Jon Folk:



Blakely Tuten:

Julie Roberts


Years before her first single, "Break Down Here," turned her into a country headliner, Julie Roberts was a young girl with a dream in rural South Carolina, raised on the sounds of traditional country music, blues, and old-school soul.

"The radio was our escape," she remembers. "Whenever my parents had a fight and Dad had been drinking, my mom and I would get into her car and turn it up as loud as it would go. Every guitar lick, every melody, every bit of hurt in someone's voice became ingrained in my head. Those songs are still with me now."

On her newest album, I Think You Know, Roberts builds a bridge between the sounds that shaped her past and the resilience that fuels her present. She's a survivor, having sustained a critically-acclaimed career throughout a period that included the dissolution of her first record deal, the loss of her home due to the 2010 Nashville flood, and a life-changing diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Produced by Shooter Jennings, I Think You Know tackles those challenges head-on, with Roberts singing about love, loss, roots, and redemption in a voice that's never sounded bigger.

"It's a record of strength," she says. "I'm reinventing myself here, both musically and lyrically, while still paying tribute to the traditional elements that people know me for."

I Think You Know was recorded in Los Angeles over a two-year period, with Roberts taking as much time as needed in the creative search for the right sounds and arrangements. She calls it her "career record," pointing to a 10-song tracklist that mixes southern soul, Telecaster twang, bluesy ballads, and fiddle-filled numbers into the same space. There are revamped covers of older songs, including a stirring makeover of K.T. Oslin's chart-topping "Do Ya" and an overhaul of Ray Lamontagne's "New York City's Killing Me" (the latter song turned into a duet with Jamey Johnson and rebranded as "Music City's Killing Me"). There are sharply-written originals, too. From the rhythmic pulse of "Big Moon" to the sultry vibe of “The Concept of You,” I Think You Know shines a light on the full range of its frontwoman's abilities. The title track itself is a moving ballad that Jessi Colter wrote years ago, waiting for just the right person to record it. Julie makes it shine.

Roberts wrote “The Song Goes With Me” in recollection of her difficult split with Universal Music. She'd been with the record label for years, taking a job as a receptionist before working her way toward the top of the company's artist roster. Her debut album was released in 2004, and by the decade's end, Roberts had sold more than one million copies of her first two records alone. It was wildly a successful run, and maybe that's why it hurt so much when her partnership with Universal came to an abrupt end in 2010. Of course, it didn't help that she lost her record deal the same week as the 2010 Nashville flood, whose torrential waters destroyed her home, too.

Roberts left town for a bit. She needed to regroup and rebuild. Then, just as she'd done as a child — back when a young Roberts would blast the radio to clear her mind after another family argument — she put her faith into music. New songs were written. New shows were booked. New opportunities were seized. When Shooter Jennings asked her to come to Los Angeles and record an album that could define her legacy, she jumped at the chance. I Think You Know is the result: a record that sinks its roots deep in to the music of the American South, saluting older sounds while creating more than a few ones, as well. It's an album about building a new future without ignoring the pieces of one's past.

Months after the album's release, HarperCollins will publish her autobiography, Beauty in the Breakdown: Choosing to Overcome.

"The book is about overcoming obstacles and starting over with this record," she explains. "That's a theme of my life: choosing to overcome. I always try to find the positivity in something, even when life hands me something I don't understand."

I Think You Know is the newest chapter in that story. And for Roberts, her amazing story is still unfolding.  


Career Highlights 

• Over 1 million records sold of Julie's first two albums alone.

• Billboard top 20 country hit with "Break Down Here"

• Featured in Rolling Stone, New York Times, USA Today, Country Weekly, Vanity Fair and Glamour

• Has shared the stage with Rascal Flatts, Reba McEntire, Alan Jackson and Keith Urban, as well as headlining her own shows

• Musical guest on the Tonight Show three times 

• Performed on Good Morning America four times

• Recorded the Good Morning America theme song “Good To Go” and filmed commercial with the GMA cast. ABC used the song & commercial for two years.

• Performed and Recorded a campaign theme song for Clinique Happy perfume alongside Rihanna

• Nominated twice by the Academy of Country Music for Top New Female Artist, nominated by the Country Music Association for the Horizon Award for top new artist, and nominated at the Country Music Television (CMT) Awards for Breakthrough Artist of the Year