Pam Tillis will be back in a solo capacity for the first time in a dozen years when she releases her eleventh studio record Looking for a Feeling on April 24th. Influenced not just by her country roots that run deep from her performing father and songwriter Mel Tillis, Pam is also looking to bring her classic rock and soul influences to the table after moving to East Nashville in 2016 to reignite her creative juices.
Cut mostly to analog tape and produced by Jimmy Ritchey at Nashville’s “Welcome to 1979” studio, the idea is to instill a retro vibe into this new record. Helping Pam along the way are noted musicians Jim Moose Brown on keys, steel guitar legend Dan Dugmore, and Glenn Whorf. Songwriting contributors include Waylon Payne, Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings, Tia Sillers, Mark Selby, Bob Regan, and Matraca Berg.
Though you can expect some rock and soul vibes on the record, there will be plenty of country too, including the twin fiddle song “Dark Turn of Mind,” and a song inspired by Dolly Parton. “I met Dolly as a little girl, and you could see that drive,” says Tillis. “The legends I grew up around taught me that it takes nothing less than a fire to make it in this business. Even if that fire causes a little collateral damage along the way, you know nothing’s going to stop that burning to create music.”
Pam Tillis fans haven’t been completely lost for music over the last dozen years. She’s released a few live records in that time, as well as a couple of collaborative albums with Lorrie Morgan, including Come See Me and Come Lonely in 2017, and Dos Divas in 2013, which include some Pam Tillis solo efforts as well. But you have to go all the way back to RhineStoned from 2007 to find Pam’s last proper solo album.
“Stylistically, there’s so much here that’s always been a part of me,” she says of the 12 tracks. “It’s a story I haven’t told on any of my records so far. I wanted work that’s as close to true and unselfconscious as possible, to provide access to my heart.”
Pam Tillis made her Grand Ole Opry debut with her father Mel when she was just eight-years-old. She later would put a career together all her own, winning three CMA Awards, including the 1994 CMA Female Vocalist of the Year. Now that 90’s country is enjoying a resurgence if interest, Pam Tillis songs such as “Maybe It Was Memphis,” “Spilled Perfume,” “Shake the Sugar Tree,” and “Cleopatra, Queen of Denial” are making it back in the rotation of many country fans, bringing the contributions of Pam Tillis back to mind. What better time to bring a new record to the public.
Hear the title track below.