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Pam Tillis returns in April with new CD

Tuesday, January 30, 2007 – About five years after a tribute disc to her father, Pam Tillis will be back in April with a new album, "Rhinestoned."

Co-produced by the trio of Tillis, Matt Spicher (Marty Stuart, Ricky Skaggs) and Gary Nicholson (Delbert McClinton, Wynnona), the new CD is her first independent release, due April 17 on her own Stellar Cat label, marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers and RED Distribution.

With "It's All Relative," her tribute to her father Mel Tillis, Tillis combed through her father's catalog. "That was the first record I ever made where I wasn't concerned about having to come up with three singles," she said.

Tillis indicated the new album on her own label gave her a lot of artistic freedom "This is an A&R-free zone," she said. "It's a bookend to the Dad album, except it has all new songs. It's like a bridge between the present and the past."

"If you look at my record collection circa 1974," Tillis said, "you'd see Emmylou, Graham Parsons, Waylon Jennings, Don Williams, Linda Ronstadt, and Neil Young. Flying Burrito Brothers - hippie country I call it - that was some of the best music that ever came out of this town. Maybe it wasn't happening on country radio at the time, but it sold record and built careers. It was the vibrant scene on the fringes of country, which was very cool - just as it is today."

The "Rhinestoned" sessions started in 2004. Beginning with around 20 songs, Tillis and Spicher whittled the number down to 10, which they cut and set aside. A few months later, they repeated the process. And then, after reflecting for a while on what she had accomplished, Tillis decided something wasn't right. She talked about it with her trusted friend and writing partner Gary Nicholson and reached a critical decision.

"It needed to be more country," she said. "I played what we had for Gary, brought him into the picture, and suddenly it felt like we weren't wandering in the woods anymore. When I found the song 'Band in the Window,' suddenly I could see and hear the whole project in my mind right down to the t-shirts," Tillis said.

Since she began her country music career, Pam Tillis racked up 6 number 1 singles and 14 top 10 hits, racking up sales of over 5 million. In 1994, Tillis was crowned CMA's female vocalist of the year. Other milestones have included two Grammy awards and a slew of ACM and Grammy nominations. She self produced her "All of this Love" album which yielded 2 Top 5 hits. As an actress, she starred in Leiber and Stoller's "Smokey Joe's Café" on Broadway as well as "Promise Land" and "LA Law." Tillis was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2000.

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CD reviews for Pam Tillis

Just in Time for Christmas CD review - Just in Time for Christmas
Pam Tillis takes a supper club approach to Christmas music. It may be the holiday season, but Tillis has put male/female relationships prominently under her tree, right along with all her other presents. Songs like "Christmas Waltz," "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" and "I'll Be Home For Christmas" all point out the social nature of this popular season. Many arrangements sound the way a piano man might sing them at his piano bar. »»»
Rhinestoned CD review - Rhinestoned
Pam Tillis' first non-major label disc, "Tillis Sings Tillis," reminded listeners that Mel's daughter had strong roots in his brand of traditional country. She takes advantage of her continued independence on this new release on her own label to venture not just into traditional fare, but pop, rock and even bit of cabaret jazz style. The end result is a widely varied and enjoyable album that's still commercial-sounding enough that one could imagine many of these songs on »»»
It's All Relative - Tillis Sings Tillis
Lucky Dog reverses their usual equation (matching outsider acts with mainstream producers) by combining a proven Nashville hitmaker with rootsy producer, Ray Benson (Asleep at the Wheel). Their meeting ground is the rich, decade-spanning songbook of the singer's father, Mel Tillis, with results that perfectly amplify the combination of songwriter and singer. Pam Tillis has written, recorded and produced her share of hits, but none with the emotional charge of tackling her father's songbook. »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Girls with Guitars show voices – With the official departure of Taylor Swift from the genre, country music is eager to find replacement star power. Pittsburgh's annual Girls with Guitars show is proving to be a nebula. This year's crop of artists featured former "The Voice" contestants (one winner), a television star and some local flair. Texas cutie... »»»
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