A dozen albums from a storied career two decades in the making already show Wade Bowen’s musical evolution – including six studio sets, two live collections, a gospel album and more – yet he continues to explore new sonic landscapes with today’s release of his latest full-length album, Somewhere Between The Secret And The Truth, via Thirty Tigers. Listen HERE.
“It feels like I’m renewing my vows,” Bowen says of the album praised by Forbes for “his deep love of country-style songwriting, his stronger-than-ever voice, and a renewed excitement for creating and performing.” “I love waking up knowing what my purpose is, what my direction is, and also feeling like there’s so much more left to do… I feel revived.”
That creative revival follows a tumultuous four years for Bowen, who was shut down by vocal surgery in 2018 and was still recovering when the pandemic followed, leaving him adrift and unsure of his musical heading. With Somewhere Between The Secret And The Truth, his creative spark is back.
Featuring 12 new tracks, all written by Bowen with a small group of Nashville’s sharpest minds – Lori McKenna, Heather Morgan, Eric Paslay, Randy Montana and Ray Fulcher among them – the resurgence brings Bowen back into his wheelhouse, back to what he’s always done best… But it’s also a step forward. Exacting lyrics filled with vivid detail and often-conflicted characters; gritty landscapes and a warm vocal that buzzes like a neon sign – those things remain.
For the first time, Bowen also takes on the role of sole producer, adding another element to his uncompromising vision. Drawing on ’80s and ’90s country and dreaming of a return to the stage, each track on Somewhere Between The Secret And The Truth was built for maximum live-show impact, embracing the keep-it-simple motto he’d long left behind.
“I wanted to make sure we didn’t overthink these songs,” Bowen explains. “There’s not a bunch of minor chords or eerie, intensity-driven stuff – even though I’ve always had a lot of pride in those moments in the past. This record is written simply and that’s on purpose, to have enough space to be big and for the band to go somewhere with it.”
Also going back to basics in the studio, Bowen booked time in Nashville and re-enlisted his core session team. The group had already recorded what Bowen thought was the entire project when suddenly, an idea struck him. Offering a new take on a classic cheating ballad – one that matches moral ambiguity with striking realism and an optimistic payoff – the idea became “Somewhere Between The Secret And The Truth.” It gave the album its thematic anchor.
“I think it sums up our collective feelings in the last few years, and also sums up country music in one great line,” Bowen says. “We’re all roaming this earth somewhere between the secret and the truth, and this is a great way to show the characters I love to write about. What we choose to reveal to others – or not reveal – really says a lot about who we are.”
Meanwhile, tracks like “Honky Tonk Roll” and “She’s Driving Me Crazy” speak to his retro-country headspace, offering fans a Texas-sized share of ’90s dancehall energy – and one woozy bridge that put his control-board courage to the test. Elsewhere, the artist crafts emotional turmoil into a series of three-minute mini-novels, and within the plainspoken poetry his new vigor is clear.
Teaming vocally with GRAMMY Award winning co-writer McKenna on “A Beautiful World,” for example, wistful memories of small-town perfection lead a stunning call to collective action – or perhaps non-action. Written via Zoom in the depths of early 2020, it was the first time in years that Bowen and the “Humble and Kind” author had paired up – but their connection was immediate, he says. What they found was rejuvenating … not just for his love affair with music, but for his faith in humanity, too.
“I was just so tired,” Bowen explains. “Everywhere you turned – TV, social media – everything was always so negative. It was always like ‘What a rough spot our country is in! We’re all against each other! There are so many bad things happening!’ No one was talking about anything good. My original idea was ‘I wish everyone would quit trying to change the world, because it’s actually a beautiful place.’ And really, the world could be a much better place, if we just choose to look at it that way.”
Likewise, the incomparable Vince Gill appears on “A Guitar, A Singer and A Song,” helping Bowen remember why he loved this job in the first place. Calling Gill one of his all-time heroes, Bowen first asked the ’90s superstar to contribute harmony vocals. But Gill, identifying so strongly with the simple-yet-illuminating look into a country artist’s life, graced the tune with both an acoustic guitar solo and a heartfelt verse. It captured the essence of the track, and where Bowen has ended up.
“We don’t think about it a whole lot until we get a couple decades into our career,” Bowen says. “‘Have I done enough that people will remember me?’
“For me, I’m at a spot where I really feel like these songs are the songs I want to play – more than anything I’ve ever done,” he goes on. “I’m just smiling more. I feel like I’m in a really good zone right now. And I’m ready to roll.”
Fans can catch Bowen performing the new music along with his extensive catalog of hits at shows across the country the rest of this year. For more information and to purchase tickets to upcoming tour dates, visit WadeBowen.com and follow on Facebook @TheWadeBowen and Twitter / Instagram @WadeBowen.
Somewhere Between The Secret And The Truth Track List
Produced by Wade Bowen; Songwriters in Parentheses
- Everything Has Your Memory (Wade Bowen, Eric Paslay, Heather Morgan)
- Burnin’ Both Ends of the Bar (Wade Bowen, Randy Montana)
- Honky Tonk Roll (Wade Bowen, Randy Montana)
- The Secret To This Town (Wade Bowen, Heather Morgan)
- If You Don’t Miss Me (Wade Bowen, Ray Fulcher)
- A Beautiful World featuring Lori McKenna (Wade Bowen, Lori McKenna)
- She’s Driving Me Crazy (Wade Bowen, Eric Paslay, Heather Morgan)
- Knowing Me Like I Do (Wade Bowen, Clint Ingersoll)
- It’s Gonna Hurt (Wade Bowen, Drew Kennedy)
- Say Goodbye (Wade Bowen, Eric Paslay, Heather Morgan)
- A Guitar, A Singer and A Song featuring Vince Gill (Wade Bowen, Lori McKenna)
- Somewhere Between The Secret and The Truth (Wade Bowen, Lori McKenna)
About Wade Bowen
Twenty years and some 4,000 shows into his career, the name Wade Bowen has become synonymous with authentic Country music– and for good reason. An artistic descendant of American icons like Guy Clark, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Robert Earl Keen and more, Bowen is a contemporary link in a Texan chain of roots-rock poets stretching back more than 50 years – yet his ambition never ended at the state line.
Seen as one of the genre’s finest and most genuine modern voices, Bowen’s approach stays rooted in tradition, but also stands on the creative cutting edge. His focus remains on writing unique songs with a literary quality and shifting his sonic territory to match his life, as evidenced by his new full-length album, Somewhere Between The Secret And The Truth, available now via Thirty Tigers as the follow up to his critically acclaimed recent EP, Where Phones Don’t Work.
Wielding a knack for direct, poetic songwriting that never panders, Bowen matches his gravel-road growl to an organic sound spanning the whole of Texas and beyond, tapping both country and rock influences. A dozen albums have shown his sonic diversity – including six studio sets, two live collections, a gospel album and an ongoing series of buddy-country hits with fellow Texan, Randy Rogers. Along the way, he’s scored hits and accolades based on quality, not quantity, and continues to perform around 200 nationwide shows each year – including multiple appearances on the venerated Grand Ole Opry stagehttps://www.countryschatter.com/2022/08/wade-bowen-offers-album-somewhere-between-the-secret-and-the-truth-out-now/New ReleasesPress ReleaseDrew Kennedy,Eric Pasley,Facebook "Somewhere Between The Secret And The Truth",Heather Morgan,Wade Bowen