Country Music News - November/December 2004 - Page 2
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Mark Holt and Kimberlee Holt Tully

   Country music artists, Mark Holt and Kimberlee Holt Tully, have been asked to perform during the Wrangler PRCA National Finals Mark HoltRodeo! They will be performing for the Cowboy Heritage Artists & Photographers Society's (CHAPS) National Western Art Show & Sale at the Excalibur Resort Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas from December 8th thru 11th, for several sets daily between 10am and 4pm. Admission is free.
   This brother and sister team recently released their debut album, "Acoustically Native", which was produced by Bil VornDick, who has also worked with Alison Krauss.
   Dianna Watson ("Kiwi Kate" from "Hot Off the Press" radio shows in New Zealand) says, "This is the most fantastic, beautiful album I've heard in a long time. The Instrumentation is outta' this world."
   Mark Holt and Kimberlee Holt Tully do not really fit neatly into any specific label, and that is exactly how they want it to be. However, they do have a very western and bluegrass sound to their music.
   Joe Chernicoff from CowboyArtShow.Com in Las Vegas describes them as a "little bit of old time, mixed with mountain music...working together to make you believe you're really in the west...just like it used to be!"

   For more information, please contact Laura at or 614-748-9627.

Publicity House/Wildfire
PO Box 558, Smyrna, TN 37167
Phone: 614-748-9627
Fax: 760-437-4633
Email: or
Web site:

Tracy Lawrence Interview

Reprinted with permission from

Tracy Lawrence
By: Maxine Macpherson

During a recent phone conversation, Tracy Lawrence discussed recording his new CD (his first off the DreamWorks label) Strong.

Tracy LawrenceCIO (Maxine): Your new CD Strong was released a few months ago. This is your 10th album since the first was released in 1991. With several going platinum and double-platinum, you’ve been very successful picking great songs. What do you look for?
Tracy: I have a weird method for selecting songs. I get three to four thousand songs sent to me, and I listen to every one of them myself. Some I might only listen to the first 10 seconds – some have redundant lyrics and so many songs sound alike! But if it makes it past the first time, I listen to it again. I listen to the songs over and over to see if they keep making the list. If they do, then I know that if I still like them – then they’ll stand the test of time. Then I’ll record it.

CIO (Maxine): Did you include any of your own songs?
Tracy: This is the first CD where I haven’t written anything. It was very hard, but I seemed to have a real writer’s block. I kept trying and trying and couldn’t get started. There were a lot of things going on in my life – we, my family, were moving to a new house, I had two little kids – just things going on. I finally resolved that I wasn’t going to write and went into the studio. I have already written a lot for my next album and I hope I don’t ever have to record a CD again without writing for it.

CIO (Maxine): You made 8 albums for Atlantic, 1 for Warner Brothers and now DreamWorks. What was it like to change labels after so much time?
Tracy: It was good. I made 9 records really for Atlantic and then they folded into Warner Brothers. I was in the middle of recording [the Tracy Lawrence album, released in 2001] and was performing when I got a call saying that I could go with Warner Brothers or leave. A lot of people from the label were packing and leaving. I asked if I could finish recording and they agreed so I went with them. But things in the industry were changing. Labels used to have an artist list with like 9 people. Now so much was folded into one – they had like 40. I felt like the bastard stepchild. DreamWorks was like a second chance. Nashville is a rough town – it's a young man’s town. But I have always networked well; I know a lot of record executives and am probably one of the few that can walk into their offices without a manager and talk. I needed to rebuild myself – “Paint Me a Birmingham” was my first hit single in 5 years! That’s a long time for Nashville.

CIO (Maxine): James Stroud produced the CD. He’s worked with Toby Keith, Darryl Worley, Jimmy Wayne and others. What was it like working with him?
Tracy: Great! It was like putting on a pair of old shoes. He produced my early CDs and it was great being back with him.

Tracy LawrenceCIO (Maxine): Your early songs were about honky-tonks, hard times and lost loves. Strong seems to be more about family – like “Stones,” which talks about marriage and children and the title song about single mothers. Are you more settled now?
Tracy: Definitely. There’s a lot different in my life – my family has given me a new perspective and new areas to look at. My wife is a very big influence on this record and in my life. I have new responsibilities and it’s reflected in the record. I wanted the song “Strong” to be the second single, but it just didn’t work out that way. There is nothing like family to settle you.

CIO (Maxine): “What The Flames Feel Like” is about someone hitting rock bottom and working their way back up. Does it hit close to home? Was this a difficult song for you?
Tracy: That song did hit home. It’s important to make a song personal – you have to have a personal understanding of what the song is saying to make it work for you. DreamWorks is a second chance for me; I felt a lot of pressure to make this a really good CD. I want to work my way back up.

CIO (Maxine): You’ve certainly had some ups and downs in your career. Did you ever have a period when you doubted you’d be back?
Tracy: No. I’ve always known what I was meant to do. Even back as a kid in high school when others didn’t have any idea what to do, I knew. I always knew it was about the music.

CIO (Maxine): Where do you see yourself in say, 10 years?
Tracy: Doing this. I don’t think I’ll ever retire. I’m doing exactly what I was put on earth to do. How many people can say that?

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