|From the stage of the Grand Ole Opry to the National Arts Center in Ottawa, Canada, Gail Bliss has been a full-time professional entertainer for the past 16 years, performing at prestigious venues such as these across North America. At present she is entering into her 4th season at Myrtle Beach's Alabama Theatre where she is a featured female vocalist and saxophone player in the theatre’s variety production show called “ONE.” This 2,000 seat theatre has been named the Top Entertainment Venue in the Southeast for the last several years. Television audiences may remember having seen Gail perform her original compositions on the Trinity Broadcast Network’s airing of the 2003 National Christian Talent Search, in which she was named one of the top four soloists in the United States, or while singing the national anthem in Canada’s Skydome for the Toronto Bluejays, or as a featured entertainer at the Bing Crosby Celebrity Golf Tournament. Radio audiences may recall her performances commended on the Paul Harvey radio broadcast. Credentials aside, a turning point came in Gail’s life in 1999 when Gail gave her life and her singing career to Jesus Christ. “My entire focus in life has changed as a result of God’s amazing grace,” says Bliss. “My gigs now have me singing in churches as well as honky tonks.” Gail has most recently shared her music at Centre Street United Methodist Church in Cumberland, Maryland and every week at the Ocean Drive Presbyterian Church in North Myrtle Beach, SC where she serves as the contemporary service Praise & Worship leader.|
|After finding success with her first
and second recordings, Gail
Bliss and Patsy Cline (produced by the legendary Harold Bradley) and
Ready or Not (featuring LeRoy Parnell’s band, The Hot Links), Gail has recorded
and co-produced her third project, Where Love Lives on her independent
label, Sheer Bliss Productions. This album, co-produced by Tony Turner of
Mid South, breaks new ground for Gail and casts her into the gospel and
bluegrass genres. Reminiscent of the production of such artists as Alison
Krauss and the recent album by Patty Loveless, Mountain Soul, Where Love
Lives is predominately an acoustic album featuring some of Nashville’s
finest bluegrass pickers. From review of the album’s liner notes, it’s not
difficult to imagine the quality of this recording. Bryan Sutton, of Dolly
Parton’s band, is the acoustic guitarist, and Aubrey Haynie, fiddler and
mandolin player with Clint Black, are just a couple of the all-star musicians
listed. The album features the traditional (How Great Thou Art, Life’s Railway
To Heaven, The Solid Rock) with the new. Gail sites, “This album is my pride
and joy and truly reflects my heart. It’s also the first project where I
had a hand in the songwriting, as well as in the singing and production.”
Where Love Lives has been heard across the country on the Solid Gospel
Radio Network, Sunday's Kind of Country, and the Power Source Top 20 Countdown
syndicated programs, to name a few. Where Love Lives has been described
as a recording where tradition meets contemporary, where bluegrass meets
gospel, and where a sweet and soulful voice can be heard. The title cut,
“Where Love Lives”, co-written by Bliss and Steve Fox, recently helped
Gail to garner the award as top songwriter in the songwriting competition
at the 2003 Christian Country Music Association convention. Another song
on the project penned by Bliss, “Lord, I Trust In You”, was selected from
among the nation’s top songwriters for inclusion in the nationally distributed
Worship Leader Magazine’s Devotional Diversity compilation disk. Gail, after
having toured and recorded with legendary fiddler, Vassar
Clements, is no stranger to fine acoustic and bluegrass music. “I learned
from some of the best,” says Bliss.
Speaking of “learning from the best”, Gail spent many years standing in the boots of country legend, Patsy Cline, as she toured extensively in the starring role of both “A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline,” and “Patsy!”. Gail was selected from over 600 hopefuls to originate the role in the first national tour beginning in 1994. Branson, Missouri audiences will remember her year spent in the 3,800 seat Grand Palace in 1995. Other venues that featured her in this role ranged from the National Arts Center in Ottawa, Canada to the Stevens Center in Winston-Salem, NC; over 60 venues in all. Even Charlie Dick, Patsy Cline’s widower, gives Gail his stamp of approval stating that she is “the best I’ve ever seen.” At Jacksonville, Florida’s Alhambra Dinner Theatre and the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse in Rock Island, IL, Bliss not only carries the starring role, but has stepped into the role of director and co-producer of “A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline,” paying tribute to her favorite female vocalist of all time. Her production is also returning for a second time in January of 2005 at the Alabama Theatre in South Carolina. Other acting roles include the sassy “Rhetta” in the Broadway smash, Pump Boys and Dinettes, and the triumphant, “Jeanine Jasper” in the original musical theatre piece, Play It By Heart. These productions were staged at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN and the cutting edge Village Theatre in Issaquah, WA respectively.
Gail’s musical beginnings found her in Los Angeles, singing cajun-french lyrics in the night club scene with Louisiana R&B band, Bourre’. Next move; Washington DC and the Mid-Atlantic where Gail was instrumental in forming the award winning western swing band, “The Lone Starlets.” “It was with this band that I cut my musical teeth and became a student of swing music,” says Bliss. The Lone Starlets were presented the Washington Area Music Association’s (WAMMIE) award for Best Country Band in the Mid-Atlantic region and Gail Bliss, the Best Country Female Vocalist. The Lone Starlets graced the stages of such venues as Washington, DC’s Kennedy Center and Baltimore’s Harbourfront and often shared the stage with national recording acts such as Trisha Yearwood, Ricky Van Shelton, and Mary Chapin Carpenter, to name a few.
Plans are underway at present for an active touring schedule in the months of November and December 2004, before she returns to South Carolina’s Alabama Theatre in February of 2005. Gail is also hopeful that she will be releasing another recording project over the course of the next year.
© 2005 Gail Bliss, All Rights Reserved.