Loveless brings alternative country music to Proud Larry’s tonight

Published 10:52 am Friday, January 20, 2017

Though she’s no stranger to performing in Mississippi, when alternative country singer-songwriter Lydia Loveless takes the stage at Proud Larry’s tonight, it will be her first time performing in Oxford.

The 26-year-old Loveless (born Lydia Ankrom), is fresh off releasing her fourth album, “Real”, the most acclaimed work of her eight year career in the industry. Loveless says the record, which dropped last August, began its production in mid-2015.

“We were demoing at Sonic Lounge Studios (in Grove City, Ohio) where we’ve done the past three records,” said Loveless. “As we started working on it more and more, we liked how it sounded and didn’t want to do it all again. I thought, I don’t see how we could do much more. It was the most time I’ve ever had to unwind and write songs since we’ve started to tour so much.”

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The Columbus, Ohio based singer says that she feels a more personal connection to her latest work.

“I think ‘Real’ is definitely more me,” she said. “I felt really proud of it production and songwriting wise. I was definitely the least lengthy about this one. I had a lot more stamina this time around. I pretty much like the whole record which is unusual for me.”

Loveless co-produced the album with her longtime producer and engineer Joe Viers. The latter has also engineered albums for the Billboard-topping Twenty One Pilots and Blues Traveler. “Real” is Loveless’ fourth time working with Viers.

“It’s a good working relationship,” she said. “I think it’s just a mixture of challenging and also comfortable. He’s not yelling at me to do things again because that’s what producers are supposed to do, he just cares about the end result. He’s always willing to let me experiment with my ridiculous ideas.”

Growing up 90 minutes outside of Columbus in rural Coshocton, Ohio, Loveless was home-schooled and fell in love with hardcore punk music at a young age — a stark contrast from the country rock sound she eventually fell into as a musician. However, her parents discouraged her from the punk ethos and lifestyle.

Eventually, Loveless embraced music after she and her sisters started a band called Carson Drew (named after the literary character Nancy Drew’s father). She picked up a bass and never looked back.

“My two sisters started that band and they said, ‘We need a bass player, go buy one,’” remembers Loveless. “I always wanted to be in a band, but I had no idea how to do anything. I took piano lessons and was terrible and couldn’t play guitar to save my life.”

Playing the bass was a change of pace for her in comparison to her musical attempts before that purchase.

“I actually really enjoyed it and I think it was a great jumping off point to get better at playing other instruments and understanding musical theory,” she said. “I was painfully shy.”

When asked how she overcame her shyness, Loveless said with a laugh, “I didn’t.”

The doors for the Lydia Loveless show at Proud Larry’s open at 8 p.m. with the show beginning at 9. Tickets for the event are $15.