Preview: Lydia Loveless w/ Jason Hawk Harris

Who is Lydia Loveless? No, she’s not a 1970s porn star. That was Linda Lovelace. She isn’t that country singer you saw on Hee Haw back in the day either. That was Patty Loveless (no relation).

Lydia Loveless is an under-the-radar rocker whose music blends country-ballad tragedy with the edgy belligerence of punk rock. Think Patsy Cline meets Patti Smith.  

She’s touring in support of her critically-acclaimed new record Nothing’s Gonna Stand In My Way Again. Salt Lake audiences will get an opportunity to see this creative firebrand up close and personal on Wednesday, January 31, 2024 at The State Room.

There’s a lot to love about Lydia Loveless and her musical blend of alt-country, cowpunk, honky tonk rock, and indie-pop. Loveless debuted in 2011 with Indestructible Machine, an impressive alt-country record with a vintage country vibe and punk rock undertones. On “How Many Women” she channels Loretta Lynn, then abruptly changes the channel to a Siouxsie and The Banshees styled “Can’t Change Me.” She blends a strange musical and lyrical pairing into a unique, avant-garde rock hybrid.

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Since her debut, Loveless has released five full-length albums and built a catalog of finely crafted and genre-fluid material. I particularly like her spicy alt-rocker “Head.” In September 2023, Loveless released her sixth and most prolific album Nothing’s Gonna Stand In My Way Again. She reached musical maturity with this well-polished record. Yet, she still packs a raw, emotional punch with her dark and introspective lyricism. The single “Sex and Money” is a highlight among many. A hint of twang spices up the indie-pop wall of sound. The album provides a bounty of fresh, new material that she’ll undoubtable share on this tour.

Filmmaker Gorman Bechard captured Loveless’s musical journey in his 2016 documentary Who is Lydia Loveless? In search of an answer to that question, Bechard followed Loveless on tour, conducted a series of frank interviews with her, and observed her work in the studio. Viewers get to witness Loveless and her bandmates color outside musical lines and create a unique blend of indie-alt-country. The film is available to rent on Amazon Prime. 

You can find your own answer to that question when you see her live, at The State Room on Wednesday, January 31, 2024.

Opening the evening is fellow Bloodshot Records recording artist Jason Hawk Harris. With a countrypolitan flair, Harris aptly merges lyrical themes of pain and despair with an uplifting gospel-infused country-folk sound. On his latest single “Jordan And The Nile,” he fashions a hymn-like melody reminiscent of the late Justin Townes Earl. Harris also recently released “Portion For Foxes,” a driving rock duet with Lydia Loveless.  I’m sensing a bonus number on Wednesday night.

Who: Lydia Loveless with Jason Hawk Harris

Where: The State Room

When: Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Tickets and Info:

John Nelson
John Nelson
John Nelson covers the local music scene for Salt Lake magazine. He is a 20-year veteran of Uncle Sam’s Flying Circus with a lifelong addiction to American roots music, live music venues, craft beer and baseball.

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