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Pistol Annies member readies disc

Monday, November 26, 2012 – Ashley Monroe, a member of the trio Pistol Annies, will release her first Warner Nashville solo album, "Like A Rose," to digital outlets on Dec. 18.

The physical CD drops at retail Jan. 22, 2013.

Monroe, 26, spent her childhood in Knoxville, Tenn., where she immersed herself in all varieties of music ranging from country - she's not-too-distantly related to members of the legendary Carter Family - to rock, pop, rap and even opera. When she was 11, Monroe won a talent contest singing I Want To Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart, and 2 years later, her father gave Monroe her first guitar.

Shortly thereafter Monroe's father was diagnosed with cancer and died when she was 13. The young girl immersed herself in music. Monroe and her mother moved to Nashville so that Monroe could pursue her dream.

Within a year Monroe had signed a song publishing deal, secured a recording contract and released a single, Satisfied. But her record label merged with a larger company and declined to release her already-recorded album.

In 2008, Monroe cut an EP with singer-songwriter Trent Dabbs and a few years later, at the invitation of Jack White, she sang background vocals on an album he was producing by country-rockabilly singer Wanda Jackson. Monroe also contributed vocals to Bruises on the album "California 37" by the rock band Train.

Monroe also had time to form Pistol Annies in 2011with her friend Miranda Lambert, whose chart-topping hit Heart Like Mine Monroe co-penned, and newcomer Angaleena Presley.

Vince Gill produced the new Monroe disc. "We just got the band in a circle and started playing the songs," Monroe said, "and once we felt like we had a feel for it, I'd do my vocal live - I never went back in to do a second vocal. Everyone put everything we had into the songs. There was a buzz in the room. We all had fun - it felt like a big old family, the way records used to be made."

Some of the songs were newly written for the album; others date back several years. The semi-autobiographical title track was co-written about six years ago with Guy Clark.

Monroe co-wrote You Got Me with Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild. It's about an addiction to something - one thing or another, whether you're stuck in a bad relationship or alcohol or whatever it is - and you try to hide it and fight it but you're kind of saying, 'Alright, you got me'," she said.

On a more light-hearted note is You Ain't Dolly (And You Ain't Porter), a duet featuring Blake Shelton

"Used is an update of a song that appeared on Monroe's "Satisfie"d album. "It came to me when I was about 17, and my manager at the time had just bought me this old 1950s Gibson guitar," she said. "It came into my mind that things are worth more used, and I thought about my mom, who had lost my dad when she was 38. I was thinking, she had two kids, she's been through a lot, and, bless her heart, it's all gonna be worth it. Vince and I worked up this new version, which made it fresh for me."

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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. »»»
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