Influenced by artists like Dolly Parton, Jessi Colter, Merle Haggard, and Waylon Jennings, country singer Robynn Shayne’s sweet as candy voice captivates and gives space to breathe. Her sound emulates the classic and pure country we all know and love, but with her own playful flare.
From her newest and fourth album, Let’s Get This Show on the Road, her song “Hindsight’s 2020” is one that caught our ear. It’s a fun take on the year everyone wants to forget, while “Out on the Town” is a two-steppin’ tune to take down on Broadway. While songs like “Growing Old with You” and “Devil You Know” strike a deep nerve with lyrics like, “How did I get here, this ain’t how I planned it to be/ I never thought I’d let someone break me”.
Shayne was born in a small town northwest of Fort Worth, Texas, but she now resides in Austin since her move back in 2013. As explained by The MusicFest, after her brother’s passing, (the heart behind “Rebel Child”), who had the same love of music, she taught herself how to play the guitar and write- a carrying on of the torch, so to speak.
Sharing her music for the past ten years, Shayne has played at The Bluebird Café, performed in Las Vegas alongside Gary Sinise for Salute to Troops, and is recognized as an official MusicFest artist in Steamboat Springs. She has also gained a following in the UK by frequently flying across the pond to play shows. Not to mention, she is a member of notable organizations like the Americana Music Association, Nashville Songwriters Association International, and The Austin Texas Musicians.
We got the chance to chat with Shayne about all of this and more.
So I was hoping you could discuss your introduction to writing and performing music.
After my brother Shane passed away, I inherited his guitar and challenged myself to learn how to play it. That led to me playing open mic nights. After playing other people’s songs for a while, I felt inspired to tell my own stories through my own music.
I see you travel and have traveled yearly to Nashville to play The Bluebird Cafe. Assuming you’re fairly familiar with the city, how would you say it compares and contrasts musically to Austin?
They are very similar depending on the venues you attend and what you are looking for musically. 6th street compares to Broadway if you are looking to hang out in a bar atmosphere where the music can sometimes be the background of the party. Then you have venues like The Bluebird and The Saxon Pub where you can sit down in a listening room environment and truly hear the lyrics and the stories behind the music from the artist.
What is/was your favorite part about playing The Bluebird Café every year?
The way that people come from all over the world to listen to the music and the stories behind them from the artists. The humbling honor of playing at a venue that so many who I truly admire and respect have played before me is a feeling like no other.
How do you balance being an artist and a flight attendant? What is your schedule like, and does that benefit your touring? (when that was a thing)
I was a flight attendant before I started playing music. I have been flying long enough and have enough seniority and flexibility to build my flight schedule around my shows and writing sessions.
I see you also have performed in the UK. Where did you like to play most, and where exactly do you think you have your biggest fan base over there?
Playing “across the pond” is always an adventure. Ireland as a whole is a great place to play, and I do have such a loving fan base there. That in turn led me to play different places on the island and I would have to say they are all my favorite. We were in the works to play the Buckle and Boots Country Festival in Manchester before Covid-19 hit.
What brought about the concept behind your latest single, “Devil You Know”, off of your latest album, Let’s Get This Show On The Road?
This song was inspired by a personal relationship of mine. My self-esteem was so completely beaten down that I was more scared of being alone than staying where I was. We often have the strength to better our situation but are too scared to take that first step. Thankfully, I found that strength. This song has resonated with men and women alike.
“There’s a Light” captures having faith in the hard times and placing our hope above. How did your personal faith play into the song and get you through 2020?
There is always hope and light at the end of a tunnel. We just have to open our eyes wide enough to see them. Although 2020 was a unique year, for me personally, I found a way to keep pushing forward, even through the darkness. Hope and faith can shine bright when we let them.
Listeners will hear the familiar classic, “One Way or Another” on the album. What made you want to choose this song for the album?
First off, I love Blondie. I wanted a song that pushed me out of my comfort zone and something that would be a fun little surprise for my listeners.
Who are some writers and artists you have loved to work with and/or would love to in the future?
Let’s put this out in the universe that I want to work with Dolly one day. She is the epitome of class, integrity, and an incredible humanitarian. Not to mention she is an incredible writer and has the voice of an angel.
My writing style was compared to one of my favorite writers, Brandy Clark. To work with her and Shane McAnally would be a dream come true! Though I had never written virtually before, COVID forced me into that. I had the pleasure of virtually writing with Don Rollins. He wrote a little song called, “It’s Five O’ Clock Somewhere”.
In the spirit of your title track, “Let’s Get This Show on the Road”, are you tentatively planning any shows in 2021, and what might fans expect moving forward from Robynn Shayne?
We are starting to book shows, but the safety of my fans and band come first. We are keeping a close eye on restrictions and the current COVID environment. I will continue to do live streams until we can get back out there safely. I’m ready to get this show back on the road!