Allison Moorer

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Allison Moorer

Postby Elizabeth » Fri May 06, 2005 6:52 pm

I resisted starting a thread about Allison (my OTHER favorite) but since I know quite a few of us love her, I thought, why not?

This is a recent interview, the first in a long while, with Allison:


Tougher Than the Rest
Thursday, April 28, 2005

By Ed Bumgardner

relish staff wrtier

It's the fight that matters to singer Allison Moorer - not the outcome. Life is not about savoring victory laps; it's about wielding the bullish determination born of desperation and despair.

It's about never giving up, finding hope in adversity and being true to who you are.

Stare down life, hard and cold. Flinch in private.

"I don't know how to give up, and I don't know how to tiptoe," Moorer said, talking from a New York hotel room, where she was holed up writing songs for her next album. "My sister (singer Shelby Lynne) and I, we have this saying about life and making music - 'Grab it and growl.' It keeps me moving forward.

"I learned long ago that nothing in life is a sure bet."

Moorer, who will perform at MerleFest this weekend, was born into a musical family in Frankville, Ala., and became intimately acquainted with tragedy at an early age. She was still in her teens when her father shot and killed her mother, then killed himself. Moorer was home at the time.

For Moorer, a gifted singer, music became refuge and, more important, a source of emotional release, an outlet for joy, a catalyst for grief. "For me, making music has always been about my ability to express emotion," she said. "As a singer, I have to go to the dark places, the private places, to do my job the way I feel it needs to be done. And, yes, I have an emotional well to draw from.

"At the same time, I don't sit around and think about my past. In the bigger sense, I am over it. I am an adult. It's a part of life. (Stuff) happens, not just to me, but to everybody. I'm not special in that regard.

"I want my music to show people that there is a way to get past the hard times. If I do that, I've accomplished what I set out to do." She laughed. "That's not to say that what I seek to do has always been on the same page as the record labels I was working for."

Moorer came to national attention in 1998 on the strength of a remarkable song, "A Soft Place to Fall," the musical centerpiece of the hit film The Horse Whisperer.

The critical clamor was deafening. Moorer's big, soulful voice turned her into one of the most highly regarded new singers in Nashville. Her daunting debut album, Alabama Song, released on MCA, screamed that success was hers to take.

It didn't happen. Two strong albums for MCA reaped far more critical praise than radio play. Moorer moved to Universal South, along with Tony Brown, the head of MCA, and released two more albums, the grossly over-produced Miss Fortune, and a tough live album, Show - A Live Release. That was that.

"I felt from the very beginning that I didn't suit Nashville," Moorer said. "But Nashville wanted me, and I figured that they knew how to sell what I do. Unfortunately, they didn't do it well."

Moorer walked away educated from the experience. She knew music was personal. Making music was not about maintaining the status quo or fitting corporate perceptions of what she represented.

She signed with Sugar Hill, a small independent label, to release The Duel, an amazing album that is worlds away from the polished Nashville norm. The album celebrates Moorer's natural soulfulness and her Alabama roots with a raw, rootsy sound that draws from sources as diverse as vintage Southern soul and Neil Young. "The sound and feel of the album reflects the subject matter," Moorer said. "Any arguments about whether it is country or not are neither here nor there."

The guitars are loud, the band - which contains members of Superdrag and Stateside - is loose and rambunctious. Most of The Duel was recorded live in the studio - anathema to Nashville - and many of the vocal tracks are first takes. The album is blunt in its immediacy, and it heeds no musical master beyond Moorer. The songs are melancholy, but not devoid of hope. They probe without fear such subjects as loss of faith, alcoholism and death. The struggle to survive is reflected by Moorer's vocal performance - world-weary, evocative and earthy. The entire album sounds ... real.

"There are a lot of dark topics, but I feel that the album is essentially about the tremendous amount of strength it takes to survive," Moorer said. "The songs are about faith and love - and the struggle to maintain a positive point of view. One morning you wake up an optimist, the next time you wake up the world has gone to hell. That's the reality of life."

