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Hamptons Life

Feb 6, 2018 11:31 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Sisters Allison Moorer And Shelby Lynne To Perform In Westhampton Beach

Shelby Lynne & Allison Moorer
Feb 6, 2018 11:31 AM

Good things come to those who wait—and Allison Moorer is so glad she did.

After two extremely independent musical careers and 22 albums between them, Ms. Moorer and her sister, Shelby Lynne, have finally joined forces on their first studio record, “Not Dark Yet,” which features cover songs, with a one-track exception.

The original song is titled “Is It Too Much” and it explores the traumatic event that would shape both their lives. In 1986, their father shot and killed their mother, and then turned the gun on himself.

From her home in New York, Ms. Moorer talked about her second tour with her sister—which will bring them to the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center on Friday, February 16—and the inspiration behind their joint debut.

The Press: How are you feeling about this upcoming tour?

Allison Moorer: I feel really good about it. I think it’s going to be our last run for a while. So we’ll make the most of it and have fun, as we always do, and play some music together, which we enjoy a whole lot, and see what comes next.

Why do you think it’s the last run for a bit?

Moorer: It’s all we have scheduled—we don’t have anything scheduled past February. We’re going to take a little break after February.

You’ve toured once before together?

Moorer: Yeah, we did four or five dates together back in 2010. It wasn’t the right time to try to make an album together, so that’s why we put that on the backburner. The plan was, after those dates, to try to go in the following year, but it just didn’t work out. So we decided to wait, and I’m glad we did. I think we waited for the right time and waited for the stars to line up.

What was the collaboration process like for you now?

Moorer: It was very easy and felt really natural. And I think that’s the key: finding that good sweet spot and what feels natural, and waiting on the timing to be good, and not trying to force things. We recorded in June and July of 2016, so we decided that we would do that sometime in late 2015. We both had some time in 2016 to record and so we just started working on it.

How long did it take?

Moorer: The bulk of the album took about five days. We went out to L.A.—everything is live on the album, there are hardly any overdubs at all, all the vocals are live—so we did the bulk of it in the summer of 2016 and we recorded a few other tracks the following September, but most of it was done in a five-day period.

We only wrote the one song. It’s covers except for the song that closes the album, called “Is It Too Much.”

When did you write that together?

Moorer: We wrote it shortly before we went into the studio. It was an idea that Shelby had that she sent my way, and I did some work on it, and we finished it up together.

What was your reaction when she pitched the idea to you?

Moorer: I thought it was beautiful. I thought it was appropriate and beautiful, and a wonderful addition and something that we could successfully say together.

Is it difficult now to talk about your parents, or it’s been long enough to have some space from it?

Oh you know, some days it’s difficult, some days it’s not. Things like that don’t really scab over. You get a different perspective, but the emotion is always there.

How did you both come into music separately?

We grew up in a musical family, so our earliest memories are of singing and singing together. We both pursued our separate careers because we’re artists and that’s just what we do. It wasn’t by design, it just made sense for both of us to pursue careers in the arts. I think a lot of it is perseverance, there’s some luck involved, and certainly having talent and instincts helped.

Do you feel closer now with Shelby, having worked on this album together?

I think we definitely strengthened our bond. We’ve always been very close, and part of that relationship has been musical. But recording this record and touring together has definitely strengthened the bond that we have.

How would you describe your relationship?

I wouldn’t. [She laughed.] We’re very close sisters, but there’s no way to wrap a sentence around a relationship that is so complicated yet wonderful.

Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer will play a concert on Friday, February 16, at 8 p.m. at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center. Tickets range from $35 to $65. For more information, call 631-288-1500 or visit whbpac.org.

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