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.
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