Making her first full-length album was as natural a progression for singer/songwriter Alli Rogers as the transition from winter to spring. The changing of these particular seasons brings what Alli likes to call 'sweater and sandal' weather, the time when warming temperatures bring people from their hibernation to time spent with one another outdoors. Alli's debut recording 'Always Eden' feels much the same way. Over the course of the album's 11 songs, Alli invites the listener to leave their own isolation and join an ongoing conversation as she shares stories rich with unflinching honesty and quiet intimacy. The subjects of her songs touch upon divine love, relationships with family or friends, or a new romantic interest, but they all chronicle Alli's committed search for the place where true interaction takes place. That search is evident in the album's title track 'Eden.' The song begins as a personal story of grappling with the struggle between good and evil but then transitions into a contemplation of the longing common to all human existence. 'I've always had a heart for the downtrodden or people that are hurting,' Alli says when asked what inspired the writing of 'Eden.' 'I don't want to call myself a pessimist, but I've always been drawn to the sad stories. 'Eden' is representative of that mindset.' Alli Rogers' personal journey to the point of making 'Always Eden' was in keeping with the natural transitions apparent in her music. She did not seek out a record deal or play an endless string of shows to gain the attention of talent scouts. Instead, Alli was singing in her father's cover band when she happened to meet the coordinator of a talent competition held at Atlantafest, a major music festival. She entered the contest on a whim and won, performing an original song and a few covers. The festival win led to a record deal with a major label based in Nashville, TN. As a result, Alli began the process of writing and recording her debut album at the tender age of 16. Over the course of the next year, Alli traveled between Nashville and her home in Iowa, co-writing with professional songwriters and recording an album. In an all too common move for the music industry, Alli's label was bought by a larger record label. Her album was shelved just days before it was completed. Instead of lamenting the loss of two years' work, Alli has seen her time signed to a major label as a blessing. The contacts she made while working on that album have formed the basis of her current circle of friends in her adopted hometown of Nashville. She enlisted many of these friends to help her realize 'Always Eden.' This new project shows Alli to be an artist with a defined vision of how to present her music. She wrote every song, played acoustic guitar, and co-produced the album with friend Donnie Boutwell. Working with Donnie on the record was ideal because he allowed her to refine her artistic vision while building the songs around Alli's guitar and vocal performance. Aside from the occasional jazz instrumentation or upright bass and percussion, Alli's intimate, confessional vocal and guitar performance is presented just as it was recorded. When asked about her hopes for what 'Always Eden' might accomplish, Alli responds: 'All I want is for the album to move people. There's something about relating to somebody and recognizing how fragile we all are. I love hearing people's stories, and I love being able to be really honest with somebody. I think that music is the most powerful tool when it comes to that. I just want to play and have people respond.'
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