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OCT. 20

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Country crooner Allison Moorer, like her Dusty-Goes-to-Memphis, bad-girl singer-sister Shelby Lynne, knows about woe: The sisters’ parents killed each other about 10 years ago. That awful tale is told on the hidden track that concludes Moorer’s second album, The Hardest Part, her follow-up to 1998’s Alabama Song and her Oscar-nominated “A Soft Place to Fall” (from The Horse Whisperer). But unlike Lynne, who has gone through a bad marriage or two and a career makeover (from Nashville beauty queen to defiant alt.country sexpot), Moorer is happily married to hubby Doyle “Butch” Primm, who produced and co-wrote The Hardest Part with Moorer and guitarist Kenny Greenberg. Still, even with such a successful marriage, Mrs. Primm sure knows how to sing about a broken heart. Over anthemic, midtempo country-rock—which combines the ache from the Gram Parsons-Emmylou Harris school, Tammy Wynette’s raw emotionality, and the lush, layered, modern Nashville sound—Moorer belts out melancholic tunes such as “Send Down an Angel”: “It’s nearly 3 a.m. and still no sight of him/When it comes to love I’m in the dark/Lord, I don’t understand why I stand by my man/All he’s ever done is break my heart.” Moorer’s lyrics are mournful and of the “I’m hurt; I can’t go on” variety, but she delivers the words with a powerful voice summoned from a deep well of inner strength. She performs at 8 p.m. Friday at the Barns of Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. $16. (703) 218-6500. (Christopher Porter)