Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz
Grits and Glamour is the moniker of Lorrie Morgan and Pam Tillis. Which one has the grit and which glamour might be unclear, but combining forces proves an unexpected delight for two worthy singers whose careers have been on the downslide for years. Not to mention being the daughters of stars (George Morgan and Mel Tillis), who knew each other as kids.
Both have enjoyed a tremendous amount of success, but for Tillis, her last hit single was Please, number 22 in 2001. Morgan has to go back even further with Maybe Not Tonight her only top 35 since 1999, a duet with ex-hubby Sammy Kershaw.
The disc contains six duets (the first four and last two) with Morgan and Tillis alternating leads on the other eight songs. The music works best on the duets as Morgan and Tillis feed off each other's voices. The bouncy single I Know What You Did Last Night, from Al Anderson and Karyn Rochelle, works well with perhaps tongue firmly in cheek from women in their mid-50s. They also tackle the traditional country I'm Tired, penned in part by Mel Tillis and Webb Pierce. The voices of Morgan and Tillis blend together quite well with lots of fiddle. The upbeat title track has a Mexican bent near the end.
While it has been awhile since both have been heard from, they retain their distinctive voices and use them to excellent effect here. Tillis goes for a rollicking bluesy take on Ain't Enough Roses. Morgan turns in a good reading of the pretty, forward looking ballad, Another Chance To, from someone who's known a lot of heartache in her life. Tillis follows with another ballad with a tad more punch (in general, the album could have used a bit more of that) Even the Stars.
Give Tillis and Morgan credit for merging forces and taking their chances. One wishes that they would have done an entire disc of duets. On the other hand, the music may also represent a chance to reinvigorate their careers. No one does these types of albums any more (and not sure anyone ever did anything except opposite sex CDs like George and Tammy) either. One could argue that just putting this out there is enough of a statement, but it sure helps that there's far more than that for the music of Grits and Glamour (which they probably both have).