Country Music News - May/June 2004 -Page 8
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JUNE 10th - 13th, 2004

Cupit Records announces the signing of Kevin Sharp

Autograph signing times for Kevin Sharp at the Cupit Records Booth #319
Thursday, June 10th: 11:00am - 12:00pm & 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Friday, June 11th: 12:00pm - 1:00pm & 3:00pm - 4:00pm

Please stop by the Cupit Records Booth #319 for autographs and meet your favorite artist

Brad & Shelly
autograph signing times

Thursday, June 10th
1:00 - 2:00pm
3:00 - 4:00pm

Friday, June 11th
3:00 - 4:00pm

Saturday, June 12th
10:00 - 11:00am
3:00 - 4:00pm

Jerry Burkhart
autograph signing times

Thursday, June 10th
10:00 - 10:30am
3:00 - 4:00pm

Friday, June 11th
10:00 - 11:00am
3:00 - 4:00pm

Saturday, June 12th
11:00am - 12:00pm
3:00 - 4:00pm

autograph signing times

Thursday, June 10th
2:00 - 3:00pm

Friday, June 11th
11:00am - 12:00pm
3:00 - 4:00pm

Saturday, June 12th
12:00 - 1:00pm

Cupit Records, Inc. - A Division of Cupit Music Group. Cupit Records is a Nashville-based record label with offices in Tennessee, California and Louisiana. Cupit Records is distributed by KOCH.

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Loretta Lynn
"The First Lady Of Country Music"
Gets A Stunning New Sound
Courtesy Of Jack White

Sunday, June 6, 2004
Associated Press


Eerie guitar licks creak and swirl on Loretta Lynn's new album as she sings about a woman on death row: "Now they've strapped me in the chair / And covered up my eyes / And the last voice I hear on earth / Is my mama's cry."

The 69-year-old Lynn jolted country music 30 years ago with plainspoken feminist songs like "Rated X" and "The Pill." Now she's re-establishing herself with "Van Lear Rose," a sometimes dark collection produced by Jack White of the White Stripes.

White gives Lynn's twangy vocals and traditional instrumentation a rock edge, with loud drums and bursts of grungy guitar. There's a driving duet between the two called "Portland Oregon," a moody, atmospheric spoken-word song "Little Red Shoes" and a hand-clapping sing-along "High On a Mountaintop."

The loose sound is by design. Lynn's vocals were recorded in only one or two takes, and White used outside musicians instead of polished Nashville studio pros.

Lynn is pleased with the results, if not entirely sure what to make of them.

"It's different," she says in telephone interview from her home in Hurricane Mills. "This one's just raw. It's right out of the front room -- like we're sittin' in the front room singin'. I think that's what he was lookin' for, and that's what he got.

"The only thing I was worried about was the musicians. I thought 'Well, how we going to come out with this,' but it come out just as country as my first one, my first album."

At White's urging, all 13 of the album's tracks were written by Lynn. "He's as bad as (the late, famed Nashville producer) Owen Bradley about that," she says. "That's how Owen was."

White is a longtime admirer of Lynn's. He dedicated the White Stripes' breakthrough disc, 2001's "White Blood Cells," to her. Lynn's manager told her about it, and she wrote White a letter thanking him for the dedication and for the Stripes' cover of "Rated X." They became friends and even performed together in 2003 at a New York show.

When Lynn decided to record a new album, White was chosen to produce it.

"He's got a lot of energy," Lynn says. "He's still a kid, you know, so he feels like he can jump the river and turn around and jump back over. He don't think that nobody's any older than him."

Lynn's been a bit like that herself. Born into poverty in Butcher Holler, Ky., she married Mooney Lynn -- the man she calls "Doo" -- in 1948 when she was only 13. He cast her aside for another woman when she was pregnant with their first child. After reconciling, the couple moved to Washington state so Mooney could find work.

There, Lynn was a neglected and sometimes abused housewife and mother for more than a decade. But it was Mooney who bought her a $17 guitar and forced her to sing in public.

After the late start -- she was the mother of four children when she first sang in public -- Lynn rose quickly to stardom, recording 16 No. 1 hits, including her signature, "Coal Miner's Daughter." Her best-selling autobiography of the same name was the subject of a 1980 movie starring Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones.

