one of those singers with a catch in her voice, which often echoes a catch in her poetry. She has a knack for catching her listeners off guard with an unexpected shift in tempo or lyrics. In the song "Save Me," for example, it isn't until half way through the song that you realize the person worthy of the saving has run off. Ouch.
Much of the album is contemporary, bordering on AAA, but we found a handful of gems. "Goodbye," the album's final song, is a duet with Jim Bryson. Lynn and Jim play the part of lovers who have intellectually come to the conclusion that it's time to call it quits. As they trade verses, their reasoning is sensible, but of course inside both are filled with regret and second thoughts.

If you happen to be a struggling musician, you'll dig "Three Chords and the Truth" which explains quite clearly the price you pay to sing. The best song in both melody and message is "I Will." This is not only a declaration that it's time to return to a time of better spirit, it is a decision to take action. Let's hope we all can come to the same conclusion.

Posted by Linda Fahey at January 20, 2011 9:20 AM. - Folk Alley


Still working on that hot first release.



There is something to be said for experience, for taking the time to grow into your own skin. All sturdy things need time to root firmly into the ground to find their strength.

Lynn Miles is one of Canada’s most accomplished singer/songwriters. With seven albums to her credit, the winner of multiple Canadian Folk Music Awards, and a 2003 Juno Award for Roots & Traditional Solo Album of the Year, she has certainly found her strength over time.

Through a career that has seen her move from Ottawa to Los Angeles and back again, with stops in Nashville and Austin, she has always written music with unbridled feeling and vulnerability. Miles has consistently been unflinching in putting herself out there. Now with her eighth studio offering Fall For Beauty the voice of her experience has truly elevated her songwriting to its richest depth of emotion.

While her melodies undulate between traditional country and folk roots, on Fall For Beauty, it’s her sensitivity to the world around her that pours itself directly into Miles’ music to make it stand out. “Love Doesn’t Hurt” was written as an emotional plea for people in abusive relationships. “I wrote this song after watching Oprah do a show about domestic violence. She kept repeating ‘love doesn’t hurt’, and even though I’ve written plenty of songs about how emotionally painful love can be, I wanted to put this crucial idea right up there beside my other songs, for balance, and clarity.” says Miles.

“I’ve been playing the song live and have been approached by several people who work at women’s shelters who tell me it’s a powerful song, and that they want to play it for their clients. There’s no better compliment than that.”

Therein is the powerful secret behind Miles’ music - her astute observations of life, its trials and triumphs, are the hallmark of sincerity in her music. The gritty honesty of her music never falters – neither does her unshakeable ability to make even the most melancholy lyrics sound as if they are brimming with hope and grace.

“Little Bird” infuses her lyrics with an assertive and encouraging voice. “I wrote this song after reading ‘In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts’ by Gabor Mate. It’s the best book on addiction and articulates the need for compassion when dealing with addictions. The song about what I call The X Factor, the initial source of pain that can cause a person to seek solace in alcohol and drugs.”

Lynn Miles is a musician in the rarest sense of the word, an unmistakable talent, an eye for both the subtle and sweet that can only be unearthed with experience.

Unearth Fall For Beauty - in stores and online in Canada on October 5th, 2010, and will be released internationally in late 2011.