TRUDY LYN – FRIDAY
Stage 2: 19:30 – 20:30
Trudy Sings The Blues
Trudy Lynn was born Lee Audrey Nelms in the Fifth Ward, Houston Texas. In addition to her parents’ 78s, she had a lot of casual contact with blues and R&B performers because her mother ran a beauty shop by the Club Matinee. Lynn would walk there from school trying to catch a glimpse of acts like Joe Hinton or Bobby “Blue” Bland, who would play the venue. She wasn’t able to get closer to the music than the club’s door. “There wasn’t any going in there,” she says. “The way we were raised, everybody could whup your butt in the neighborhood. The neighborhood raised all the children where I grew up, not just your parents.” Lynn’s parents didn’t push music on her, nor were they discouraging.
She sang in a vocal ensemble at Wheatley High School. Her first break came as a teen when late blues great Albert Collins – playing with Big Tiny and the Thunderbirds – invited her onto the bandstand at Walter’s Lounge on Lockwood. She sang “Night Time Is the Right Time.” “I was in, baby,” she says. “I said, ‘Oh yes, this is what I want to do. This is what I want to do.’ ” After high school, Lynn went to visit her aunt in Lufkin, where a club called the Cinderella needed a singer. She decided Lee Audrey Nelms wasn’t going to cut it as a stage name. The club had a bunch of cartoon character names painted on the wall and she noticed “Trudy,” which she quickly paired with Lynn. “Lynn was something in those days,” she says. “Gloria Lynne, Barbara Lynn. I thought, ‘I’m going to be one of those Lynns, too, baby.’ ” Her repertoire was limited: “Stormy Weather,” an Etta James song called “Tell Mama” and a third song she can’t recall. But Lynn set about expanding her song book.
In 2018, Trudy Lynn released Blues Keep Knocking, her 13th solo album, and fourth project with Connor Ray Music. “Blues Keep Knockin’ ranks with her best work to these ears and hopefully the best is still yet to come,” said Graham Clarke with the Phoenix Blues Society.
Lynn was presented with two prestigious awards in 2019 – the Living Legend Blues Award from the Houston Blues Society, and the Willie Mitchell Lifetime Artist Award from the Jus’ Blues Music Foundation.