It's All Relative: Tillis Sings Tillis

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Veteran country songwriter and performer Mel Tillis has earned plenty of kudos in his 45-year career, but the charming It's All Relative -- on which daughter Pam honors Dad with a set of his songs -- is the ultimate tribute. Pam Tillis is no stranger to hit making herself, but she's raised the bar on this largely self-produced affair. Dipping into blues, traditional mainstream country, and honky-tonk, Tillis flaunts her interpretive artistry on a terrific collection of songs from Mel's rich catalogue -- some familiar, others rarely heard but equally worthy. Patsy Cline gave "So Wrong," written by Mel and Carl Perkins, a torch performance for the ages, but Pam's ...
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09/03/2002 CD Good Customer service is our top priority! The item or packaging may have identifying markings from its owner or show limited signs of wear. Digital copies may ... or may not be present. Read more Show Less

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Veteran country songwriter and performer Mel Tillis has earned plenty of kudos in his 45-year career, but the charming It's All Relative -- on which daughter Pam honors Dad with a set of his songs -- is the ultimate tribute. Pam Tillis is no stranger to hit making herself, but she's raised the bar on this largely self-produced affair. Dipping into blues, traditional mainstream country, and honky-tonk, Tillis flaunts her interpretive artistry on a terrific collection of songs from Mel's rich catalogue -- some familiar, others rarely heard but equally worthy. Patsy Cline gave "So Wrong," written by Mel and Carl Perkins, a torch performance for the ages, but Pam's saloon-style approach, with a tasty pedal steel laying on some heartache, is beautifully measured and emotionally gripping. Pam gives "I Ain't Never" -- a No. 2 hit for Webb Pierce in 1959 and a No. 1 for Mel himself in 1972 -- a fine shuffle treatment and a sassy vocal, adding a sultry edge disdained by the men who came before her. She reinvigorates "Emotions," a No. 7 pop hit for Brenda Lee in 1961, as a saloon song, beginning with a spare piano and vocal but building up with strings and a lonely guitar, establishing an ambiance fit for broken hearts and late nights alone. And when it comes time to turn it up, Pam gets the job done on two merciless kiss-off songs, "Unmitigated Gall" and "Mental Revenge." Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Trisha Yearwood, and Delbert McClinton are among those providing backing vocals, and Mel even makes an appearance on the uplifting duet "Come On and Sing." But it's Pam, digging into her pop's lyrics with heart and smarts, who delivers the performance of a lifetime here. Dad should be proud.
All Music Guide - Robert L. Doerschuk
Best known as an engaging and often humorous performer, and secondarily as Nashville songbird Pam Tillis' father, Mel Tillis deserves greater recognition as one of country music's more enduring and consistent songwriters. This oversight is addressed in It's All Relative, as Pam joins with a cast of Music City luminaries to interpret some of his better-known works. Her performance is right on the money from start to finish. On up-tempo tracks, whether honky tonk excursions like "Unmitigated Gall" or a brisk rockabilly sprint with Ray Benson through "Honey Open That Door," she's expressive, though somewhat restrained. It's at slower tempos that her abilities are most evident, as she exploits the interpretive room that ballads allow. An exceptional harmony singer, she knows how to play off of the unique timbre and phrasing contributed by Dolly Parton on a lacelike rendition of "Violet and a Rose" and Emmylou Harris in a more Daniel Lanois-influenced treatment of "Heart Over Mind." On her own, Tillis is even stronger; she turns "Detroit City" into an intimate journal, with misty memories of home and the weary grind of life in the city made equally vivid by her reading. Yet on "Emotions," backed by jazz pianist Beegie Adair, Tillis eases smoothly into a torchier style that has nothing to do with rural idylls. The last track, "Come On and Sing," brings Dad into the picture, along with a gaggle of his grandkids; it's a predictable cameo, but irresistible nonetheless and a perfect dessert for this rich repast.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/3/2002
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 696998654624
  • Catalog Number: 86546

