It's been a long time coming. Though Shelby Lynne and her younger sister, Allison Moorer, have released a slew of solo records between them since the late '80s, Not Dark Yet marks their first joint effort. In one sense, it's not surprising the siblings didn't collaborate sooner: DNA aside, they're not too similar. Boasting a resume that includes a duet with Tony Joe White and a set of Dusty Springfield covers, the more unconventional and eclectic Lynne takes a scruffier, funkier approach than her sister.
Fans of acclaimed roots music songwriters Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer may not actually be aware that the two are sisters. They have lived very separate creative lives, amassing 24 albums between them, but never singing together on record until this collaboration, titled Not Dark Yet.
Given their credibility as songwriters, it's a mite surprising there is just one original track here, the co-written album closer, "Is It Too Much," but the pair show impeccable taste in their choice of material to cover, coming up with a surprisingly ….
There's only one original composition on Not Dark Yet, a duets album from sisters Allison Moorer and Shelby Lynne. For fans who've waited years for the two singer-songwriters to do a project together, that reality may be a little disorienting; both women have developed strong, fiercely original bodies of work, and hearing them come together without flexing their songwriting chops may seem like a missed opportunity. But true to form, Moorer and Lynne have made an album that doesn't answer to anyone's expectations but their own.
One look at the track listing of this first collaboration between the veteran Alabama-born singer-songwriting sisters is all you need to understand how eclectic and wide ranging their tastes are. The long anticipated album length musical alliance between Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer may be short on original material (there is only one new, co-composed track), but the sensibility of combining their joint appreciation of roots music with more contemporary fare is adventurous and brave. Both are comfortable interpreting songs of others; Lynne famously paid tribute to Dusty Springfield and Moorer's Mockingbird (both from 2008) tackled songs from Patti Smith to Johnny Cash.
Despite singing together since they were old enough to talk, it took a lifetime for sisters Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer to record together. United by blood, growing up in the backwoods of Alabama and sharing an unspeakable tragedy -- they witnessed their father take their mother's life and then ….