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."
More news for Pistol Annies
CD reviews for Pistol Annies
For those who thought "Hell on Heels" was a one-off side project for Miranda Lambert (along with sidekicks Angaleena Presley and Ashley Monroe), think again. The Annies, aka "Lonestar Annie" (Lambert), "Hippie Annie" (Monroe), and "Holler Annie" (Presley), are no novelty act. Instead, they tackle material that you just are unlikely to hear on mainstream country radio both in subject matter and sonics.
Like the debut, this one also makes it quite clear that »»»
One might think that given the presence of Miranda Lambert, Pistol Annies are some sort of unworthy side, vanity project for Lambert in between discs. They also would be most wrong because this is not just Lambert and a few sidekicks.
Nope. This is a full-fledged, hardcore country trio album (Ashley Monroe and Angeleena Presley are Lambert's partners in crime) and an excellent one at that. The disc takes no prisoners to say the least, making that clear from the get go »»»
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: 19 years later, Harris returns with "Wrecking Ball"
At one point, Emmylou Harris told the crowd that she could not believe it had been 19 years since she released "Wrecking Ball." That was most understandable because based on this concert tour devoted towards playing the left of center atmospheric disc, the song bird has hardly missed a beat.
Harris' label, Nonesuch, just released a... »»»
Concert Review: Hurray for the Riff: more than just a great name
Hurray for the Riff Raff is one well-named group. Not that it signifies all that much musically, but at least it's catchy and makes you want to root for the underdog. With a lot to live up moniker wise, the band in concert - which, in reality, is lead singer Alynda Lee Segarra from New Orleans and her backing mates - more than lived up to the "pressure.... »»»
Country News Digest
Elsewhere in the news
Currently at the CST blogs
For 25 years, Gerry House spent every weekday morning in people's living rooms. As the host of the much-loved and much-acclaimed morning show, Gerry House and the House Foundation, House reigned on the airwaves on Nashville's WSIX-FM from 1983-2010, taking a brief hiatus to work for WSM-AM in Nashville and for KLAC in Los Angeles.... »»»
Expectations of being a "Carter Girl" - the way Carlene Carter refers to herself with her latest album title - must be extremely daunting at times. "It's as difficult as you want to make it," Carter explains. "I've always just embraced the fact that I was born into this family and very proud to be part of it." However, much like her mother, June Carter Cash, Carlene has always been a free spirit and fiercely individualistic.
To take a page from Judy Collins' notebook, Lydia Loveless has seen life from both sides now. After a childhood in tiny Coshocton, Ohio, a move to Columbus and a gig playing bass in her family's new wave/rock band as a teenager, Loveless set out on her own musical path at the age of 17. In 2010, the 20-year-old Loveless released her debut album, "The Only Man," which was critically acclaimed but just barely heard by the general public.... »»»
It might have been easier, and certainly less emotionally taxing, had Carlene Carter just recorded a batch of Carter Family songs using vocal muscle memory alone. However, as soon as you hear Carter describing the losses of loved ones during "Lonesome Valley," you realize right away this is not just some sort of capitalization on a revered family name. It's a personal testimony. »»»
Where It All Began
Dan + Shay debut with a likable disc, if your bent is the Rascal Flatts world of country. In fact, Dan Smyers of Pittsburgh and Shay Mooney of Arkansas come mighty close to mimicking the longstanding country stars with the biggest difference that they're a duo and Rascal Flatts is a trio. Perhaps the similarities ought come as no surprise because the duo started writing the day after they met in Nashville in December 2012. Guess who placed their first song on hold? Rascal Flatts. »»»
Turn It Up
Josh Thompson's sophomore release, "Turn It Up" is his first on Toby Keith's Show Dog label. It seems to be a good match because both artists are cut from the same cloth. Thompson is also known as a champion of the everyman. Turns out they both have the same tendency to go over the top. Thompson excessively showcases the blue collar lifestyle the way Keith champions patriotism. »»»
Working Man's Poet: A Tribute To Merle Haggard
Another year, another Merle Haggard tribute, it seems. Is that five or six tribute albums to the Hag? Whatever the count, these songs never get old. In fact, it's good to hear the ol' Hag's tunes interpreted by a new set of country performers. Though none of the tributes - this one included - can touch the "Tulare dust" tribute of the mid-1990s, this 20-song collection provides some great moments. Toby Keith turns in the best performance with "Carolyn"... »»»
Jerrod Niemann's new "High Noon" album is better than the annoying single, "Drink to That All Night," might lead you to believe. Fortunately, the album is not completely a Luke Bryan sound-alike. Even so, there are moments where Niemann sometimes sounds a little too much like his musical contemporaries. »»»
Out Among the Stars
One would think that with all the archival music, reissues and postmortem tributes released on Johnny Cash's behalf, the vaults would have been scraped pretty clean by now, with only scraps left for dedicated completists to feast upon. So it comes as no small surprise to find that the Cash archivists actually uncovered some entire sessions that haven't been unearthed until now. »»»