An honor student in St. Albert, Alberta, Canada, Marlee Scott enjoyed junior high school, loved riding horses and showed promise in music. But while her mother thought it fitting for her to study flute, her daughter had other plans: She wanted an electric guitar and was determined to cut her first album at 15.
She missed that deadline, perhaps all for the better. One day when she was 16, Scott switched the car radio to a Country station and heard Alabama’s “Mountain Music.” Metaphorically, she hasn’t turned the dial since. With Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban among her models, she combined smooth timbre, interpretive sensitivity and a flair for emotional connection into a distinctive singing style. After hearing her Canadian debut, Souvenir, in 2007, Gerry Leiske signed on as her manager and oversaw the release of a self-titled second album the following year in Canada and Australia.
With Beautiful Maybe, produced by David Kalmusky, Scott breaks into the U.S. market on Leiske’s Big Ride Records. The title cut (written by Tania Hancheroff, Marcus Hummon and Tia Sillers) portrays different stages of life, each warmed by hope and energized by Scott’s soaring delivery. “Train Wreck” (Hummon, Sarah Buxton and Jedd Hughes) offers a more humorous take on a woman whose character reflects perfectly in the title. On the power ballad “Let It Rain” (Kristen Hall), Scott rides each dynamic surge without over-singing even as strings swell and cymbals crash. And on “Kiss of Coming Home” (Scott, Hummon and Laura Veltz), one of the two tracks that she co-wrote, she adorns the melody with ornamental phrases that connect unfailingly with the wistfulness of the tune.
IN HER OWN WORDS
SONG YOU’D LOVE TO COVER
“‘I’m Too Sexy’ by Right Said Fred would make for a very interesting cover — especially for a female Country artist!”
“I absolutely hate it when someone tells you they are going to call you right back and they don’t.”
SONG YOU WISH YOU’D WRITTEN
“‘Into the Mystic’ by Van Morrison.”
DREAM DUET PARTNER
“Having the opportunity to work with Vince Gill is hard to beat. He has one of the most beautiful voices and is such a wonderful person! I am so lucky he agreed to sing on one of my tunes.”
FAVORITE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION
“I love taking the tour bus out on the road because I can pack a lot more clothes! (I tend to over-pack. I hate not having choices on what to wear.) If I am going on vacation, though, it’s great to fly, especially if you can get a direct flight. It’s certainly a lot faster than driving.”
ACTRESS TO PORTRAY YOU IN A BIOPIC
“I love Rachel McAdams! She’s so beautiful, and every role I have seen her in, she nails it.”
WHAT YOU’D BE, IF NOT A MUSICAL ARTIST
“I love animals, so maybe I’d be a vet – although I love baking, so possibly I’d go to pastry school and open up a bakery.”
“My first ‘paid’ gig was for the Magnificent River Rats Festival in Athabasca, Alberta, Canada. They gave me $500 for an hour-long show with a four-piece band. I thought it was a ton of money at the time until my Mom reminded me I still had to pay for the band and gas to get there!”
FAVORITE FOOD ON THE ROAD
“York Peppermint Patties.”
SOMETHING WE’D NEVER GUESS ABOUT YOU
“I am constantly rescuing bugs, even though they scare me.”
On the Web: www.MarleeScott.com
On Twitter: @MarleeScott
By Bob Doerschuk
© 2012 CMA Close Up® News Service / Country Music Association®, Inc.