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| 6 January 2016 | Reply

I can’t turn down an opportunity to speak with a legend – regardless of the genre… especially when I think that legend rocks.  Lorrie Morgan is no stranger to country fans, but she has recorded with The Beach Boys, covered Bob Dylan songs, and lived a very rock and roll life style, while maintaining a country grace through the years.  Lorrie’s unapologetic approach to life and music is refreshing, but her musical pedigree stands on its own as well.  She was the first female country artist to have three albums in a row certified platinum.  Now she is taking the bull by the proverbial horns and releasing her first disc of solo material in five years.  In advance of that release, we were able to get her on the phone for a short chat…


Toddstar: What an honor and privilege it is to speak to the legend Lorrie Morgan.

Lorrie: Thank you.

Toddstar: Life is exciting for you right now. You’ve got an album getting ready to come out February 12th – Letting You Go… Slow.

Lorrie: That’s right.

Toddstar: What can you tell us about this album, Lorrie? I’ve had the honor of listening to it, but what are a couple things that your fans may not grab the first or second time through this album.

Lorrie: They probably are not going to grab “Lay Lady Lay” very well. It was a stretch for me, and I’m a big Bob Dylan fan. I’ve always loved the song. I’d wanted to cut it for years, and put it off, and put it off. My husband finally said, “Cut it. It’s your album. Cut it if you want to cut it,” and so I did. People said, “Well, why didn’t you change the lyrics to Lay Baby Lay?” I said, “You want to be the one to change Bob Dylan lyrics? I’m not going to change it.” My producer came and said, “Hey, what do you think about, let’s change it up a little bit and make it kind of more you, and put some reggae in it.” I said, “Now when have I ever cut a reggae song?” He started laughing. He said, “Well, I don’t mean really you, but let’s change it up a little bit and make it a little more interesting for a Lorrie Morgan cut.” I said, “Great.” He played me what he had in mind.  Richard and I work great in the studio, my producer Richard Landis. We work great in the studio, because we really take to heart each other’s ideas, and we know each other very, very well. When he mentioned that I said, “All I can do, Richard, is try it, and if I like it then I like it,” and I fell in love with it. I think that probably, Todd, to be honest with you, this song would be the only one the fans would be kind of, “What is this about?” My true fans know that I love all kinds of music, and so it probably won’t surprise a lot of them that I put a Bob Dylan song on there.

Toddstar: That’s the beauty of this album, is it doesn’t matter whether it’s a cover, an original, or even a remake of one of your own tracks. This is all Lorrie Morgan in 2015/16. To me it’s a quintessential sounding album. It’s got your classic sound, but you can show that you’ve matured and picked up a little more modern edge.

Lorrie: Well thank you, I appreciate it. That was our intent. Half of these songs, Todd, I’ve held onto for 5 or 6 years, that I’ve had in my back pocket, waiting for the right time to bring them to surface. When I played them for Richard he was just astounded. He was just blown away by the songs that I had found. Of course, he found a couple of them as well. We always agree on each… unless it’s just really a POS, we really do agree on most of the records. It’s just who I am right now in my life. When we started talking about doing this album, I said, “The only way I’m going to do an album, number one, is if a record label is ballsy enough to say, ‘Let’s let her go. Let’s let her go in the studio and see what she comes up with.'” We just felt free in the studio. It was fun, we surrounded ourselves with not just the best musicians in Nashville, but the ones who make me feel … They support me, and they get me, and they’re fun, and we laugh. You could be with the most talented person in the world and they make you feel like a moron, and I don’t want them around me. We hand-picked every musician, every engineer, and it was a magical moment for me.

Toddstar: That’s great.

Lorrie: I know that sounds cliché. A lot of artists say, “Oh, it was just magic. It was just a magical moment,” but truly for me, it was everything I wanted it to be, everything I dreamed that it would be.

Toddstar: You can tell in the recording. To build on that, somebody would have to know it was magic for you, because it took you five years to finally say, “I’m going to do this.”


Lorrie: Yes, it did take 5 years. It did.

Toddstar: How different is it now to go into a studio and put together an album than it was 5, 10, 20 years ago?

Lorrie: Well, the difference for me I think now, Todd, was that I wasn’t so worried about radio. Back then it was like, “Oh god, we’ve got to be better than our last record. Radio will never play this, or radio …” We didn’t concentrate on radio. We concentrated on fans, and what my fans would love to hear, and what I personally would buy if I was out buying an album or CD these days. We didn’t cater to radio, and that may sound terrible, and I love radio, don’t get me wrong, but that’s not my forte right now. I’m not queen of the radio right now. I’m more about selling these albums at my shows, and selling them online, and people like what we’re doing. I thank God for that.

Toddstar: I love what you’re doing now. This album from top to bottom just blows me away. Even the “Lay Lady Lay” cover. What really intrigued me, are two songs, and they’re near the end.; I know that everybody has a reason for their track list, but I love “What I’d Say” and “How Does it Feel” especially the latter, which is a remake of one of your own tracks. “What I’d Say” to me is a song that captures your sound and spirit. It brings everything you’ve ever brought to the table. What’s your mindset when you’re going into a song like “What I’d Say,” or when you go back and retouch a song of yours like “How Does it Feel?”

