Saturday night I went out to a roadhouse in Elmira called, The Cabin, to experience what was billed as “Jenny Lynn’s Big Ol’ Rockin’ Potluck.” I took the requisite “hot dish,” some canned goods for the giveaway, paid my five bucks, ate some of someone’s really great chili, and waited for the music to begin.
Before the show I had a chance to meet her. One of the promoters is Shonda Honkenan and a friend, so I finagled an introduction. I discovered that Jenny Linn has roots deeply set in California Honky Tonk. Her Grandfather played and recorded with Rose Maddox. Wanda Jackson is one of her all-time favorites. She plays a guitar that her father made for her. I’ve more than likely got some of this mixed up, but you get the point–Jenny’s got some creds.
We sat and shared our various histories with each other, and then it was time for her to go on. WOW!!!
I am not sure what I expected, but what I got was totally over the edge. Jenny belted out song after song with a voice that would have made Rose Maddox, Wanda Jackson, or Betsy Montana proud.
It is not very often I get to hear the real thing. Jenny is the real thing. She was billed that night as Rockabilly, and it was, but it was also an older style of Rockabilly. You know, the authentic stuff that fit that small window of the middle 1950s, that was a blend of Honky Tonk, Hill Billy Country, what an early Elvis Presley called, Hill Billy Pop–that was before it was called Rock ‘N’ Roll.
Holy Mole, but it was a treat. I was enthralled! Just hypnotized! And then it was over and she was off the stage, and they were getting for the next act, I had to go because I work Sunday mornings. I told Shonda that I wanted to share a stage with Jenny any time I could and the sooner the better.
Last year I had a chance to play for an organization called, The Reel Cowboys, and met a performer named, Angel Maker. who had sung backup for Betsy Montana, and as I heard her belt out her music, I thought it was sad that this great sound is going away. But what Jenny Linn and Her Real Gone Daddies are doing is holding the line for that true, authentic, old time Honky Tonk/Rockabilly–I will not call it by the modern term, Americana, because that sells it short. It is the real deal, and thank God for performers who have the courage to keep the old style alive.