NEW ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Michelle Turley
Produced by C.F. Turley and released on Victorio Records in October, Dance With Me Tonight establishes Michelle Turley’s Country cred. There’s a boot-scoot, honky-tonk vibe on the up-tempo tunes while her ballads, as well as the mournful waltz “I Can’t Cry,” recall something of Tammy Wynette’s wounded eloquence or, on the buoyant “Now I Know,” the confectionary appeal of Olivia Newton-John. Sometimes her references are nearly literal, as in the first line of each chorus on “I Can’t Help Lovin’ You,” not to mention the quotes in the fiddle breakdown alluded to in the title “Caroline (in Orange Blossoms).”
Yet all of these 14 tracks are new, and each was written by a Turley — seven by Michelle alone, three with one or the other of her brothers, C.F. and Kelly, and the rest by C.F. And though she’s grounded in traditional Country, Michelle has traveled a circuitous route from the family ranch in Deming, N.M., through their later home in Phoenix and into a more glamorous world as a Ford Agency model for Armani, Donna Karan, Valentino and Versace, among other clients.
Obviously, years spent closer to the land rather than on the runway left a more lasting musical impression. She inherited a love for music from her mother, a singer and piano teacher, and from her father, who fronted a local band called the Playboys. That’s apparent throughout Dance With Me Tonight, with its strong Country flavor evident from the first notes of her debut single, C.F.’s “Hard Times.” A catchy vocal hook cycles through the verses, takes a high-impact break at the top of the chorus and then keeps rocking all the way to a climactic final chord. The lyric warns that bad luck may lead to “living in a tent” and munching “road kill” for supper, but thanks to this spirited debut Turley will surely see brighter times ahead.
IN HER OWN WORDS Q&A
SONG YOU’D LOVE TO COVER
“‘I Walk the Line.’”
SONG YOU WISH YOU’D WRITTEN
“‘Stand By Your Man,’ written by Tammy Wynette and Billy Sherrill.”
DREAM DUET PARTNERS
“Darius Rucker or Stevie Nicks.”
GREATEST PERFORMANCE TO DATE
“My first piano recital when I was 8. My piano teacher allowed me to play my own compositions — six songs. All the other kids performed maybe two. I learned very quickly that performing is not about quantity but quality.”
“We performed Heart’s ‘Barracuda’ so loudly, the audience was covering their ears and many left the building.”
On the Web: http://www.MichelleTurley.net
By Bob Doerschuk
© 2010 CMA Close Up® News Service / Country Music Association®, Inc.