"Change comes in like a rising tide," Allison Moorer sings on "Like It Used to Be," the first track from her upcoming eighth studio album, Down to Believing. She follows that hard-driving opener by unleashing a flood of emotion-packed tunes chronicling the turbulent, life-changing events that have occurred since the release of her last LP, Crows, in 2010. Produced by Moorer's longtime friend and collaborator, guitarist Kenny Greenberg, Down to Believing is her first for the eOne Nashville label, and was recorded in Music City over a two-year period, with Moorer commuting back and forth from her New York City home. The album will be released March 17th. (See the complete track listing and listen to "Like It Used to Be" below.)
A stunning and revelatory collection about family and relationships, Down to Believing offers candid details about the dissolution of Moorer's marriage to fellow musician Steve Earle, and the diagnosis of their son John Henry's autism. When the recording process began in January 2012, the same month her son's condition was diagnosed, Moorer was simply writing songs to submit to her music publisher, Warner Chappell.
"I didn't even know there was going to be another record," Moorer tells Rolling Stone Country. "I was just trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life, trying to figure out how to be a mama and balance that with being an artist. I just didn't know if I was ever going to be able to devote the time that being a singer-songwriter needs. I wasn't sure that I could do the job anymore."
Moorer says she had written more than 50 songs since the release of Crows, but that if she was going to continue her recording career it was important for her to do the job properly, with a support system of friends and collaborators.
"It just goes to show you that where there's a will, there's a way," she notes. "I'll go so far as to say where there is goodwill, there's a way. Because I can promise you this record would not exist if I didn't have a bunch of great people around me that love me and want to see me keep making art."
Down to Believing, which includes a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" among the dozen original tunes, is Moorer and Greenberg's second collaboration. Their first, The Hardest Part, was released nearly 15 years ago, in 2000, just two years after her song "A Soft Place to Fall" was included on the soundtrack to the film The Horse Whisperer, and garnered the Alabama native an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song. She has since released a series of critically acclaimed albums, been featured on releases by Joan Baez, Kid Rock and the Chieftains, and had her songs cut by Miranda Lambert, Earle and more.
Down to Believing track listing:
"Like It Used to Be"
"I Lost My Crystal Ball"
"Down to Believing"
"Tear Me Apart"
"If I Were Stronger"
"Mama Let the Wolf In"
"I'm Doing Fine"
"Back of My Mind"
"Have You Ever Seen the Rain"
"Gonna Get It Wrong"