Allison Moorer,
Getting Somewhere
(Sugar Hill, 2006)

Allison Moorer's latest CD, Getting Somewhere, deserves any accolades it receives. Produced by her husband, Steve Earle, it is a pleasant sounding, upbeat country-rock record. The arrrangements are full of strong rock backbeats, some with grungy rock guitar and mostly done in mid-tempo or faster arrangements that you can dance to. However, when you dig deeper and listen to the dark lyrics, you'll find that Moorer confronts her frightening adolescence and childhood head-on.

The 10 brief songs waste no space, as the whole disc is less than 32 minutes long.

The sound of the CD is contradictory to much of its subject matter. It is hard to discuss Moorer's career, as well as the career of her older sister, Shelby Lynne, without delving into their very dark childhood. The sisters' very abusive, alcoholic father killed their mother in a murder-suicide while the girls were watching. Both the songs "New Year's Day" and "How She Does It" are about how their mother and sisters coped with the depressing household they lived in daily with their father.

Not all of the lyrics are bleek. There are times Moorer celebrates life and the fact she has risen above her past. "If It's Just for Today" is a love song dedicated to her husband. On the surface, "Where You Are" also appears to be a song about romantic love, but when you read in the liner notes that it is dedicated to "Sissy," who is mentioned by that name in "New Year's Day," it becomes apparent that it is a love song to Lynne who raised Moorer after their parents died.

To some, the contrasting moods of the music and the lyrics may seem incongrous. To me, it's a combination that makes Getting Somewhere a very good CD.

by Charlie Ricci
23 September 2006

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