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Lorrie Morgan: ‘Letting Go… Slow’ (Includes interview)

Born in Nashville, Tennessee on June 27, 1959, the daughter of golden-voiced country singer George Morgan made her debut on the Grand Ole Opry in 1972 at the tender age of 13.

After her father’s death in 1975, the already experienced vocalist – later to become known outside music circles for her turbulent personal life – briefly fronted his band before going solo and charting her first singles, “Two People in Love” and “Tell Me I’m Only Dreaming,” in 1979.

Letting Go… Slow is the title of the sassy star’s latest album, the first musical product to carry her name since Dos Divas, the excellent collection of duets she and Pam Tillis put out in 2013.

The new CD is 12 tracks of original songs and some interesting covers, including Bob Dylan’s “Lay Lady Lay,” Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode to Billy Joe” and Larry Gatlin and The Gatlin Brothers’ “I’ve Done Enough Dying Today.”

The first female country star in history to achieve three consecutive albums certified Platinum (Leave the Light On, Something in Red and Watch Me) began by commenting on why it’s taken her so long to release a follow-up to I Walk Alone.

“To be honest, I just kinda lost a little bit of confidence in my vocals and wasn’t pleased with what I was hearing on radio – they weren’t my kind of songs,” she admits. “I collected songs that I felt like were me and when I hooked up with my producer, Richard Landis, he totally agreed with me and thus came the album.”

Lorrie‘s wonderful voice sounds stronger than ever on this project. “I actually had, I guess, a downfall in my career,” she explains, revealing how she achieved this, “and I didn’t feel like any of the songs I was hearing were right for me. I didn’t feel like my voice fit into the category anymore…

“So I sang and I practised every day and did different songs, whether it was opera or rock ‘n’ roll or country. I would do all kinds of vocal exercises until I felt like I had the vocals I needed. Then of course I was looking for songs and had been holding on to some of these for about 10 to 12 years.”

Was the singer particularly conscious about the direction the album was to take and the tunes she wanted to include? “Definitely. I was very cautious of every song, every instrument. Richard Landis and I work so great together and we didn’t particularly think about radio…

“We went in there and did songs that were Lorrie. The fans are gonna go on iTunes or Amazon or my website to get this album and if radio embraces it, God bless – I certainly hope they do and we get some kind of miracle. But if it doesn’t, I didn’t sell myself short and I think the fans have always known me for that particular quality.”

As mentioned at the start, Ms. Morgan’s personal life has been rather tumultuous, though she has thankfully come out the other side and is happier now than she’s ever been.

Married six times (her husbands include fellow country singers Keith Whitley and Sammy Kershaw) and declared bankrupt in 2008, I wondered whether she ever felt that in her darkest moments she could have ended up like her friend, the late Mindy McCready.

“I think I had a little bit more faith in God,” she replies. “Not to say that she didn’t, but I always had a feeling God would pull me out from whatever rock I was under, and unfortunately some people don’t have that… I have a very close family and friends and a very close connection with God.

“When I lost my husband, Keith, I wanted to lay down and die, but I couldn’t bear the thought of being without my children and them being without me. Mindy, I think there were a lot more difficult problems than we all probably know about…

“I mean there are days I do want to give up, don’t get me wrong, especially in this business. It’s not a business for sissies and you get old and you get tired and you don’t have the record deals you had anymore.

“Things can really get you down, but you gotta call on your friends and God to get you through it and I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve been one of the lucky ones that have been able to march through those fires.”

Letting Go… Slow will be available to buy or download from February 12.

For more on Lorrie Morgan, visit her official website.

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