Soft-spoken and cheerful, county music artist Pam Tillis told St. Charles Patch on Thursday that she looks forward to performing with Lorrie Morgan this weekend at the .
Earlier this year, Tillis and Morgan recorded an album to promote their Grits And Glamour tour, which continues at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012, at the Norris. Pam says she and Morgan share the stage with their band and perform a mix of songs their audiences have come to expect, as well as some that are unexpected. This time of year, she adds, that might mean holiday tunes.
“We’ll yuck it up a bit,” she says, emphasizing that the show is an evening of low-key fun as well as music. “This is for families. There’ll be some surprises, too … maybe some Christmas music.”
The tour has been fun and busy, and will be fast-paced as well in the weeks ahead. “It’ll be mostly weekend (performances) for the holiday season,” she says. “It’s a blessing to get to do it.”
Tillis says she is fortunate to be able to work with her husband, audio engineer Matt Spicher, son of noted fiddler Buddy Spicher. She describes her husband of five years as a whiz with sound who also helps with performances and is a savvy about the music business. While she appreciates his business sense, Pam also says she is fortunate to have dated him for a while before they married five years ago. They’ve been together 15 years.
She also has a grown son, Ben.
Pam is the daughter of legendary singer-songwriter Mel Tillis, the 1976 Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year and 2007 Hall of Fame inductee. Earlier this year President Barack Obama honored Pam’s dad with the National Medal of Arts for his contributions to country music.
An accomplished country music singer and songwriter in her own right, Pam’s career has spanned 30 years. She’s also an actress who has performed on stage in Tennessee and on Broadway, as well as in guest spots on television.
“It’s been a long road. I’ve logged a lot of miles over the years,” she says. That has included long hours, travel, which can be hard on a family, and, of course, performances.
But the music industry, like all things, continues to change, and Tillis has been changing with it.
Today, she says she does a lot more flying than she once did. There was a time when a band took its own bus on road trips, but motor coaches have become increasingly pricey, and Pam says those days are mostly gone.
“I fly a lot these days,” she says, although Pam still will take to the road by bus sometimes. “But most musicians today lease a bus for road trips” instead of taking on the expense of buying one outright.
“It’s not quite what it used to be,” she says.
The same is true in terms of selling her music. Technology has brought major changes to the industry, and the industry is still struggling with the issues that have arisen with that. Protecting artists’ intellectual property rights to their music and recordings in the digital age is one of those issues, she said, and it’s one she understands well.
“The recording business in general is a hard place to be,” Pam says. “Record stores are changing, the consolidation of radio stations … we’re all looking for new models, new ways of doing business.”
- Dellora A. Norris Cultural Center: http://www.norrisculturalarts.com/
- Norris tickets: http://norrisculturalarts.com/events/view/17
- Pam Tillis’ website: http://www.pamtillis.com/