Problem Solved: Remastered 25th Anniversary Edition of David Ball's Thinkin' Problem Album Rolls Out November 15th - Unreleased Bonus Tracks Include Alternate Version of Thinkin'
It's that time of year again. No, not Christmas (back it up a step, TV movies - at least slip us in some Golden Girls)! But yes I admit I may be posting some Christmas tour news soon-ish) - - the time when we're supposedly given the festive gift of an extra hour of sleep (#DaylightSavingTime #DaylightSavingsTime #TurnBackTime #Etc.) when in actuality a lot of us inexplicably just stay wide awake for that time instead. Take a minute (pun intended) and you'll find plenty to support the thought that this season's greeting of a 4 p.m. sunset is often the onset of a little something known as "seasonal depression." Not exactly the barrel of laughs one likes to envision for their bucket (might even be more at home with a certain couple of words which rhyme with "bucket") list.
Now that I'm settled into the darkness of dark days, let's keep with the theme. The music of lovely and talented singer/songwriter Allison Moorer has always turned my head (maybe yours too). In fact it's done so for the better part of 20 years...dating back to pre-Viacom CMT (don't get me wrong - they're good again but it WAS a different time in country music TV land and hey despite my efforts, they're already not hiring me). But now Allison wants you to turn her pages, too in her new memoir simply/complexly titled Blood. (Oh and by the way she has a Master's of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing). I always adored her beautiful late-night/early-morning plea on "Send Down An Angel" from 2000's The Hardest Part, still do. But I had no clue then that The Hardest Part was based upon the story of her parents and their murder+suicide that ultimately befell the family. (She told No Depression magazine in 2000: "This record was inspired by the things I saw my mother go through. It’s not the true story, but it’s inspired by the true story."). Lately I'm pretty embarrassed by my then-cluelessness as Allison's story is being seen and told in not only expected outlets but also all throughout mainstream media - if you'd had told me 20 years ago that I would see Allison Moorer giving interviews and bandying about the word Blood on outlets such as CBS This Morning and Yahoo! News I would have called you crazy. But that's just how determined the ACM/Americana Music Award/Grammy nominee is to get her heart's message out there for anyone else who may have grown up with any sort of similar tragedy - and still find themselves praying for healing. For all of those (though most assuredly not without its hardships) the hope is that Allison's book Blood and its album of the same name shine a little light and even might just make for a soft place to fall. -Melissa Coker
Buy Blood on eBook and preview pages (including a powerful featured foreword by Allison's sister Shelby Lynne) here: https://amzn.to/2JLgIAQ
Listen to an Amazon Audible (audiobook) sample as read by Moorer and Lynne here (full book is free with Audible trial of $6.95 a month for 3 months): https://amzn.to/2PIxggS
Or hardcover here.
Blood audio CD ("There was always music," attests its Amazon entry): https://amzn.to/2C7SbSA
About the CD: The album Blood serves as a song cycle featuring ten tracks that directly connect to the people, emotions, trauma, and state of mind that are all detailed so eloquently in the memoir. Shortly after their parents passing, Shelby Lynne found the unfinished lyrics to a song in their father’s briefcase, which she wrote the music for. “I’m The One To Blame”, recorded bare, with only Moorer’s vocal and acoustic guitar, is a powerfully moving confessional. Moorer addresses depression and heartbreak (“Bad Weather”), terrified young sisters clinging to each other for support (“Nightlight”), the deep rooted character of their Mother (“The Rock And The Hill”), unfulfilled voids that resides within (“All I Wanted”) and the emotional finish line she hopes to reach one day (“Heal”). In 1999, Moorer penned “Cold Cold Earth”, a song about her parent’s last hours on earth but she was not ready to address the topic, let alone release it to the public. Her longtime producer Kenny Greenberg, who produced Blood, convinced her to release it as an unlisted hidden track on the album The Hardest Part (2000). Moorer chose to reclaim the song on Blood and officially reveal it to the public as a narrator with a voice of wisdom, life experience and a new perspective.
Watch the CBS This Morning interview below.
Country Hitmakers to Embark on Co-Headlining Holiday Tour
Unwrap your early Christmas present, folks: Following fans' overwhelming demand, Phil Vassar and Lonestar will co-headline a Christmas tour for the second year, with the 'Holiday & Hits' tour. The 13-city tour will kick off the first week of December and take the country hitmakers coast to coast (full list of dates available below). Tickets are on sale now at PhilVassar.com and LonestarNow.com. ***NOTE: Although not listed on the official tour dates, both Lonestar and Phil Vassar will be joining in at The Ryman in Nashville, TN on November 25th as part of the annual "Christmas 4 Kids" benefit. Tickets are available at Ryman.com. Christmas 4 Kids tickets benefit a local nonprofit that provides roughly 400 underserved Middle Tennessee children with a holiday season shopping spree.
Throughout each show, audiences will have the chance to hear Christmas standards as well as the artists' hits, including their original Christmas single "Not So Silent Night"(see shenanigan-filled video above). Prior to this years' tour, Vassar and Lonestar will re-record their single with the help of some friends, donating all the proceeds to the Salvation Army.
Lonestar, comprised of Richie McDonald, Michael Britt, Keech Rainwater and Dean Sams, released their first Christmas album, This Christmas Time, in 2000. The ACM and CMA award-winning group recorded 11 songs for the Dan Huff produced project, which featured new material such as the title track co-written by Sams and the touching “Reason For The Season” co-written by McDonald.
Vassar, who has headlined Christmas tours since 2009, released his first Christmas album, Noel, in 2011. The ten-track collection, co-produced by Vassar and Dane Bryant, showcases four of the ACM award-winning and ASCAP Songwriter of the Year’s original songs, including the humorous “Santa’s Gone Hollywood” and “Big Ol’ Texas Christmas,” a duet with Asleep at the Wheel’s Ray Benson. Previously, Vassar and Kellie Pickler headlined a sold-out holiday tour.
HOLIDAY & HITS TOUR DATES
Dec. 4 Angel of the Winds Casino Resort - Arlington, Wash.
Dec. 5 Admiral Theatre - Bremerton Wash.
Dec. 6 Chinook Winds Casino Resort - Lincoln City, Ore.
Dec. 7 Chinook Winds Casino Resort - Lincoln City, Ore.
Dec. 9 Bankhead Theater, - Livermore Calif.
Dec. 10 The Cascade Theatre - Redding, Calif.
Dec. 12 Pikes Peak Center - Colorado Springs, Colo.
Dec. 13 Isleta Resort & Casino - Albuquerque, N.M.
Dec. 14 Emporia Granada Theatre - Emporia, Kan.
Dec. 15 Paramount Theatre - Denver, Colo.
Dec. 19 Oxford Performing Arts Center - Oxford, Ala.
Dec. 20 Brown County Music Center - Nashville, Ind.
Dec. 21 Niswonger Performing Arts Center - Van Wert, Ohio
Dec. 22 Community Center Auditorium - Punxsutawney, Pa.
Hi. I'm a member of the country club. Country Music is what I love.