Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott turns pain and loss into healing on the upcoming gospel project Love Remains, a collaboration with her musically talented family, which releases July 29 on EMI Nashville.
On Wednesday evening (July 20) at Nashville event space The Bell Tower, the family’s close-knit performance effortlessly made a tightly-packed gathering of approximately 200 industry executives, artists, songwriters, and publishers feel relaxed and intimate. The family shared harmonies and stories for approximately half the tracks included on the intensely personal project.
Hillary Scott & The Scott Family includes her mother, singer-entertainer Linda Davis, who released five solo albums of her own, and is perhaps best known for her enduring 1993 duet “Does He Love You,” with Reba. Hillary’s 16-year-old sister Rylee, and her father, songwriter and businessman Lang Scott, are also in the ensemble.
A true family affair, also onstage that evening were Hillary Scott’s husband Chris Tyrell (who played on Love Remains), and their nearly 3-year-old daughter Eisele.
Love Remains began in 2011, after Hillary’s grandfather W.M. Scott Jr., passed after a battle with leukemia. While the family recordings were originally intended to be a collection of hymns sent to thank family and friends for their support, the family’s musical synergies escalated the recordings into an album, guided by legendary musician, singer and songwriter Ricky Skaggs.
Calling him the “pastor of this project,” Scott welcomed Skaggs to the stage that evening to offer mandolin and vocals on “The Faithful Love of Jesus,” which Scott said featured Steven Curtis Chapman’s vocals on the album.
Calling the song one of her personal favorites, Hillary said the lyrics were “pure and true,” and recalled how the melodies and words conjured a certain inspiration. “I thought, ‘What would Bonnie Raitt do to a worship song?’” Hillary said.
Hillary recalled how she sent out to a small number of publishers a letter that discussed her grandfather’s character and legacy. Writers took her words and crafted them into the track “Safe Haven.” “It was important to have a song about him on this record,” Scott told the crowd.
Hillary’s younger sister Rylee displayed stunning confidence as she took the lead on the track, “Your Unfailing Love,” sharing the stage with Skaggs while he assisted on mandolin and harmonies. The track was penned by songwriters Glenn Warren and Worley Max.
Several in the industry crowd could be seen wiping tears after the family gathered for a rendition of the album’s title track “Love Remains,” penned by Tom Douglas and Jim Daddario. The song chronicles the natural changes family experiences over decades, and the steadfast bond that holds them together.
Love Remains took on even more personal meaning with the addition of “Thy Will,” the project’s lead single, inspired by the confusion, pain, and ultimate decision to trust, that Hillary experienced after her second pregnancy ended in miscarriage in fall 2015.
She offered a quiet but powerful live rendition of the song during the album preview event, and thanked co-writers Emily Weisband and Bernie Herms. “I feel like we were a pass-through of something bigger, and I’m glad we were allowed to be part of this,” said Scott.
The family rejoined for a “sister song,” a rendition of “The River,” featuring Hillary, Linda, Rylee and Cheryl White. “This will be an animal to do live, because we had so many singers stacked on the studio track,” said Hillary. She needn’t have worried; the track’s up-tempo grove and soulful harmonies filled the room, and included an appropriate snippet of “Down To The River To Pray.”
Altogether, the Scott Family showcased another chapter in the long-held tradition of close-knit family music intertwined in both country and gospel music.
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