In his new album Solid GroundWade Bowen wanted to focus on his Texan musical heritage.

“I’m born and raised — I still live — in Texas,” Bowen told uInterview exclusively at SXSW in Austin. “Texas music is very influential in my life and always has been, obviously, because I’m around it living here, and so Texas music to me is the music of Texas. It’s rock, it’s country, it’s Americana, it’s blues, it’s Tejano. It’s a little bit of everything, and that’s really what I wanted it to accomplish with this record — was have the characters, have the sound that comes out of this state.”


He was influenced by Bruce Springsteen, and The Boss’s music reflected what he called the New Jersey sound.

“I haven’t really spent a lot of time in that area, you know, in New York and Jersey and that whole area up there, so it’s nice [that] even though I haven’t spent time up there, you still understood where the music was from and what it was all about,” Bowen said. “So I really wanted this album to be an example of that.”

Bowen said while it’s always hard for him to pick out a favorite song from one of his albums, his favorite track off Solid Ground is “So Long 6th Street.”

“Just from the moment we started writing it and finished it, it just felt like a hit,” Bowen said. “It felt like a monster-sounding song, and those are hard to come by, you know. You can write intense, deep, lyrically driven songs all the time, but it seems like when you really — you know, that song to me is one of those, kind of, anthem things that you can hear the crowd singing it as you’re writing it, almost. And those are hard to come by, I think, for me. So I’ve always, I’ve really believed in that song from the moment we finished it and just laid it down with the band from the moment we heard it. It just sounded big and good.”

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He was also able to collaborate with his friends in the music industry. Bowen said that while he enjoys collaborating as much as possible, but he did so more with this album.

“I wanted Miranda [Lambert], I wanted Jack [Ingram], I wanted Angelina Presley and Waylon Payne and Charlie Worsham and Jon Randall and Lucie Silvas and all these people that got involved in this album,” Bowen said. “It just was a lot of fun — it makes an album more fun. Everything’s more fun when you have your friends involved.”

Read uInterview’s full, exclusive interview with Bowen below.

What did you want to convey with this new album?

Wade Bowen: I really just wanted an entire album that focused on my, I guess, musical heritage. I’m born and raised — I still live — in Texas. Texas music is very influential in my life and always has been, obviously, because I’m around it living here, and so Texas music to me is the music of Texas. It’s rock, it’s country, it’s Americana, it’s blues, it’s Tejano. It’s a little bit of everything, and that’s really what I wanted it to accomplish with this record, was have the characters, have the sound that comes out of this state. You know, I’m a big, I’m a huge [Bruce] Springsteen fan. I named my son Bruce, for cryin’ out loud. So, you know, he developed what has become the Jersey sound, and I’ve always had a huge appreciation for that. I have no clue and I haven’t really spent a lot of time in that area, you know, in New York and Jersey and that whole area up there, so it’s nice to, even though I haven’t spent time up there, you still understood where the music was from and what it was all about. So I really wanted this album to be an example of that.

What was it like working with your collaborators?

WB: Yeah, I always collaborate as much as possible, but this one was more so than any album I’ve ever done just because when we started recording it and got into the making of the album, I realized I really felt like it was a special album for me, and I wanted some friends involved. I wanted Miranda [Lambert], I wanted Jack [Ingram], I wanted Angelina Presley and Waylon Payne and Charlie Worsham and Jon Randall and Lucie Silvas and all these people that got involved in this album. It just was a lot of fun — it makes an album more fun. Everything’s more fun when you have your friends involved.

Do you have a favorite track on this album?

WB: It’s always hard for me to pick out my favorite track. I think, I still think my favorite track is the ‘So Long 6th Street’ song. Just from the moment we started writing it and finished it, it just felt like a hit. It felt like a monster-sounding song, and those are hard to come by, you know. You can write intense, deep, lyrically-driven songs all the time, but it seems like when you really — you know, that song to me is one of those, kind of, anthem things that you can hear the crowd singing it as you’re writing it, almost. And those are hard to come by, I think, for me. So I’ve always, I’ve really believed in that song from the moment we finished it and just laid it down with the band from the moment we heard it. It just sounded big and good.

Any plans for your next tour?

WB: I’m always touring. We don’t ever stop touring, whether there’s an album out or not. The album does make me a lot busier than normal, but we’re always touring. We play about 160 shows a year, which means that’s an average of 12 or so a month, so that’s kind of what we stick to. But yeah, right now we are working really hard. The ‘Solid Ground’ tour is in full bloom, and we’re heading to Europe for a European tour in June, and I believe we’re headed to Canada in November, and along with that we’ll be doing a West Coast tour and hopefully hitting the East Coast again before the end of the year. That’s my goal.

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