Rounder Records has announced January 13, 2009 as the release date for the next CD project from songstress Alecia Nugent. Like her two previous albums, Hillbilly Goddess is a showcase for Nugent’s vocal chops, and features some of the most dynamic studio musicians available in the bluegrass world.
The new CD was produced by Carl Jackson, who also contributes several of his songs, and features Tim Stafford and Andy Falco on guitar,Adam Steffey on mandolin, Andy Leftwich on fiddle, Rob Ickes on resonator guitar, JD Crowe and Thomas Wywrot on banjo, Kevin Grant on bass, and Tony Creasman on drums.
In addition to Jackson, new songs come from Tim Stafford and Craig Market, Tim O’Brien, Jerry Salley, Larry Cordle and Nugent herself. Backing vocalists include Jackson, Sonya Isaacs, Bradley Walker, Jennifer Strickland and Valerie Storey.
We had a chance to discuss the new CD with Alecia earlier this week, and couldn’t resist asking about the title track.
“The term ‘Hillbilly Goddess’ was a label given to me by reviewer Robert K. Oermann when he reviewed my A Little Girl‚Ä¶A Big Four-Lane CD. I always thought it was cute, but certainly never thought of myself as a ‘goddess’‚Ä¶ maybe hillbilly, but not that!
My management had encouraged me to write something for the new CD and thought this was a natural song title. My producer, Carl Jackson, Sonya Kelly and I got together and came up with this song. It refers to every man looking at his special someone as his own ‘hillbilly goddess.’
The song has a very traditional feel, and JD Crowe was kind enough to come in and play banjo on it. He did an awesome job!”
The CD also includes an autobiographical song, Nugent Family Band.
“This was a song idea that Tom T. and Dixie Hall had encouraged me to write with them.
It is a true story and gives a peek into my early years as a singer. Those first days performing with my dad’s band were what first hooked me on music.”
The last song on the CD, Already Home (written by Tanya Leah and Gregory Lynch), is unlike anything Alecia has recorded before and serves as a suitable closer for the album.
“This is a song that Carl had in his sack of great songs when we sat down to listen to material for this project. He did not remember who had given it to him, who the writer was, or any other information about it. The demo was produced like a pop record—not bluegrass at all, but we cut it in a more traditional way.
The song’s message touched me deeply, and its one of my favorite songs that I’ve recorded. It features Andy Leftwich, Rob Ickes, and even Catherine Marx on piano.”
Alecia is touring with her own band – Thomas Wywrot (banjo, guitar, vocals), Jennifer Strickland (bass, vocals), Alex Hibbitts (Mandolin), Chris Wade (banjo), Brent Burke (resonator guitar) – and their tour schedule can be found online.