Moorer spent the last several months touring solo, a first for her. She recently wrapped up a solo tour opening for Steve Earle. "I found it great to work without a net," Moorer said. "It was totally new for me, and I found it freeing." She laughed. "At the same time, I am not ready to quit working with a band."

Moorer added that the new songs she is writing are for an album to be produced by Earle. It will mark the first time she has written songs without Butch Primm, her husband, from whom she is separated.

"This is something I would have done, no matter the status of my personal life," she said. "It was time. It's important to me, at this stage of my life, to have my voice heard as a songwriter, with no filters."

She fell silent. "It's time to start over again."

...................................................................................


Anybody who is a fan of Allison's knows that she and her husband Doyle Primm have collaborated on all the albums she has released but now, for the first time Allison is writing her songs alone. And her now boyfriend Steve Earle is going to produce her next album.

A lot of people have been saying shit about Allison and her personal life, I'd like to personally tell all of them to go screw themselves, but her music will keep her and the fans going, that's all that matters.

If you haven't checked out Allison's music start with The Duel. It's breathtaking.
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Postby Arlene » Sat May 07, 2005 11:34 pm

Hey Elizabeth (and anyone else who is interested). Allison Moorer will be the guest on Steve Earle's radio show tomorrow, Sunday night, May 8th from 10:00 to 11:00 pm EST on airamericaradio. Within three or four days, you should be able to listen to the show without the breaks by downloading it at http://steveearle.net/radio/
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Postby Elizabeth » Sat May 07, 2005 11:42 pm

Cool!

Thanks Arlene :D
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Re: Allison Moorer

Postby Arlene » Sun May 08, 2005 12:13 am

Elizabeth wrote:A lot of people have been saying shit about Allison and her personal life, I'd like to personally tell all of them to go screw themselves, but her music will keep her and the fans going, that's all that matters.

I love Allison Moorer's voice and I absolutely agree that the music is all that matters. I haven't been "saying shit" about her, but I confess I've thought to myself that I'd be concerned if I learned that ANYONE I cared about was getting involved with someone who had been married SIX TIMES before he reached the age of 50. I'm an enormous fan of Steve Earle's music and politics and I admire his passionate approach to all aspects of his life but that doesn't stop me from being skeptical about the long-term prospects for their relationship (which, I readily concede, is absolutely NONE of my business).
"You've got to sing like you don't need the money, love like you'll never get hurt. You've got to dance like no one is watching. It's gotta come from the heart, if you want it to work."
~Susannah Clark

"Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels." ~Molly Ivins

"If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner."
~Tallulah Bankhead

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Postby Elizabeth » Sun May 08, 2005 12:27 am

I agree Arlene. I don't think anybody can help but think her romance with Steve might soon end, considering his track record. But I think they will make some amazing music together.

People (some of her biggest fans) have turned on her since she split with Butch and it's sad to me. I can't imagine how hurt she must be over some comments on her own message board. I've always heard stories of how important her fans are to her.

I hope Allison finds happiness and shows all of her critics that she is a musical force to be reckoned with.
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Postby altCountryGuy » Sun May 08, 2005 12:44 am

Elizabeth, you go to the wrong allison board. Stephanie Irene's board hasn't had near as much crap about the breakup as her Official board.

Everybody needs a little forgiveness.

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Postby Elizabeth » Sun May 08, 2005 10:45 am

Well, Stephanie herself has said a few snotty things about Allison. But that's pretty typical coming from her.
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Postby Arlene » Sun May 08, 2005 12:45 pm

Also, Elizabeth. If you want to hear a half hour acoustic performance and interview with Allison Moorer archived on Acoustic Cafe, go to http://www.mlive.com/cafe/ and be sure to scroll down till you find her name.
"You've got to sing like you don't need the money, love like you'll never get hurt. You've got to dance like no one is watching. It's gotta come from the heart, if you want it to work."
~Susannah Clark

"Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels." ~Molly Ivins

"If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner."
~Tallulah Bankhead

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Postby Elizabeth » Mon May 09, 2005 12:48 am

Arlene wrote:Also, Elizabeth. If you want to hear a half hour acoustic performance and interview with Allison Moorer archived on Acoustic Cafe, go to http://www.mlive.com/cafe/ and be sure to scroll down till you find her name.


