Wade Bowen has come a long way from his fraternity days at Texas Tech University and even further from his local Texas hit album Try Not To Listen.
Bowen started his career in 2000 and is now on his eleventh album entitled Solid Ground, which embodies the folk and country music scene of the twenty-first century with old time vocals that will touch your soul. Just by listening to a few songs of Wade’s, you can tell that he is from Texas. From song titles such as “Day of the Dead” and “Acuna,” you can feel the Hispanic influences resonating throughout.
Wade also showcases his musical range with songs that hit with a bluesy vibe and a Jamey Johnson like voice such as “So Long 6th Street” and “Broken Glass.” One can tell from the later songs on the album that Wade has a very strong connection to the ocean with ambiguous lyrics from “Compass Rose” which makes the listener guess if he is talking about a girlfriend or an actual compass. This is followed by another love letter to the ocean entitled “Anchor,” that is also a metaphor for his relationship singing, “Am I an anchor or a rock to drag around.” This album finishes with a Chris Stapleton type of vibe with “Fell in Love on Whiskey,” which again exemplifies his extraordinary range as a country, folk artist. This album ends with a more lengthily song that is a call to all of the vices he keeps in his life with an astounding instrumental to complete this one of a kind album.
This album transcends generations with superb vocals and a new age version of country and Americana. It also does an amazing job of switching from slow, love songs to fast paced country wailers without missing a beat. Wade Bowen also utilizes twangy interludes full of many rhythmic harmonica outbreaks. Bowen, like many country artists, uses religious based lyrics in more than a third of his songs on this album, which intertwine with his songs perfectly. What I think sets Wade Bowen’s album apart from other country up and comers is his extremely relatable lyrics and unforgettable choruses.
My favorite song on the album is “Death, Dying, and Deviled Eggs,” which I believe will be playing on your favorite country radio station before you know it. I was on my way to my grandfather’s funeral this morning listening to this song and I could not help but shed a tear. It felt like Wade knew exactly how I was feeling because he knows about country funerals and all of the unforgiving love and great food. So here is to Death, Dying, Deviled Eggs, and Wade Bowen’s rocking new album entitled Solid Ground.