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By Dave Carew

It took quite a while to get to this moment. Twenty-nine years, to be precise. That—as Judy Rodman reminded her audience last Tuesday night at the Nashville Musicians Association on Music Row—was the last time she had released a new album.

“The first time in twenty-nine years . . . and the first time ever with John,” Judy said, looking affectionately at her drummer/songwriter husband, as she and John hosted a private CD Listening Party for friends and music-industry professionals.

“We just wanted to   play   again,” John Rodman told the large crowd.

The album the Rodmans unveiled is entitled   Here We Are, a richly varied collection of seven songs, ranging from radio-ready contemporary country (“Something Like That,” “Still Breathing”) to Deep-South soul and R & B (“When the Day is Over,” “Something Bad”) to the dream-like instrumental “Sweet Dreams,” the album’s final track.

“Amazing album,” said Vinny Ribas, CEO of Indie Connect, as the last strains of “Sweet Dreams” faded away.

“Killer,” I replied, as loud, sustained applause filled the room.

For my part, I kept thinking about the   gift   this album represents. The word “gift” resonated in my head throughout the CD Listening Party and all through my half-hour drive home afterward. You don’t’ earn the “Best New Artist” Award from the Academy of Country Music—as Judy Rodman once did—without being an extraordinarily gifted artist. You don’t write #1 hit songs—as Judy Rodman has done—without being a very gifted songwriter. But the greatest gift that night—to me—had to do not with   what   was unveiled, but in   how: before a large group of people who deeply appreciate the musical art form, and who were curious to see what new richness two of Nashville’s most respected and beloved artists could place before them.

When it was over, the audience knew they’d heard something very special—and been   part   of something special.

And it was well worth the wait.

To order   Here We Are   or for more information please visit:

http://www.johnandjudyrodman.com

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter,” both now available from   Amazon.com   and   XLibris.com . Dave is also a freelance book editor, publicist, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising / marketing / public relations writer.

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