Now Playing: Heather Anne Lomax’s ‘All This Time’

Image courtesy of Heather Anne Lomax

American singer-songwriter and musician Heather Anne Lomax has released a new album. It’s titled All This Time.  But first, for those not yet familiar with the artist in question, a bit o’ background.

Heather Anne Lomax

Image courtesy of Heather Anne Lomax

According to her official website, Los Angeles-based artist previously known as Michael-Ann, recently rediscovered her lineage.  Lomax “ is related to Stan of WOR NY, cousin to the well-known ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax; her mother was an artist and a musician, and her grandmother was on Broadway.”  Thus, “like the prodigal daughter, she returned to her original birth name, Heather Anne Lomax.”  

Image courtesy of Heather Anne Lomax

In fact, Lomax’s musical journey began in her birthplace Kansas City.  It was there “she cut her teeth playing guitar under the wing of a family friend in the Ozarks of Missouri.”  Her rockin’ resume includes various awards and radio play on nearly 80 local and international stations.  She has opened for Blood Sweat & Tears, Jeff Bridges, Judy Collins, Richie Furay, John Hiatt, Marshall Tucker Band, Don McLean, Melanie,  Joan Osborne, Kenny Rogers, Blake Shelton, Lee Ann Womack, and Wynonna and The Big Noise.  Her previous platter, 2014’s Heavy Load, garnered Robert Oermann’s “‘DisCovery of the Week Award” and was deemed “one of the Top 10 Americana Records from LA.”

Signature sound

Heather Anne Lomax’s signature sound is a mix of music genres. It includes Americana, blues, country, rockabilly, and early rock n’ roll.  Her music is inspired by such other artists as Emmylou Harris, Elvis Presley, Linda Ronstadt, Maria McKee, and Hozier.  

All This Time

This 36-minute CD includes 11 original tracks. Here Lomax leads the way on acoustic guitar and lead vocals.  She is backed by Zachary Ross (electric and acoustic guitar), producer Jason Hiller (bass and backing vocals), Chris Joyner Hammond (Hammond organ, piano, and accordion), Ty Bailie (Hammond organ and piano), Aubrey Richmond (violin and backing vocals), Rosa Pullman (Wurlitzer and backing vocals), Josh “JT’ Thomas, Ben Peeler (Weissenborn and pedal steel), Maesa Pullman, Ronee Martin, and Danielle Fife, (backing vocals), David Goodstein, and Rob Humphreys (drums).

This disc was inspired by the late, great Elvis Presley’s The Sun Sessions, recorded in 1954 and 1955 at Sun Studios, but not released until 1976.  The songs on this compilation had a significant impact on the growth of popular music.  Lomax discussed the influence of Presley and these recordings on her music:

I am moved and inspired by the voice, life, and recordings of Elvis Presley: especially the Sun sessions and the American Sound Studios recordings (From Elvis in Memphis).  The Sun Sessions are like a jolt of raw electricity-there is just a feeling that you are present in those live sessions. The American Sound Studios sessions are a broad tapestry of sounds and styles of music that serve as a rich landscape for that award-winning record. There  is a ‘feel’ and ‘vibe’ of recording a  band live that I was looking to capture, and I believe this record captured that electricity.”

Track by Track

The titular track “All This Time” is a rockabilly track about survival and resurrection complete with your rockin’ writer’s fave classic reference: “I am a phoenix I flew out of the fire / Took me for dead, but I rose even higher.” It’s a great opener but it barely foreshadows what is yet to come.

“Prison Cell” seems somehow vaguely reminiscent of Johnny Cash.  It could be the subject matter or perhaps an honest influence.  Either way, Lomax works to make it a success.  

The buoyant “Better Luck” follows.  It serves as yet another example of her tuneful talents and is well-placed to boot.

The next number is “My Dog.”  This one makes an effective (albeit simple) comparison between man’s best friend and a more narcissistic male.  It’s not a new theme but it is nonetheless a classic and Lomax pulls it off.

The poignant piece “Heart Don’t Lie” has a simplicity to it that works.  It adds a sense of honesty to it.  Remember, the material here and throughout the album is reflective of Elvis Presley’s early music.  

“Comfort Me” follows.  It is sincere, sensitive and mournful.  This touching track concerns the loss of both Lomax’s adopted and birth mother.  In fact, the album itself is dedicated to one of them.

“Mr. Popular” returns to the narcissist theme.  This time it concerns a man who hides his true persona from the world in order to forward his own questionable agenda.  It is perhaps all too quickly overshadowed by the next number.  Nonetheless, it remains a standout track.  

Lomax’s recent single is the atmospheric cut called “Crumbs.”  Musically, it is already being compared to Chris Issak’s 1989 number “Wicked Game.”  (Mind you, the thought of the lovely Ms. Lomax clad like either character in Issak’s music video is way too distracting to your randy writer, there’s some truth in the comparison.)  Regardless of any surface similarities, Lomax proves no one has a musical monopoly on slow, smoky and sexy. 

Lomax picks it up again on the ninth number, “Six Foot Under.”  This one focuses on characters who regularly manipulate the truth.     

Lomax’s “See You Again” has both a western and gospel feel to it.  Lomax’s fluid signature sound remains solid.   

The album endnote is “Just Like Yours.”  Here Lomax laments on an unfortunate life lesson.  Even if you finally find your one true love, you simply cannot always be by his/her side.  

Overall . . .

Overall, this album certainly captures the spirit, urgency, and her love of Presley’s collection.  This carefully culled collection of her ballads, countrified cuts, and moderately-paced rockers feature themes that run from simple to comparatively complex: the loss of a loved one, heartbreak, perseverance, and the oft’times lengthy longing for love.  They are both personal and yet universal.  Her vocals are generally powerful, and the musicianship is also solid.    All in all, you really should check out Heather Anne Lomax’s All This Time because, the “Heart Don’t Lie” and after “All This Time” we need a little more Lomax.