20 Questions: Allison Moorer

Allison Moorer
New Line

Country singer Allison Moorer kicked off her solo career with the highly acclaimed Alabama Song in 1998. Since then she released four stellar records, including 2006’s Getting Somewhere. On February 19th, Moorer unveils her latest, the Buddy Miller-produced Mockingbird, a covers album of songs penned by respected female songwriters, including Nina Simone, Pattie Smith, Cat Power, Gillian Welch, and her sister Shelby Lynne. Moorer hits the road with hubby Steve Earle touring these tunes all through the spring and summer.

1. The latest book or movie that made you cry?

First of all, let me say that I cry at the drop of a hat. It doesn’t take much. I’m a complete sap. I cry when I’m happy, when I’m sad, when I’m mad, when a song is really good, etc. The book: We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live: Collected Nonfiction by Joan Didion. She’s just so good. And so cool. The movie: La Vie En Rose, the biopic about Edith Piaf.

2. The fictional character most like you?

Wile E. Coyote.

3. The greatest album, ever?

Agh! I hate this question. I don’t know what the greatest album ever is, but if I had to choose only one to take to a desert island I’d pick Steve Earle’s latest, Washington Square Serenade. That way I’d be able to hear his voice, and our voices together.

4. Star Trek or Star Wars?

Star Wars, definitely. But before the prequels. Jar Jar Binks is whack. I kinda feel sorry for him, but damn.

5. Your ideal brain food?

Staring at a Hieronymus Bosch painting. “Hell” is a good one.

6. You’re proud of this accomplishment, but why?

I’m happy just to be here. Pride is a dangerous thing.

7. You want to be remembered for…?

Being a kind and good person, who happened to rock.

8. Of those who’ve come before, the most inspirational are?

Anyone that rose above their circumstances and made something of themselves and considered themselves lucky to be on the planet. Not necessarily famous people, but those that just worked hard and had hope and lived their lives with dignity and tried to make the world better somehow.

9. The creative masterpiece you wish bore your signature?

There are so many that move me it’s hard to choose just one. Maybe George Harrison’s guitar solo on “Something.” Maybe Edvard Munch’s “Madonna.”

10. Your hidden talents…?

I can type around 90 words a minute. I make a mean cassoulet and have a way with a pot of beans and making up my own soups. I can sew a little (that’s not so hidden anymore, though). I have a ridiculous ability to remember details (but they’re usually the ones that don’t matter).

11. The best piece of advice you actually followed?

I’m so hard headed I’m loath to follow advice, but I’m not stupid enough to never listen to people who have more experience than I do or that are smarter than I am. My father always told me to never be afraid to be different. Obviously that stuck.

12. The best thing you ever bought, stole, or borrowed?

The best thing I ever bought was my Chihuahua, Petey. Well, technically my husband bought him for my birthday, but since we’re married that counts, right? The things I’ve stolen I’m not telling you about. Borrowed? Hmmm…I’d have to say time.

13. You feel best in Armani or Levis or…?

I can do either and feel good.

14. Your dinner guest at the Ritz would be?

My husband, of course. He can talk to anyone.

15. Time travel: where, when and why?

If I could go back to 1986 but be as I am now and talk to my parents I would choose that. I might end up even more fucked up than I am now, but I’d still do it.

16. Stress management: hit man, spa vacation or Prozac?

I’d have a hit man take care of some things first, then go on the spa vacation. But I don’t need no stinking Prozac.

17. Essential to life: coffee, vodka, cigarettes, chocolate, or…?

There was a time when I felt like all of those things were essential. Now I don’t drink alcohol or caffeine, don’t smoke, and try to eat right. . Though I do still indulge in chocolate occasionally. Basically I’m no fun anymore – but at least I’ll live to be old and be a pain in the ass to somebody. The only things essential to life are a will to live, air to breathe, food and water, and something to do. And art. Never forget art.

18. Environ of choice: city or country, and where on the map?

Both, please. City: New York City, London, or Paris. Country: Tennessee is pretty good.

19. What do you want to say to the leader of your country?

Oh, many, many things. Most of them unprintable here. Mainly I want to ask him how he sleeps at night knowing how many deaths he has caused.

20. Last but certainly not least, what are you working on, now?

I’m working on figuring out what I want my next record to be like. Also, I’m on tour so I need projects to keep me busy during the downtime. Before we left on tour I made a white linen skirt that I’m embroidering a very vibrant Scandinavian peasant design on. It’s going to be the perfect thing for summer. And it will represent hours and hours of listening to Steve’s shows from backstage. The kind of thing you hold onto forever.