BY LESLEY HASTINGS
Having been introduced to the music of Megan Moroney via her breakout single and love song with a difference “Tennessee Orange” last September (which among other achievements surpassed a million streams in five days and cracked the Top 20 on Country radio) I’ve eagerly been awaiting more music from the Georgia native.
Now living in Nashville and signed to Sony Music Nashville/Columbia Records, Megan is among the prestigious CMT Next Women of Country Class of 2023, has made her Opry debut and has been collaborating with many of Country music‘s top songwriters. This summer she will join Brooks and Dunn for selected dates as their Reboot Tour continues, before her headline tour kicks off in September. No pressure then with this debut album, Megan!
And wow, what an album “Lucky“ is in every respect. Produced by Kristian Bush of Sugarland fame, the thirteen tracks draw on Megan’s personal experiences of love and life but as with so many great songs are at the same time highly relatable. Sonically, if like me you like your country music rooted in the trad side of the genre (there’s lashings of pedal steel, piano and acoustic guitar in the mix), if you’re a lyrics person (hand up here) and love vocals that ooze emotion (again, count me in! ) then this is an album which will be on repeat I promise you. While all those elements are constants, Megan shows different sides of herself along the way. Gas Lighted Megan (“Girl In The Mirror”), Heartbroken Megan (“Kansas Anymore” and “Mustang or Me”), Sassy Megan (“Lucky“ ), Strong Megan (“Georgia Girl” )…… yes , like all of us she is multi-faceted.
I could easily write an essay on every single song…. don’t worry I won’t …..but there’s two consecutive tracks which I will elaborate on and which for me showcase Reflective Megan.
“Why Johnny” sees Megan addressing the late June Carter Cash, specifically asking her why she stood by Johnny and wondering if she always had faith in the fact that he would turn his drug and alcohol fuelled life around and stop cheating on her. Did her friend think she was crazy ? And the reason she wants answers to these questions becomes clear when she reveals “I think I’ve got a Johnny of my own, but will he change? Hell if I know” . Powerful stuff. The haunting steel and simple acoustic guitar/drum brush accompaniment is perfection, and you can really feel the hurt and despair in Megan’s voice as she searches for help and advice from a woman who has been in the same situation.
This is followed by another song with faith at its core….Megan’s musings on her religious beliefs in “God Plays A Gibson” . In particular, she describes how she envisages God each night when she prays which she likens to “catching up with an old friend” who drives a Silverado, has a house on a plot of land, goes fishing and supports the Georgia Bulldogs. “I bet He’s up there six-string strumming with Loretta Lynn” she says…..adding “I bet God plays a Gibson. How cool would it be if this guitar that’s saving me is the same one He’s playing ?”
I must have listened to this album a dozen or so times already today (release day…. does that count as a obsession?) and every time a different lyric jumps out at me and gets my brain thinking what an incredible release this is in every respect. I really hope you share my enthusiasm!
Stream/Download “ Lucky “ here https://meganmoroney.lnk.to/Lucky
Megan is nominated in the “ New Female Artist of the Year” category at this year’s ACM Awards to be held this coming Thursday. And as you may be aware, she has recently been announced as performing at this year’s Long Road Festival here in UK. Dare we hope for some headline shows too while she’s here?
More artist information at meganmoroney.com