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Album Spotlight: Julie Roberts, ‘Good Wine and Bad Decisions’

Good Wine and Bad Decisions
Sun Records

Julie Roberts has one of the more captivating country voices of the last 10 years. At times on her new album ‘Good Wine and Bad Decisions,’ she pulls you in like a blue-eyed, blonde-haired Venus flytrap. The painful songs are every bit as satisfying as the more sensual moments.

With 14 tracks, she’s not able to live on the edge of those emotions forever, however. Songs like ‘Keep Me Up All Night’ and ‘I’m Not Getting Any Better at Goodbyes’ are more standard Nashville fair, although Roberts’ voice and the production on this album is unlike anything on the radio. Her pairing with Sun Records makes sense, as both are reminders of a time more classic vocal performances were sought after.

Jason Collum’s work with the arrangements is either dusty or vintage (or both), depending on your personal preference. He leaves plenty of space to showcase Roberts, and she takes control of each story. Whether she’s desperate for a lover to change his mind, empty from an exhausting relationship or thinking something more mischievous, she pours every drop of blood and tears into each performance.

Vince Gill joins Roberts for ‘Old Strings,’ while Buddy Miller joins her on ‘Gasoline and Matches.’ The album is full of personal stories and memories — many the type you wouldn’t expect one to share. This native South Carolinian is truly a wide open heart.

Tracks to Remember: ‘Good Wine and Bad Decisions,’ ‘He Made a Woman Out of Me,’ ‘I’ll Close My Eyes,’ ‘Daddy Doesn’t Pray’

Why Doesn’t Daddy Pray?: You’ll have to listen to the song to find out, but Roberts tells Taste of Country that the story isn’t necessarily her story. Her father was an abusive alcoholic, but he’s still alive. She relates to this Chris Stapleton-penned song because every once in awhile, he reaches out, only to leave her hanging once again.

An Eye for Danger: “I’m drawn to sadness, but I’m also drawn to sexy songs,” Roberts says. Both are well-represented on this album. “For me, I wanna make a video for one of those.” The title track would be a good place to start.

Did You Know?: Country music was Julie and her mother’s escape — literally. When her father would get out of control, they’d get in the car, turn the radio up and drive away. Those songs on the radio shaped her life and career.

Next: The Top 100 Country Songs of All Time

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