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Tracy Lawrence - Then & Now: The Hit's Collection
By: Cheryl Harvey Hill, Sr. Staff Journalist

*"I've always been drawn to songs about family and day-to-day life. It's like searching for a good book or a great movie. I tend to search for songs with strong messages, songs that present an interesting perspective or put a different twist on a story, the ones that paint a picture and come to life in the mind of the listener. That's the material I like to sink my teeth into and that's what my fans have come to expect from me."

While listening to an album with so many hit songs that span so many years, each song is like a mile marker on a life journey. Each tune summons up memories of another time and another place and "If the World had a Front Porch," Tracy Lawrence would be right at home. He has perfected the art of singing our lives and few others can fill a song to over-flowing with emotion the way he can. Then & Now: The Hit's Collection is an anthology of fourteen wonderfully familiar hits, the original version of "Paint Me A Birmingham" and two marvelous new songs that make this an exceptionally enjoyable album and a must have for any serious collector of classic country.

*"My music is a direct reflection of each corner I've turned in life. Each album I've recorded has been directly influenced by where I was in my personal life and what was going on around me. Now that I've stepped into a new chapter of life, people say to me, "So now your music's going to change because you've got a family and all these things." I respond by explaining that my music has always changed and evolved. There are always going to be new elements to add to it. I don't think you lose all the things that made you who you were before--you just build on them. Each chapter you open in life makes you deeper, wiser, and a much more well-rounded human being and artist."

Lawrence has always been forthright about his intent in this business; from the beginning he proclaimed he was in it for the long haul. His goal; longevity. To that end, he has already acquired more number one singles and more platinum albums than the majority of his peers and even more than some of the music heroes he aspires to emulate. His long list of awards and career accomplishments are impressive and his dedication to his goal is evident in his manner, his voice and his stage presence.

*"There was a time when every decision I made, every contact I made, and every move I made had a direct affect on my career. I am in such a different and better place now that I have come to understand that there are so many more important things in life than just working yourself and everyone around you into the ground. I am passionate and driven when it comes to my career, in many ways more passionate and more driven than ever, but friends and family and relationships are truly the real and powerful things in life. When I get old and gray, the bank account won't keep me warm. The plaques on the wall won't snuggle up with me at night. The friends and the love that I have for the people around me mean so much more than all the rest of it put together. That simple four-letter word [love] keeps everything in perspective."

Then & Now was co-produced by Lawrence and James Stroud; clearly a partnership that works well. Lawrence has said that Stroud urges him to challenge himself and push himself musically and the end result is evident throughout this album, as it was on their previous collaborations. As "Time Marches On," it has been good to Lawrence; his unique voice only keeps getting better. Fifteen indisputable hits, plus "Used To The Pain" and "If I Don't Make It Back," proves he hasn't lot sight of his goal. With a track record like his, I'd say longevity is pretty much a given.

*All quotes from www.tracylawrence.com 

Buy The CD Now!

Tracy Lawrence - Then And Now: The Hits Collection song list:

1. Used To The Pain 
2. Paint Me A Birmingham 
3. If I Don't Make It Back 
4. If The World Had A Front Porch 
5. Sticks And Stones 
6. Is That A Tear 
7. Time Marches On 
8. I See It Now 
9. How A Cowgirl Says Goodbye
10. Alibis 
11. Today's Lonely Fool 
12. Can't Break It To My Heart 
13. Lessons Learned 
14. Texas Tornado 
15. Stars Over Texas 
16. My Second Home 
17. If The Good Die Young

Related Links:
www.tracylawrence.com - Official Website
Tracy Lawrence - Strong - CSO Review

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