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Moorer Better Blues

Nashville neo-trad songwriter Allison Moorer's sad songs say so much. Just don't ask her about her famous sister.

That much is obvious from one spin of Miss Fortune. The songs are country at their roots but take on a more soul-and-pop flavor thanks to R.S. Field's production -- particularly the Beatlesque strings and slide guitar on the lead single, "Cold in California." Other songs, such as "Hey Jezebel" and "Going Down" rock out, showing a new facet of Moorer's musical personality.

"There was a lot more time and attention paid to little details on this record," she says. "That's not to say I'm not happy with my two previous records -- I am -- it's just I felt like I needed a change, and I felt like I needed to take a step forward."

Some who have heard the bittersweet "Cold in California" have been asking Moorer whether the song was written for her sister, a notion that seems to vex her in the extreme. Reports have relations between the two as distant. And Lynne, after all, does live in California.

Allison Moorer: Not a cynic, not a pessimist, but not an idiot either.
Allison Moorer: Not a cynic, not a pessimist, but not an idiot either.

"Well, so do a lot of other people," Moorer shoots back. "I've just heard that so many times. And I'm, like, 'Oh, OK ... well, no.' Contrary to popular belief, my sister and I are very close and get along very well. We just don't talk about each other in the press."

OK, duly noted.

For now, Moorer is content to prep for her upcoming tour and to continue enjoying life in Nashville, where she may not be a big star but has definitely found her niche.

"There are so many talented people here," she says. "That's one of the great things about living in this city. It can be very inspiring. You can sit around with some amazing people in somebody's living room playing guitars. But here's my advice: If you're gonna play, you better be sure to do one of your best songs."

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