Wow, that is incredible!!!

I loved the intro to "All Aboard".

Allison's voice is just flawless. She is simply awesome.

The best part of the interview was when Allison says, "Lighten up? Nah."
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Postby keith from ny » Thu May 12, 2005 9:31 pm

Thanks, the Acoustic Café webcast is great -- I'm listening to it right now!

If any of you Allison fans are interested, I have a first-rate recording of her show at Mercury Lounge in NYC last summer, an amazing performance I attended myself. Her band is totally killer (even if Adam Landry is a fanatical Red Sox fan) and she's a real sweetheart, taking the time to talk to all her fans after her shows at Mercury Lounge and Southpaw in Brooklyn last year. And wow, that woman can sing!

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Postby Arlene » Fri May 13, 2005 7:17 am

keith from ny wrote:If any of you Allison fans are interested, I have a first-rate recording of her show at Mercury Lounge in NYC last summer, an amazing performance I attended myself.

I can attest that it's a great recording. (Keith sent it to me in the first trade we ever did.) If anyone wants it (hi there, Elizabeth :D ), I'm also a source.
"You've got to sing like you don't need the money, love like you'll never get hurt. You've got to dance like no one is watching. It's gotta come from the heart, if you want it to work."
~Susannah Clark

"Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels." ~Molly Ivins

"If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner."
~Tallulah Bankhead

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Postby Elizabeth » Mon May 30, 2005 1:41 pm

Apparently Allison has a cd coming out on the 7th of June.

It's titled:The Definitive Collection [ORIGINAL RECORDING REMASTERED]

So, this looks like a great cd to get introduced to Allison's music, if you haven't yet :wink:

I can't find a tracklist (I'm going a little crazy actually) but here is the cover:

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How exciting!
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Postby Elizabeth » Mon May 30, 2005 1:50 pm

Okay, found the tracklist.

Soft Place To Fall
Long Black Train
Alabama Song
Set You Free
Easier To Forget
Hardest Part, The
Is It Worth It?
Send Down An Angel
I Ain't The One
Moonshiner
Tumbling Down
Hey Jezebel
Steal The Sun
Dying Breed
Storms Never Last
Don't Cry No Tears
Let Go
I'll Break Before I Bend
Is Heaven Good Enough For You
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Postby Elizabeth » Sat Jul 30, 2005 2:02 pm

Okay, I'm bringing the discussion over here :D

I am suck a dork. Keith, now I see that you already posted pictures and talked about the Mercury Lounge show in this thread.

keith from ny wrote:Yes you're right, I am very fortunate to have seen Allison twice (so far). She is extremely gracious to her fans, she stayed around to talk to everyone who waited for her after both shows, so you can look forward to that. I hope you get a chance to see her with that killer band, I think she's only doing acoustic shows with Adam Landry right now warming up for Steve Earle. I'm curious to see what her songwriting is like without Butch, I assume that collaboration is over.


I might be mistaken but I think she's been going solo touring with Steve Earle. I think Adam is touring with someone else right now. And I think, unfortunately, that she and Adam might not work together again (because of the whole S.E. thing) but again I could be mistaken.

And yeah, I think it's safe to assume that her and Butch's collaboration days are over. It is very sad for me, as a fan, because I love their music. But I am so excited for Allison to finally show she DOES have writing chops.

On a side note, I'm not trying to feed the rumor mill but Allison and Steve are engaged and there is rumors she's pregnant (don't know if that's true however).
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Postby marybeth » Wed Aug 03, 2005 2:16 pm

Keith,could I have a copy of this show? My dad is a big Allison Moorer fan and he would probably love this! And I like her too. It doesn't also have Lori as warmup on it does it? That would just make my day.
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