It's been five years since we've heard new music from Julie Roberts, but she's back and better than ever with her new independent release, "Alive." Her self-titled debut (released in 2004) and her follow-up, "Men and Mascara" (released in 2006), continue to be what I think are two of the greatest country records of the previous decade; "Alive" looks to be one of the most promising albums of the current decade. I feel so strongly about it that if you ask me in ten years what the best country records of the decade were, I can pretty much guarantee that I would still include "Alive."
Roberts had a hand in writing six of the album's 12 tracks, including the lead-off single "NASCAR Party." For all you race fans out there, this song is to NASCAR what "Are You Ready For Some Football?" is to the NFL. I don't even like NASCAR, but somehow it still makes me want to go to a race. There's a chance this could be the song you hear before a race starts on TV. Maybe you should contact NASCAR and tell them how much you love the song. I'm just sayin'…
One of my favorite songs on the record is "Mama Said Don't." It's the perfect song to start off the album with its fun, upbeat groove and the rebellious lyrics of a girl who wants nothing more than to do the opposite of what her mother wants her to do -- "Every time mama said don't, I did."
If you wanna talk about soul, let's talk about Julie Roberts because ain't nobody got more soul in country music than Miss Julie Roberts! Phew. "Stronger" is one of those songs that makes me want to yell AMEN! at the top of my lungs in church. It's about learning how to give up on doing everything yourself; instead, lean on God to get you through life's rough patches. Everyone has one of those "what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger" songs, but this song is on a whole different playing field. Good luck trying to top this one, boys and girls.
There's a good chance you're gonna need to go to church anyway after listening to "Let's Fight." Julie says she was inspired to write this song after watching the Patsy Cline bio-flick "Sweet Dreams." Patsy's husband never paid her any mind until they would fight and then, well…I guess fighting is the only thing that leads to the bedroom for some people. Whether you like the lyrics or not, this song will be stuck in your head for days on end after you hear it. Her voice alone is going to be enough to melt most grown men; combine it with the lyrics, and you've got yourself some baby-making music.
Born and raised in South Carolina, Julie now lives in Nashville. Brooks & Dunn once sang that "you can take the girl outta the honky-tonk, but you can't take the honky-tonk outta the girl." Julie says "Remember who you are. You can't take Carolina from my soul." She may be in Tennessee now, but her heart will always be in Carolina.
If I had to explain Julie Roberts' voice in one word, that word would be sincere. It reminds me of a quote by Hank Williams on the outside of the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum in Nashville: "You ask what makes our kind of music successful. I'll tell you. It can be explained in just one word: Sincerity." Without sincerity, nobody is going to listen to your record and take you seriously. Every single lyric that comes out of Julie's mouth oozes truth, honesty, and sincerity -- something many people in country music today could learn from. The last female vocalist to move me so much was Lee Ann Womack; and before that, Tammy Wynette. Not bad company to be in, right?
"Alive" is country music in its purest form. There is nothing remotely contrived about any aspect of this record. The lyrics, the musicianship, the vocals, and the feeling behind each and every phrase is what makes this album so special. If you like your country like I do -- real, raw, and soulful with more than a little touch of twang -- you need to buy this record. You can buy it digitally on iTunes and Amazon, but I'd recommend buying it through her official web site where she will personally autograph a copy for you. You can keep up with Julie online at the following web sites:
Soulful country starlet Julie Roberts has a brand new video out for her current single, "Whiskey and You." It's the first release to radio (although you did see a video for her racing anthem "NASCAR Party") from her critically acclaimed independent album, "Alive," which was released last summer. If you're a Tim McGraw fan, you might recognize this song from his "Let It Go" album. Personally, I like hearing this song from a … more
Modern-day country traditionalist Julie Roberts has a special gift for her fans this year -- a brand new Christmas EP released today (Tuesday, Nov. 1). Halloween has come and gone, and there's no such thing as Thanksgiving music, right? It's time to get in the holiday spirit with Roberts' festive 7-song collection, "Who Needs Mistletoe." I like to think of myself as a Christmas music connoisseur. I have more holiday music on my iPod than any other genre … more
Julie Roberts packed the house at Nashville's Listening Room Cafe for her CMA Fest Fan Party with approximately 200 fans showing up to hear her sing. Roberts is hands down one of the most underrated country singers on the planet. Her 20+ song set was one of the greatest performances I have seen in quite some time. She sang songs from her self-titled debut album, her sophomore effort "Men and Mascara," and her brand new record "Alive." She also threw in a gospel … more