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Julie Roberts has been through her share of ups and downs since her self-titled debut album appeared in 2004, but she will close out 2013 on a historic high.
After parting ways with Universal and releasing the independent 2011 album Alive, Julie has now teamed up with the legendary Sun Records on her excellent new album, Good Wine & Bad Decisions. That’s right, the same label responsible for the first recordings of Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and so many others, is teaming with Julie to put out its first full release in 40 years.
Turns out it’s a natural pairing for Julie, who has long displayed a soulful, bluesy quality in her voice that harkens back to the classic days of Sun and Chess Records. The more stripped-down sound of Good Wine & Bad Decisions and its sometimes gritty subject matter complements her style while also upholding the label’s boundary-crossing legacy.
“That’s what I do naturally and what people remember probably from my first record, the bluesy soulful sound of ‘You Ain’t Down Home,’ and even ‘Break Down Here,’” says Julie. “That’s really who I am as an artist and how I write. Sun recognized that and told me I could make that kind of record. To me, it fits. It pays tribute to their previous artists, but it also is me.”
Julie wrote or co-wrote nine of the album’s songs, along with choosing a handful of outside cuts. Selections like the title track give honest appraisals of making mistakes in the moment and the resulting consequences. “‘Good Wine and Bad Decisions’ was written in 2010," recalls Julie. “They’re all different places in my life, but they’re all so real. I personally am drawn to that sin. I’m drawn to songs, whether I write them or not, that are real to me. Probably if I’ve lived them, somebody else has lived them.”
Good Wine & Bad Decisions arrives in stores Oct. 29. Check out an exclusive preview of the new track “If I Were You” below.