It’s been quite a busy week in the life and career of Lisa Marie Presley. With a promotional stop in Music City to talk about her album “Storm & Grace,” she could be found all over Nashville. Monday had her attending a luncheon in her honor at the city’s BMI offices, and Tuesday would see the songstress make her debut on a stage her father played six decades ago: the Grand Ole Opry.
Inside Elvis Presley’s World:
The Opry crowd was definitely ready for her debut. She admitted to some nerves, before cracking a joke that she hoped there wasn’t a truck outside to take her away — a reference to then-Opry manager Jim Denny telling her father he needed to go back to driving a truck following his only appearance on the show in 1954. Backstage, it seemed like a huge homecoming for the singer. James Burton, her father’s guitarist, was there, as was Gospel music legend Joe Moscheo, who worked with Elvis as a member of the Imperials. Also on the bill was longtime Opry member Larry Gatlin, who penned Presley’s 1974 hit “Help Me,” as well as “Bitter They Are, Harder They Fall.”
“Storm & Grace,” produced by T-Bone Burnett, has received the best reviews of her career. While it does have a Memphis vibe, think more Dusty Springfield or Bobbie Gentry than her father. She said the styles represented on the disc are very much all over the place.
“I think it’s an interesting blend of a lot of different things. I don’t know if you would classify it as Americana. It’s bluesy. I’m inspired by all of it,” she said, allowing she does have some country roots. “I grew up listening to country, watching ‘Hee Haw’ and listening to the Opry. So, everything has influenced me for sure.”
Presley told Billboard that the reception bestowed upon her by Music City humbled her. “I have been so blown away at the reception. It’s been so warm and incredible coming here. I feel really at ease. To be in a place that appreciates singer-songwriters is an incredible experience. That doesn’t happen so much in Los Angeles. It’s been overwhelming. I feel very honored and lucky.”
Of working with 12-time Grammy winner Burnett on the album, she stated that it was an incredible artistic experience. “I know he’s produced so many great records, and gets stuff handed to him all the time. It was one of the most incredible blessings I’ve ever had for him to come on board because he liked the music he heard, and wanted to do the record.”
“Storm & Grace,” which features such haunting performances as “Over Me,” “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” and the stunning “Storm Of Nails” (which brings to mind early Rosanne Cash), was also made memorable due to the musicians that Burnett assembled for the album, such as bassist Dennis Crouch and mandolin player Mike Compton. “They are so incredible,” she exclaimed. “They are mind-blowing, each one of them, and T -Bone has a few of them in his orbit, and depending on what project he’s working on, he will put a potpourri of them together on a project. It was really incredible to work with everyone involved on the album, and very inspiring.”
What’s next for her? “I will be going back to California for a little bit, then I’ll be headed overseas for about six weeks to do a lot of promotional things for the record. Then, I’ll head back to Nashville in October and hopefully be touring in November,” she said.