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Heather Myles takes her time

By Jeffrey B. Remz, July 2002

Page 2...

The disc closes with a ballad made famous by Julie London, "Cry Me a River.

"I like all kind of music besides country music," says Myles. "That's one of the songs that I really felt was cool...I wanted to countrify it every so slightly, but not lose its feel. I liked that song a lot as it is. I just liked that bluesy feel it has. I thought lyrically it could really work as a country song. I wanted to put steel (guitar) on that...and not ruin it. I thought we could take it to another place.

The disc also includes Glen Campbell's megahit "By the Time I Get to Phoenix.

"I live that song," says Myles. "It's very autobiographical. I've been there, done it. It does bring back childhood memories. I remember that song as a l little girl being such a huge hit. I liked it as a child, and then I ended up living the song. I don't recall anyone else ever singing it. It really does lend itself to a woman singing the song. It's actually one of my favorite songs on the album.

The advance thinking of how to tackle the song did not exactly materialize.

"We were going to do this, we were going to do that," she says. "I said, 'why?' It's not broke. We just tracked it and left it alone. I said, 'let's not even do any harmony on it. Let's just leave it that way.'

Myles, who recalls Tammy Wynette vocally, makes it clear where she's at musically in her anti-Nashville establishment song, "Nashville's Gone Hollywood," where she sings, "move over Ernest Tubb, Nashville's gone Hollywood.'

Myles said Nashville's Broadway "was once a very cool, hip, very honky tonk kind of scene there. It's kind of turned into Disneyland. That's what the song is about. I hate to see that even though I'm from there (she owns housing there)...I don't want to see it turn into Hollywood. Every time, I go there, there's some building and a new stadium. I wrote a song awhile (back) called 'Changes.' Changes don't come easy to me.

"On the music side, that's been coming for a long time," Myles says of the changes. "That's just really gone a way that I would really like to see traditional country music come to the forefront again. I really hope it's not forgotten. It seems to get worse and worse at radio. I mean every word of it.

Well not quite actually. The song contains a line about appearances on Jay Leno, who has been a supporter of country music.

So if Leno calls, asking Myles to appear on the show, "I'll be on Jay Leno tomorrow. I just don't want to lose my musical sense.

Fat chance.

When she sings in a shuffle "I hope your little homewrecker's crazy about you" in the jilted lover's lament, "Homewrecker Blues," you know this is traditional country with traditional themes.

Ditto the shuffle of the title track where the woman falls for "sweet talk and good lies.

With attitude too - la "Sweet Little Dangerous" about a ballsy woman.

Myles seemingly always has done things her own way.

Home was the Three C Ranch in Riverside, a thoroughbred race horse training center with about 50 horses there at any one time. Myles' father was a trainer, who managed the ranch. Her grandfather was a jockey for about three decades at the Santa Anita track.

"My mother was a big country music fan. She was the one that really laid the groundwork for me. She was a huge Loretta Lynn fan, Hank Williams. Every year, we would drive to Canada in a Ford (Myles' mother is Canadian), and she would play these Loretta Lynn and Hank Williams 8-track tapes. I would get tired of it, but I know every Hank Williams and Loretta Lynn song. People would say you say sound Loretta Lynn. No wonder. 16 years of Loretta.

"I guess I've always been a born adventurer," says Myles. "The music seemed to be a born adventure. I thought it would be a real challenge. I loved music. I wanted to be a songwriter. I wanted to be a singer, but I was afraid. I was very afraid...I had no one to go to (for advice).

So, Myles wandered into a local record store, Liers Music in Riverside. Myles says she went there because she thought "maybe someone here can help me.

"I saw this guy at the counter, and I said I made this tape for my mother. I went into a studio in Canada - I put down two Loretta Lynn songs, a Patsy Cline song. I asked him, 'I want to know what you think.'

"This guy (Fred Stuart) ended up like getting me into my first band and was really my musical inspiration in a lot of ways. He guided me, my spiritual musical guide. He kind of steered to me to the right people. There was nothing ever romantic.

Myles recalls Stuart telling her, "'It just so happens I'm in a country music band. I play guitar. Maybe you can sit in with us, and we're kind of looking for a singer'. The next day I rehearsed with them. Two weeks later, I ended up taking over the band.

Myles was 24 at the time. "I was a late bloomer," she says. I got into the business late because I was scared to leave the family business. I was afraid to leave the horse business.

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