Lorrie: Well, I can’t take credit for “What I’d Say.” Richard Landis picked that song, and being an Earl Thomas Conley fan, I’ve always loved the song. I just wondered if I could do it justice. I guess I go from the depth to how I feel if I ran into somebody that I really didn’t care for, and I really put myself in that position. I lived it, I lived that song. I swore I would never cut another song that I didn’t feel, I couldn’t feel it, it was just a song, again, to play for radio, or to be a number one record. I lived with that song for a couple months. Richard kept saying, “Just listen to it. Try and get into it. Try and put yourself in it.” I finally got it one night after cracking open a bottle of Cabernet, I was like, “Okay, I get it.” “How Does it Feel” was a song I wrote probably 10 years ago with Kelly Lang and Mark Oliverius. I was going through a divorce, and it was a terrible divorce. I was in the bathtub and I was just drowning in my own bubbles. I called my friend Kelly, and I said, “How do you know? How do you know when to let go? Is there a sign? Does something all of a sudden go, ‘Okay, now it’s time to walk away.’ How does it feel?” She said, “Hey, bitch, hold on. I’m going to get a piece of paper and pen and write this down.” She left me sitting there hanging, crying on the phone while she went and got this pen and started writing this song. I’m like, “Geez, I guess that’s how it feels.” I don’t know, so she went and got a pen and paper, and we started writing the song right there on the phone, and came up with the melody the next day at Mark Oliverius’s house. It was just a beautiful song. It’s just one of those songs that each line fell into place.

Toddstar: Again, one of my favorite cuts on the disc.

Lorrie: Thank you.

Toddstar: How different is everything now looking back? You’ve always been yourself, from Leave the Light On, back in 1989, to now. How different is your approach to live shows and touring than it was way back when?

Lorrie: Well, it’s more fun, because I am more myself on stage. People now see a funnier side to me. They know I have a great sense of humor. We laugh a lot during my shows. It’s a show where we go from happy songs, to sad songs, to you won’t believe this, what happened to me, it’s story telling. I want people who come to my show to know me, and to know my songs. Whereas years ago we were very choreographed. Everything was lights and choreographed, and you step into this light at this certain time, and blah, blah, blah. Now it’s just, hey, we’re all in my living room together. Let’s sit back, relax, and talk, and I’ll tell you stories, and we’ll sing. It’s a lot different, because I’m not worried about the things I worried about then. All my children are grown; I have beautiful 6 grandkids now. I just feel like I’ve come into my own, Todd, and I’m not afraid to have a shot of tequila onstage, or say what I feel politically, or say what I feel. I’m at a better place with my life.


Toddstar: Lorrie, you genuinely are a walking, talking country song, you know.

Lorrie: I am, aren’t I?

Toddstar: To be able to take your own attitude on the stage and deliver it is perfect. You’ve covered quite a few songs in your career. Are there any out there that you haven’t covered yet that you’d like to?

Lorrie: I’m sure there are. I’d really like to do a blues album. I also want to do a gospel album. I think the gospel album will probably be my next album that I want to do, but I want to do it reverently. I want to do the songs that I can remember coming in and hearing my mom. After school I’d come in and she’d only play piano when we were gone. She’d sit upstairs and she’d play the piano, and she’d sing these gospel songs, and I’d sit on the stairs a lot of times and listen to her before she ever knew I was home. Those are the kind of songs I want to do. Not necessarily the most popular songs, but songs that take me back to my religion. Of course, we were brought up Catholic, but my mom always had a Baptist piano book there at the table, and at the piano, so I learned a lot of different songs. There’s a lot that I want to do still. I really do want to do a blues album, but I think my next one I’d like to do is some Gospel.

Toddstar: Excellent. One last one Lorrie. Looking back, if you could pick 1 or 2 things that you’d like to be remembered for or that you’re most proud of, what would it be?

Lorrie: Without sounding stupid, probably that I had a great sense of humor, and I was a true friend.

Toddstar: Not stupid at all. As a matter of fact, it’s the most succinct answer that anybody’s ever given me to that question. Lorrie, I wish you well with Letting You Go… Slow when it comes out February 12th.

Lorrie: Thank you, Todd.

Toddstar: We also wish you the best out on the road. You’re getting ready to start up some tour dates here, in a couple days. Hopefully we’ll get you in the Detroit area very soon.

Lorrie: Oh, I’d love to. Yeah. Home of Kid Rock.

Toddstar: Home of Kid Rock, that’s right.

Lorrie: I love him.

Toddstar: Don’t we all.

Lorrie: I love him. He’s a good friend of mine, and I just … He’s just a true blue guy. I love him. All right. Happy New Year.

Toddstar: Thanks for your time and good luck. Same to you Lorrie.

Lorrie: Bye.






Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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