CD Review – I’m Only Here For The Music by Lani Nash
If Patty Griffin and Garth Brooks had a love child (ante-Robert-Plant, of course), it would have to be Lani Nash (www.LaniNash.com). With the heart and soul of Lucinda Williams (think “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road”), and the timbre and phrasing of Jennifer Nettles (think Sugarland’s “Stay”), it’s apparent that South Florida is in for a new treat from this recent Nashville transplant. And her most recent CD – I’m Only Here For The Music – is obviously only going to be the tip of this musical iceberg.
Opening with “That’s a Chance I’d Like to Take,” Lani soulfully emotes that if I keep it all to myself I’m afraid I might wake up one day and realize you were the one, the one that got away. In track two, “What’s It Gonna Be,” she redefines the dichotomy of how the joys of small town life – its open arms and front porch smiles – are being turned into padlocked hearts and narrow minds by the urbanization of rural America. Lani then launches onto track three, “You’re Right,” a jazzed-up, piano packed rumble through the bumpy road to love where if you think that I want anything to do with you after what you’ve done to me, you’re right. Everything then shifts gears on track four, “You Don’t Know Me Like I Do,” a soft, gentle ode to the lonely perseverance of life when you realize that I must put on quite a show for you to think you know me like I do. Lani then snaps back to close out the album’s first half with ” If You’re Leavin’,” a fast paced romp about holding onto a relationship by letting everything go so that you can take the bed and all the love we made, but if you’re leavin’ baby, take me with you.
Easing into the CD’s second act with track six, “Too Bad So Sad,” a sexy Memphis blues styled tune that Reba McEntire couldn’t have sung better about three small words you failed to mention. Then comes the title track, “I’m Only Here For The Music,” a look behind the curtain of Nashville’s great big shallow pool of gimmicks and fads and the plastic smiles that try to hide the truth. Lani follows this with her smokey piano-bar styled “The Old Me,” where time brings the wisdom to know that I finally learned how to love you, so I’m letting you go. Then track nine, “So Far So Good” takes it all back to the Memphis blues with a memorial to that lucky morning after when I suppose an awkward morning beats a boring night, and hey you’re kinda cute so at least I did something right. Then, the final track, “Unless,” brings it all home with the impossible eternal promise that in no way will I ever uproot the seed you planted, or give you cause to doubt my love for you, unless I do.
So you see, as I’m writing this on a sunny Sunday afternoon by Carol Foster’s pool side listening to Lani’s CD, I’m realizing that this is gonna be a great summer of music in Southeast Florida, with the likes of Lani Nash here. So be sure to catch her at the Luna Star Cafe (www.LunaStarCafe.com) this coming July 20th at 8pm, and then at Miami Beach’s Van Dyke Cafe (www.TheVanDykeCafe.com) on July 30th at 9pm. When you do, you’ll understand why Lani took the Nash out of Nashville and brought it all here to us.