'Sugar' Rock

Lynn Drury's signature sound marries the grit of her native Mississippi with the funky grooves of her beloved New Orleans.

After making her mark on the Southern music scene, Drury is bringing her music west. This week, the singer and songwriter will debut her newest release, "Sugar on the Floor," to audiences in California and as far north as Ashland. She and her band will perform at 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, at Alex's Plaza Restaurant and Bar, 35 N. Main St., Ashland.

"Sugar on the Floor," released in April 2011, features 12 original songs that touch down in R&B, reggae, pop and country while accentuating Drury's soulful, sultry vocals.

The album is an autobiographical one that centers around Drury's personal life and relationships. Many of the songs were written in Italy, where she lived for a year with guitarist and former boyfriend Roberto Luti.

"Because I was pretty isolated there, I had ... a lot of time to myself," she says.

Soon after returning from Italy, Drury recorded the album with the help of New Orleans' Carlo Nuccio (drums), Alex McMurray (guitar), Tommy Malone (guitar), Ivan Neville (organ) and Matt Perrine (horns and strings).

"The title track is a really great power-pop and rock song," Drury says. "It's got Ivan Neville on organ, and he was able to put down a melodic hook that really makes the song."

Other songs have garnered positive reviews from OffBeat Magazine and various other New Orleans publications.

Although she's been a music aficionado for as long as she can remember, Drury was a late bloomer. She didn't learn guitar until after she moved to New Orleans in 1995 at the age of 25.

She says she found a guy in a bar who was willing to teach her, played from her home for a year and then "went out and got good."

"There's a big tolerance for different types of people in New Orleans and a great creative energy," she says. "I think that's why a lot of artists move there. Also, there's a party atmosphere."

OffBeat Magazine dubbed Drury's 2003 release, "Spun," the Best New Release of 2003. A year later, the magazine called her the Best Emerging Singer/Songwriter of the year.

Drury has released eight albums, including one with Luti and one with her "girl band," The Honeypots.

Cover to her show at Alex's is $5. Call 541-482-8818.

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