published Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Julie Roberts at the Princess - April 4

South Pittsburg show raises money for Jasper Elementary music department

IF YOU GO

■ What: Julie Roberts with Cassidy Lynn, Caleb Thomasson, Jennifer Jordan, Jesse Black and Courtney Holder in concert.

■ When: 7 p.m. CDT Friday, April 4.

■ Where: Princess Theatre, 215 S. Cedar Ave, South Pittsburg, Tenn.

■ Admission: $15.

■ Phone: 423-942-2110.

■ Ticket outlets (all in Jasper, Tenn.): Jasper Elementary School, 495 Warrior Drive; Marion County Courthouse, 1 Courthouse Square; and First Volunteer Bank, 105 Betsy Pack Drive.

Country singer Julie Roberts earned Nashville's attention in 2004 with the release of her self-titled debut CD and its Top 20 hit, "Break Down Here." She followed up with "Men and Mascara," in which the title track memorably warns that "men and mascara always run."

After that, Roberts hit a rough patch with a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis and the loss of her home and car in the 2010 Nashville floods.

But in country music, hard times produce great songs. Case in point: the raves she's won for her latest release, such as this review from TasteOfCountry.com:

"Julie Roberts has one of the more captivating country voices of the last 10 years. At times on her new album, 'Good Wine & Bad Decisions,' she pulls you in like a blue-eyed, blonde-haired Venus flytrap. The painful songs are every bit as satisfying as the more sensual moments."

The critical praise must have been particularly satisfying after she failed to impress the judges earlier in 2013 in a blind audition on NBC's "The Voice." In a statement released after the show aired, Roberts described the experience as "heartbreaking ... on many levels, but I believe with all my heart that God has other plans for my life," vowing that she was "more motivated than ever to reach my musical and career goals."

The blond beauty has drawn comparisons to Faith Hill, but her music more reflects the bluesy soul of Lucinda Williams. "Good Wine & Bad Decisions" fuses elements of folk, R&B, rock and classic country into her distinctly modern brand of Americana. It was released by the legendary Sun Records, home to such icons as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Orbison.

"I feel like I've finally found a place to be," she said on her website. "Where my music really fits."

She's been busy touring since the album's release. Next stop: the Princess Theatre in South Pittsburg, Tenn., on Friday, April 4, for a benefit concert for the Jasper Elementary School music department.

She'll be joined by special guests Cassidy Lynn, Caleb Thomasson, Jennifer Jordan, Jesse Black and Courtney Holder.

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