Lynn's 48-year-marriage ended when Mooney died at their home in 1996.

Lynn's new songs have a fresh, urgent feel. "Have Mercy," "Portland Oregon" and "Mrs. Leroy Brown" are rockers. The title cut about Lynn's mother recalls Janis Joplin with its earthy vocals and heavy beat.

Lynn still writes about the hardships of being a woman. In "Family Tree" she revisits infidelity, aiming her scorn at the mistress rather than the cheating husband. "I brought along our little babies / 'Cause I wanted them to see / The woman that's burning down / Our family tree."

And in "Women's Prison," she takes a sympathetic view of the woman who shot her cheating lover. "I'm sittin' here on death row / And, Lord, I've lost my mind / For love I've killed my darlin' / And for love I'll lose my life."

"It's just another way to write about that instead of 'You Ain't Woman Enough' or 'Don't Come Home A' Drinkin,' " Lynn says. "If you write about something for so many years, you have to find a new way to say it."

She doesn't know if country radio will embrace her new album -- and doesn't seem to worry much about it, either. Most of the music she hears on the radio is too pop for her taste:

"I don't know what they're trying to do, but I knew what I was doing. Me and Jack went in to cut a country record."

From secretary to the next big thing in country music

By John Gerome
Associated Press

NASHVILLE, TN -Tuesday, June 01, 2004 - Julie Roberts is great at keeping secrets.

The country singer, whose debut single, "Break Down Here," is rising on JulieRoberts.jpg (15345 bytes)the charts, kept her musical aspirations quiet for more than a year - even while she worked as a secretary for Luke Lewis, the chairman of Universal Music Group Nashville.

By day, she answered telephones. By night, she sang in clubs and recorded demos with producer Brent Rowan.

"When I went through an internship, someone said that if you're a singer and you intern at a label, you're not supposed to tell because it's a conflict of interest," says Roberts, who broke into the business as an intern at Mercury Records.

"I was scared," she added. "I had bills to pay, and I needed the money."

This dual existence went on until Rowan, a veteran session guitarist, played Lewis some demo tapes featuring Roberts and two other singers.

"I played him a couple of songs by each artist, and Julie was last. I was in the middle of her first song and he said, 'Who is that?' " Rowan recalled.

"By the end he was pounding on the desk saying, 'You've got to tell me who that is.' "

When Rowan told him, Lewis was stunned.

"I thought he was kidding," Lewis says. "It kind of makes you feel foolish when you're the boss and you don't know as much about your employees as you think you do."

Roberts' self-titled album, released Tuesday, is a collection of blues-tinged country with hints of Bonnie Raitt and Dolly Parton. The sound is polished but uncluttered, with Roberts' sultry vocals carrying the songs rather than glitzy production.

She sings of relationships old and new and of taking risks. In "Just 'Cause We Can," a song about longing to take off on a whim for the Gulf Coast, she sings, "I bet you could get a gig sellin' hot dogs on the boardwalk/ And I could make a buck or two playin' Buffett tunes."

Vince Gill and Delbert McClinton make guest appearances as backup singers, and Rowan handles the electric guitar work.

A native of Lancaster, S.C., Roberts began singing as a child and by junior high was performing at festivals in the Carolinas and Georgia.

One recent morning at a Nashville diner, over oatmeal and scrambled egg whites, the 25-year-old blonde told the Associated Press that she developed her soulful style while singing with a group of older men at nursing homes.

"One guy in the band, his name was Oscar, he sang with a real bluesy sound, and every time he sang I would study it, and I would leave the nursing home and try to sing just like him," Roberts says. "That's really the first time I heard that sound."

She moved to Nashville in 1999, graduated from Belmont University and got the job at Mercury.

Roberts' Cinderella story was the subject of a Country Music Television special in which cameras followed her around for months as she made the transformation from secretary to country star.

Lewis, the label chief, says the story reveals a lot about Roberts.

"It's refreshing because a person in my position can get hit on by everyone," he says. "She was really respectful about it, and I thought that was classy."

And what happened after Roberts landed her big record deal?

"She stayed on two or three more months," Lewis says, "and helped train her replacement."

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