It’s easy to say “forget what you know about Jamie Lynn Spears” when discussing her burgeoning country music career. She’s no longer the teen actress, or for that matter the teenage mom.
After witnessing her tremendous matinee performance on Father’s Day at The Ram’s Head On Stage, it would be irresponsible for anyone to forget the 23-year-old’s past. It’s that past which brings an authenticity to her lyrics and singing that is rarely seen in popular country music these days.
Spears kicked off the show with the first two songs from her fantastic debut EP The Journey. She started with the rocking and honest “Shotgun Wedding” and followed that up with the sexily subtle come-on song “Run.” Both songs certainly caused some blushing amongst the parents in the audience who took their teens and tweens to the show. Yeah, like her sister, Jamie’s not so innocent. But shouldn’t they have already know that?
A stunningly beautiful cover of Holly Williams’ “The Highway” followed a couple songs later and showed that Spears has either excellent taste in music, or someone in her band certainly does. Surprisingly, the only other cover she played was a straight up version of Tom Petty’s anthemic “I Won’t Back Down.” The dads in the crowd were nodding right along.
Spears also featured a number of songs that she said will hopefully appear on her first full-length album including the sweet, “I Look Up To You,” about her sister Britney, and the boot stompin’ “Louisiana Bound.” While performing “When The Lights Go Out” Spears sat at the edge of the stage (in between my table and the one to my right) and poured her heart out singing about her daughter. It’s rare when you see a performer getting choked up singing her own song (which she did). It was a beautifully honest moment.
Spears explained that she was feeling “emotionally beaten up” when she wrote The Journey’s “Big Bad World” and hoped that it could someday help someone out. She made a similar point when introducing another new song, “Lift” by adding, “I needed to be positive.” Both songs showed vulnerability and hope and were clearly written and performed from a real-life perspective.
Perhaps the finest moment of the afternoon came towards the end of the set when she performed her achingly gorgeous first single “How Can I Want More” which she wrote about her husband and explained, “It’s really where I’m at in my life.” The song brought the crowd to its feet and a grateful Spears smiled and thanked the audience before closing the show with the smoldering “Miss Mississippi” which appropriately incited a mid-song line or few breakdown from one of her sister’s biggest hits.
So don’t forget Jamie Lynn Spears’ past. All of those experiences have seemingly helped her grow into a confident young woman, mother and truly authentic singer/songwriter who will hopefully enjoy a long and prosperous career in country music.