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Morgan and Tillis find harmony works best

Grits
& Glamour: Lorrie
Morgan and Pam Tillis

♦ 8 p.m. Nov. 10

♦ Norris Cultural Arts Center, 1040 Dunham RSt. Charles

♦ Tickets, $55

♦ (630) 584-7200;

www.norrisculturalarts.com

Take two friends — who just happen to be award-winning artists — add some of the top country hits from the last two decades and a good measure of fun.

The result is the Grits & Glamour Tour featuring Lorrie Morgan and Pam Tillis, which stops Nov. 10 at the Norris Cultural Arts Center in St. Charles.

The idea for the tour was proposed by Tillis during lunch with Morgan.

“She said we’re practically the only second-generation females that are friends. Let’s get out on the road,” Morgan said by phone from her home just outside Nashville.

The show is “all about music vocals and harmonies,” she said. “There are no bells and whistles about it.”

Together, Morgan and Tillis have 28 Top 10 hits and have sold more than 18 million albums. Morgan’s hits include “Five Minutes,” “What Part of No” and “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength” while Tillis has had “Mi Vida Loca” and “Maybe It Was Memphis.”

Morgan, who became the youngest person every inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 1984 at the age of 24, said it’s wonderful, “especially as women, to see your dreams come true in this industry ... We have more to prove then men.”

From the time the show opens, Morgan and Tillis don’t ever leave the stage. Accompanying them are two of Tillis’s musicians and two of Morgan’s. “People will see that ... we really are singing,” Morgan said. “We’re legitimate.”

Morgan counts Tammy Wynette as an inspiration. “To me she was the epitome of a country queen,” Morgan said. “Man, she was just awesome and always gracious, kind and sang her butt off.”

When she’s not busy with Grits & Glamour, Morgan is preparing for her new holiday show at the Opryland Hotel Nashville. “Lorrie Morgan Enchanted Christmas” runs from mid-November through Dec. 25. Morgan and Tillis have also recorded a “Grits & Glamour” album, which is expected to be released in time for Christmas.

“We went through about 400 songs for the album,” she said. “We took a long time — it was about a year in the making.”

The two have already filmed a video for the album, which Morgan describes as “a couple of girls playing dress up all day.

“It’s going to be a blast,” she said. “What’s even going to be more fun is we’re going to make the songs come alive on stage.”

While Morgan and Tillis have been acquaintances for years, the tour has helped them develop a deeper friendship.

“When we started Grits & Glamour and started using the same bus and taking the same flight schedule, we really became close and realized how much we have in common,” Morgan said.

Kathy Chicon is a local free-lance writer.



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