Pauline Reese

Pauline Reese knows how to write and deliver a country song. Not the fluff Shania calls country, but real and honest country music. This gorgeous Texan’s talent is tremendous and her contemporary take on what genuine country music should sound like is amazing. She’s got a new cd titled The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, on the horizon, as well as, several high profile concert dates and an appearance in Willie’s next music video. Catch up with one of the best voices in music, Pauline Reese, in this edition of 20 Questions!

1. What’s new and upcoming for Pauline Reese?
Our new CD “The Good the Bad & the Ugly” will hit the airwaves this May. I’m very excited that Willie Nelson is singing a duet with me on one of my songs. I can’t wait to see the response to my songwriting! In addition to this I will be on CMT very soon in Willie’s latest video “Kiss Big Booty Goodbye” a Sonny Throckmorton song—Let me know if you see it! Our gig line up will be a good one; we’ve got CD releases scheduled all over the state and shows with the Bellamy Brothers and Earl Thomas Conley coming soon!

2. You’re originally from East Texas, any thoughts of eventually moving back there? Or is the hill country just too great to leave?
I have the advantage of visiting family and friends in East Texas, and living in the hill country. I would love to have a home in both places someday. As long as I’m in Texas, I’m home.

3. Name association:
-Poodie Locke -Behind the scenes savior of Country Music!
-Clay Blaker -I miss him & his music, come home!
-Willie Nelson -My inspiration!
-Cory Morrow -Party time, I love to see his shows, too much fun!
-Rusty Wier -Entertainer of the year every year!
-James Hand -My favorite to dance to. Country as they come!
-Doug Moreland -Love to hear him carve out new songs and jokes!
-Kevin Fowler -King of Redneck Country Music, yeehaw!
-Roger Creager -One of my Anheuser-Busch buds, fun times!

4. Tell us the stories behind the following songs:
-Trail To Monterrey- One of my favorite songs to perform! It never gets old. I co-wrote this song with a guy out of South Carolina. I love that it sounds different than anything I’ve heard on Country radio today!

The Good the Bad & the Ugly- This is the title track to our new album coming out this May. My husband (John Burris) and I wrote this song together at a Mexican restaurant on the way home from the studio one night. We had been watching the movie “G.B.U.” and thought what if the good the bad and the ugly was one person. We have a little good bad and ugly in us all. It’s a very compassionate song, and like “ Trail to Monterrey” it sounds like nothing on Country Radio today. It’s modern day Marty Robbins.

-One Less Honkytonk- To me this is a kind of anthem for Country music lovers today. It talks about how a lot of the old honkytonks have shut down, but as longs as there are Country music fans there will be Country Music! This is definitely a favorite of mine off the new CD. I am honored to have written it with my mentor the great Freddy Powers!

-Yellow Wine- This song is so much fun to perform live, it gets such a great response. It was written about a friend who likes to call tequila by a different name. She’s 80 years old, her name is Gloria and she is very proud to be from Waco, Texas. The other person in the song is about a new found friend of mine, Little Joe, from the band “Little Joe y La Familia”. The first time I met him he offered me a shot of tequila and some of his mother’s homemade tortillas, what a character! He has one of the best live bands around, it’s a must see!

-Pick up the Pieces- This song I co-wrote with the very talented Ronnie Glenn Slimp. He likes to call our cell phones and leave song ideas. One day we got together and finished one of them! This song is what Country Music is all about! It’s about heartache, and how to mend it, not to mention this is the one Willie sings with me!

-Not Tonight- The first time I played this song for a person in radio, she cried. I was shocked when she had to leave the room. Later, she told me it hit a little too close to home. Her husband was physically and verbally abusing her and her 5 year old son. I had a friend with a near by crisis center who helped her get out of her situation for good. She is now able to continue her job on the air in a safe environment. She said the song really helped her have the strength to stand up for herself! THAT’S WHAT MAKING MUSIC IS ALL ABOUT!

5. Does your husband ever get jealous when male fans flirt with you?
Flirting? I just thought they were my fans! No, it’s never been an issue.

6. You do a lot of rodeo gigs. What’s your favorite rodeo event and why?
Glad you asked. Bull riding! My husband rode bulls for 15 years (10 in the PRCA). We met at a bull riding in Belton and he proposed to me at the Austin rodeo where I was singing. He’s one of the best bull riders I’ve seen and the best husband a girl could have!

7. You do a great job singing “The Star Spangled Banner”. Is that something you’ve always grown up doing? And what’s your favorite memory of performing it?
Thank you! Yes, I’ve sung the National Anthem so many times I’ve lost count. Two of my most fond memories would have to be kicking off Willie’s 4th of July picnic this past year with Willie and Bill Mack on either side of me. When I was through I looked back to see if they were still there, he, he! The other occasions would have to be singing at two of the U.T. football games with over 83,000 in attendance, what an honor! Hook ‘em!

