Lynne Taylor Donovan New Album ‘MOVIN’ ON’

Canadian country singer, Lynne Taylor Donovan, has just released a new album titled Movin’ On. And no, this 10-song set does not contain that old Hank Snow country hit of the same name. It does include a set of strong country tracks, though.

Some of these songs lean closer to pop-country. Not so with “The Strong One,” though. There’s some fine acoustic piano running through it that may remind you of the countrypolitan heyday of the ‘70s. Donavan sings it sadly, just the way she should do it. There is also a nice fiddle part running through it. It’s a real hurting song. “Sugar Lake” is even more downhome, as Donovan sings this one with a catch in her voice. It’s driven by some more fiddle playing and twangy electric guitar. Wherever it is, Sugar Lake sure sounds like a party place.

Donovan’s vocal changes quite a bit for “Am I Dreaming,” where it takes on, well, a dreamy sort of vibe. She’s said Faith Hill is one of her influences, and one can hear a distinctly Hill-esque vocal tone with this song. It even sounds like the sort of song Hill might record.

Better acoustic piano still, though, arrives with “I Don’t Wanna Mention Any Names.” Although Donovan sings it with some country in her voice, the song also has a strong bluesy streak running through it. It has all the markings of a late-night torch song performance. It’s a bit of a cynical take on relationships, where names of lovers are known, yet not disclosed. Much quieter, by far, is “Sooner or Later.” This one, too, has a bit of blues within it. However, it’s more of a hurting, sad song, rather than revealing the cynicism expressed via “I Don’t Wanna Mention Any Names.” It also has some heartfelt fiddle playing counterpoint to Donovan’s vocal. “The Letter” is also a quiet one, only this time it’s driven by some jangling guitar. Donovan is at her most vulnerable on the song’s vocal. She sings with a vibrato, which is different from how she sings on most the other tracks. The ‘letter’ in question is not one written with pen on paper, by the way. Instead, she’s singing about a hypothetical letter; one only written in her mind. Nevertheless, she wishes this lover could read what’s in her head. It highlights one of the greatest regrets in relationships, which are all the things left unspoken. When we break up with somebody, it’s natural to play Monday morning quarterback and long to say the things we should have said but did not.

The album closes with a familiar song, “Tennessee Whiskey.” This is the song that broke Chris Stapleton out big time. It’s sung from the perspective of a person with a drinking problem. The good news is that this other lover is as good (if not better than) alcohol. Strong drink can take control of a person, it’s true, but it’s so much healthier (most of the time) to be taken over by someone that loves us. Donovan does a fine job singing it.

With all its different country flavors, you won’t want to be movin’ on from this album all that quickly. Instead, you’ll want to just stick around.

-Dan MacIntosh