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Burning Memories (3:06)
  2. 2 So Wrong (3:19)
  3. 3 Unmitigated Gall (3:00)
  4. 4 Violet and a Rose (3:54)
  5. 5 I Ain't Never (2:33)
  6. 6 Not Like It Was With You (3:27)
  7. 7 Mental Revenge (4:05)
  8. 8 Heart Over Mind (6:12)
  9. 9 Goodbye Wheeling (3:42)
  10. 10 Emotions (3:26)
  11. 11 Honey (Open That Door) - Ray Benson (2:52)
  12. 12 Detroit City (4:09)
  13. 13 Come on and Sing (2:48)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Pam Tillis Primary Artist, Guitar, Background Vocals
Delbert McClinton Harmonica
Marty Stuart Mandolin
Buddy Spicher Strings
John Jorgenson Guitar
Matt Rollings Piano, Keyboards
Beegie Adair Piano, Keyboards
David Angell Strings
Ray Benson Guitar
Bruce Bouton Dobro, Pedal Steel Guitar, Lap Steel Guitar
Mike Brignardello Electric Bass, Upright Bass
Patrick Buchanon Harmonica
John Catchings Strings
David Davidson Strings
Floyd Domino Piano, Keyboards
Dan Dugmore Dobro, Pedal Steel Guitar, Lap Steel Guitar
Tony Harrell Piano, Keyboards
Lloyd Maines Dobro, Pedal Steel Guitar, Lap Steel Guitar
Joe Manuel Guitar
Greg Morrow Percussion, Drums
James Murphy Dobro, Pedal Steel Guitar, Lap Steel Guitar
James Pennebaker Guitar, Mandolin
Jason Roberts Fiddle
David Sanger Percussion, Drums
Larry Seyer Guitar
Spencer Starnes Electric Bass, Upright Bass
Robby Turner Dobro, Pedal Steel Guitar, Lap Steel Guitar
Redd Volkaert Guitar
Lynn Williams Percussion, Drums
Aubrey Haynie Fiddle
David Spicher Electric Bass, Upright Bass
Matt Spicher Guitar
Bob Patin Piano, Keyboards
Bryan Sutton Guitar, Mandolin
Lona Heid Background Vocals
Jim White Percussion, Drums
Technical Credits
Rhonda Vincent Contributor
Emmylou Harris Contributor
Dolly Parton Contributor
Buddy Spicher String Arrangements
Pam Tillis Producer, Liner Notes
Trisha Yearwood Contributor
Ray Benson Producer
Neal Cappellino Engineer
Tony Green Engineer
Mills Logan Engineer
Ken Love Mastering
Louis Dean Nunley Contributor
Victoria Russell Creative Producer
Larry Seyer Engineer
Gordon Stoker Contributor
Curtis Young Contributor
Rodney Dawson Engineer
Tracy Baskette-Fleaner Art Direction
Matt Spicher Engineer
Bob Alan Composer
Stan Munsey Composer
Jamie Carter Engineer
Erick Jaskowiak Engineer
Chris Burns Engineer
Deb Haus Art Direction, Artist Development
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Prettiest Voice in Country Music

    Pam Tillis, along with other classics like Dolly Parton and Rhonda Vincent, make this one a must buy. In my mind, Tillis has the prettiest voice in country music right now, and this CD displays it perfectly. I love it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Masterpiece.

    I grew up listening to Mel Tillis, and now I love his daughter. This Cd exemplifies Pam's beautiful voice, in addition to paying tribute to the classics of her father...not tomention all of the other talent on the Cd, including Rhonda Vincent, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, the list goes on. Anyway, it's a masterpiece and a must buy. The prettiest voices in country music all on one CD!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The best album of two careers at once

    Lucky Dog reverses their usual equation (matching outsider acts with mainstream producers) by combining a proven Nashville hitmaker with rootsy producer, Ray Benson (Asleep at the Wheel). Their meeting ground is the rich, decade-spanning songbook of the singer's father, Mel Tillis, with results that perfectly amplify the combination of songwriter and singer. ¶ Pam Tillis has written, recorded, and produced her share of hits, but none with the emotional charge of tackling her father's songbook. The elder Tillis early success as a songwriter produced words that lend themselves to reinterpretation, and the younger Tillis, steeped in these works since childhood, makes the most of them. The twice successful "I Ain't Never" (a 1959 hit for Webb Pierce and a 1972 chart-topper for the songwriter) shows off Benson's swing influence, while the fiddle-and-steel driven, "Burning Memories" provides a brilliant Ray Price shuffle. ¶ But it's the ballads, the homesick "Detroit City," the torchy Pasty Cline hit, "So Wrong" and the lost love of "Not Like It Was With You" that show off the depth of both Tillis' expressiveness. The album finds its emotional peak on the heart-wrenching, mandolin and autoharp-lined harmonies of "Violet and a Rose," with Dolly Parton helping wring every last tear out of the song that was Mel Tillis' first top-40 hit as a performer. ¶ Paring down the songlist was clearly the most difficult part of this project, but the thirteen selections create a broad, heartfelt set. No more apt tribute could be made to Mel Tillis' remarkable career as a songwriter, and no other songs could have drawn such stirring, personal performances from Pam Tillis.

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