They are the Roses

I have a confession.

I will admit now, openly, I do have a penchant for country music. Now I don’t do line dancing, I am very much a Brit, and although I have been to the USA a few times, I have never got very far south. But as time has gone by, and my listening has grown, I have developed a real love of country music.

The stories within the songs, the accomplished musicians, that Nashville sound, stetsons, cowboy boots… OK, scratch the last two*. I am aware of course that country music covers many bases, and so I speak of country with the broadest brush, which in my library includes Vince Gill, Brad Paisley, Martina McBride, Alison Krauss, Alison Moorer, Nickel Creek, Jonny and Rosanne Cash, Dolly (of course) and many others. And as of late Mrs Kerslake and I have been quite addicted to ABC/More4’s Nashville series…and while I’ll be the first to accept that it’s essentially Dynasty with Country Music…the music is oh so special. Guaranteed that every week between the arguing, the intrigue, the love trysts and dirty dealings, there are some great songs performed by great musicians. And as a musician myself, I am really appreciating the attention to detail when it comes to the guitars (Gretsch and Gibson are clearly sharing some endorsement), the live performances, heck even the microphone placement in the studio scenes (admittedly I probably need to get out more…)

Which leads me to: They are the Roses. (apologies for the quality of the video…it’s all I could find…)

I discovered Jessica Andrews on the Prince of Egypt soundtrack (the “inspired by…Nashville spinoff…why release one soundtrack when you can release three?) singing another great song, “I will be there for you”. So when I went hunting out some more songs, I found her wonderful album Now, Jessica’s last album before she was unceremoniously dropped due to label downsizing. Sigh…

The track is a stunner, the opening line “Born with heaven in their eyes, God sent innocence, the promise of life” . This is a song all about children, and we have used it for children’s dedications, family Sundays, Mothers Day…the list goes on. The chorus: “They are the roses, they are the lights that shine” always brings a tear to the eye and a lump to the throat, as we usually pair it (as on the video here) with baby and childhood pictures. The album is great too, more pop-country than “& western”, but great none the less. And she did all of this aged twenty (Now is her third album…) I highly recommend it as a purchase, perfect songs for a summer’s day. Here’s hoping that Ms Andrews releases something soon. And on the subject of albums, I can completely recommend the Nashville soundtracks from the TV series…

*OK, second confession, I do still have cowboy boots in the wardrobe but they’re actually leftover from my hair metal band days when we used to play Bon Jovi covers…honest…

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