Little Ol Girl
Some folks call 'em 'manbashers,' but the men standing in the back of the room at Lindy Gravelle's sellout club appearances were laughing as hard as the women at songs like Seat Up, Seat Down and I Wanna Come Back As A Man. 'When I do the 'battle of the sexes' songs for a live audience,' Lindy says, 'it's instant identification. I discovered that what's personal with me is not really strictly personal,' she goes on. 'It's everybody's experience--I'm just voicing it.' The same sense of intimate familiarity carries through on all of Lindy Gravelle's work. Her Spanish Rain CD communicates the remarkable scope and depth of Lindy's insights. From Wish You Were Here, the poignant lament of a couple living in the same house, yet feeling miles apart, through the smoky-blue, jazz-toned Fool's Lullaby, to a warm, somehow ironic country flavored tribute to a love that lasts, I Love My Dog. The tender, meditative title cut, an instrumental inspired by the music of Chopin coexists easily on the album with the rock-out The House, which Lindy credits to her Jerry Lee Lewis influences. The Change, Lindy's most recent CD release, signifies a change in her musical odyssey. It includes six new original compositions and seven timeless standards. Among the originals are the title cut The Change, an anthem to the middle aged female set, No Place Under the Sun Like Oregon, the beautiful tribute song to her native state, The Rub, an infectious groove song with a punch line ending, and two tender country ballads, The Sweetest Thing I Know and For As Long As I Live. And just to round things out, she's added a good ol' honky tonk drinking song, A Little All the Time. On the standards 'side' of the CD she covers a wide range of emotions with her personal renditions of such old chestnuts as Sentimental Journey, Crazy, The Way You Look Tonight, Since I Fell For You, Over the Rainbow, What A Wonderful World, and just for fun, Jose Cuervo. Lindy grew up in the small town of Heppner in Eastern Oregon, where the landscape was as broad and open as Texas. 'It was cowboys and ranchers, and the big deal of the year was the rodeo.' Her parents owned Heppner's popular Wagon Wheel Cafe. For entertainment at the Wagon Wheel, Lindy's father led her brothers and sisters in a country and western band, performing songs by Hank Williams, Buck Owens and Patsy Cline. Lindy made her debut as a performer at the age of three, when her father brought her onstage for a nightly solo. 'Our house was a short walk away,' Lindy recalls. 'They'd bring me out to sing and then Mom would take me home to bed. When I was eight, I started playing piano and singing as a regular member of the band.' She fell in love with the music. 'With such simple melody and harmony, a country song can just pierce the heart. It was a great way to share family time-- being together, making music together,' she says. 'The music was fun, and I loved seeing other people's joy, seeing how much the music meant to them.' A contract with Ripcord Records marked Lindy's transformation from band member to recording artist, and spurred her on to write more and more of her own songs. In 1980 she moved to San Francisco, where Lindy and her country-rock Red Dog Band gained notoriety in and around the Bay Area and won opening slots for Michael Martin Murphy, Hank Williams Jr., Commander Cody and other stars. Soon Lindy's management was pointing her to Music City. In 1985, Lindy made the move to Nashville, and Lindy's fresh, original songs began to get noticed. Marsha Thornton's single and video of Lindy's composition A Bottle of Wine and Patsy Cline became a regular play on CMT. Exit 99 was a single for CeeCee Chapman, and was featured on Lorrie Morgan's gold-selling 'Warpaint' album. Mila Mason included One Thing Led to Another on her Atlantic released The Strong One, and Lindy herself became a fixture on the Nashville club circuit, packing in the loyal crowds who gravitated to the easy intimacy of her agile, jazzy piano work and her witty and soulful vocal style. As the millennium turned, Lindy Gravelle's thoughts turned as well, to her roots in the Northwest, and she decided it was time to go back to her Oregon roots. Now based in Central Oregon, 'where the high desert meets the Cascade Mountains,' the gifted musician singer composer says she finds renewed inspiration within the dramatic natural environment she cherished growing up. 'Turn to the West, and you see the mountains,' she says. 'Turn around to the East, and it's all high desert, juniper and sage...