8. You once described yourself as a female version of Willie Nelson in his early days. Do you find that description is still accurate? And why are you drawn to that comparison?
Yes, because early Willie Nelson music is what Country Music IS to me- shuffles, waltzes, swing etc…

9. Were your mother’s eyebrows a little raised when she heard you had a song titled “Black Vinyl Car Seat”?
No, my mother knows that she raised me right.

10. Have you ever gotten a contact high just from being around Poodie and Willie?
Ha, ha no comment.

11. Give us a favorite touring memory of the following towns/clubs.
-Austin -Always a great time in Austin!

-San Antonio -My show with Geronimo Trevino, what a blast! Watch for one this month at the Hanging Tree!

-Waco -Zack & Jim’s anniversary party this past year (Waco 100). Those guys had so many friends they had it at the Coliseum! My band and I played along with Kevin Fowler and Ronnie Milsap. Another memory happened just last week. Pat Green asked me to get up and close his show with him at the Heart of Texas Coliseum. Very cool of him, thanks Pat!

-Dallas/Ft.Worth -My first time to play Billy Bob’s, opening the show for Willie Nelson when he cut his DVD.

-San Angelo -Blaine’s, Blaine’s, Blaine’s !!! Love to hang with Blaine and listen to his voice. You must dance on the tables!

-Houston -Huge show we did last spring with my friends Deryl Dodd, Cory Morrow, Roger Creager for the Ziegenbach Festival. Music was hot and the beer was cold!

-George’s Bar -Big “O”, Zack, Jim and the gang at Waco 100. What more do you need to know?!

-Saxon Pub -This was one of the places I started out singing. And, it’s also the first place my husband saw me sing. Thanks for great memories Joe and Judy!

-Broken Spoke -So many wonderful people and times!

-Gruene Hall -Did a show with Two Tons of Steel, everyone was up and dancing that night!

-Poodie’s Hilltop -Every time I play Poodie’s its memorable!

-Willie’s Picnic -Seeing my buddies front and center when I performed! It was a goal accomplished and a dream come true!

12. You’re young yet you’ve been performing over half your life. Do you ever get stage fright? What are your pre-show rituals?
No, I love to entertain! To get ready for a show I drink lots of water the day before (try to). I warm up for at least 45 minutes. And, I try to get plenty of sleep (most of the time it doesn’t work out).

13. What are your top 10 must have albums?
Willie Nelson -Tougher than Leather and Stardust
Tammy Wynette –Greatest Hits
Freddy Powers –All I Wanna Do is Sing My Song
Emmy Lou Harris – Luxury Liner
Kris Kristofferson –Moment in Time
Kim Richey – Kim Richey
Doug Sahm –Return to Wayne Douglas
Patsy Cline –box set
Robert Earl Keen –Can I have all of them?
Marty Robbins –Box set
This could go on and on and on.

14. You’re sponsored by Michelob Ultra. They just send truckloads of beer to ya’lls house right?
I am on a low carb. Diet!

15. Your five favorite movies.
The Good the Bad & the Ugly
Urban Cowboy
Junior Bonner
Angel and the Bad Man
Honeysuckle Rose
Young Guns II –once again this could go on and on!

16. You’ve been bestowed with a number of compliments about your career thus far. What’s the greatest compliment you’ve received about your music?
That I have my own sound!

17. Rapid Fire:
-Zack and Jim OR Sammy and Bob –Love them both!
-Hook ‘em or Gig ‘em –Hook ‘em!
-Garth or Trisha -Trisha
-Leslie or Gus Garcia -Gus
-Patsy or Reba -Patsy
-Lane or Tuff -Lane
-Who’s a better Wyatt Earp? Kurt Russell or Kevin Costner? -Love you Kevin,but gotta go with Kurt Russell on this one!

18. Where do you see your band in 5 years?
Still keepin’ the beat and makin’ good Country music!

19. Favorite George Strait song.
That’s a toughie!
New, “Tell Me Something Bad about Tulsa”
Old, “This is Where the Cowboy Rides Away” if I only had two choices!

20. Compare/Contrast the music you and your peers in Texas are making with the stuff Nashville and LA are pumping out.
Some of the songs I hear coming out of Nashville and LA attempt to relate to real life but have no soul. I think the music industry needs to do a little soul searching.

Brad Beheler

Raised in Waco, refined in the Hill Country, escaped from DFW. I've worked in just about every facet of the music business for 20 years. I like to write about it all. e-mail Brad Editor-in-Chief

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