NEW ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Julia Burton

© 2010 CMA Close Up® News Service / Country Music Association®, Inc.

Here’s a twist on a familiar story: Julia Burton was born in Nashville but ended up leaving to seek her fortunes far beyond its border. Enamored with singing Country songs as long as she can remember, she began competing in talent contests at 8 and developed her expressive contralto to the point of performing nationally as Miss West Virginia in the Miss America Pageant of 2005.

It wasn’t all glamour on the way up. In addition to singing in her high school choir and at churches, fairs and festivals, Burton earned a degree in public relations at West Virginia University, punched a clock at Wal-Mart and even worked for the West Virginia Department of Transportation, Division of Highways. The allure of music eventually led her back to Nashville, where she began to develop her stage craft at Tootsies Orchid Lounge on Lower Broadway.

The fruits of her labor blossom throughout Burton’s debut album on Emerald River Entertainment. Produced by Biff Watson, Woman from the Country showcases her ability to infuse her positive, upbeat energy into her covers of these 10 songs. Though she handles ballads with unusual sensitivity, she’s especially strong when tackling swampy, down-home stomps, epitomized by the title track, written by Steve McEwan and Craig Wiseman and “Hillbilly Love Song,” by Adrienne Follese, Keith Follese and Buffy Lawson. She also flaunts a playful humor in the mock-solemn intro to “Party Down,” by P.R. Battle, Anthony Smith and Michael Garvin, and on her first single, “What a Woman Wants.” Penned by Debra Bradshaw, Tamika Tyler and Willie Mack, this good-time wish-list anthem makes it clear that Burton deserves a share of the spotlight back home in Music City.

By Bob Doerschuk

Photo by Jennifer Bopp Cady

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