What was billed as an album release party for Steve Wariner’s latest work, Faith in You, turned into a multi-layered celebration at Nashville’s Caffe Milano Tuesday afternoon, April 25.
First, Capitol Nashville president Pat Quigley presented Wariner a gold plaque for a half-million sales of his most recent album, Two Teardrops. He also received another plaque for co-writing the hit “Longneck Bottle” on labelmate Garth Brooks’ mega-seller Sevens. Then, he celebrated even more songwriting success with co-writers Bill Anderson and Terry Ryan, who helped Wariner pen the Top 5 singles “Two Teardrops” and “I’m Already Taken,” respectively.
And if all that weren’t enough, Wariner’s wife, Caryn, surprised Steve with something he’d been eyeing in a California music shop.
“The kids and I went out to L.A. with Steve a while back and he really wanted this guitar,” Caryn said, bringing out a white, 1960 Fender Esquire for her stunned husband.
The family theme carried on as Wariner previewed some of the cuts from his upcoming album. His youngest son, 16-year-old Ryan, joined his dad onstage and made his performing debut on “Bloodlines,” a blues-flavored guitar instrumental that closes Faith in You. When the crowd gave Ryan a standing ovation, Steve proudly remarked, “Well, I’ve ruined another one.”
The show continued as Wariner, backed by a nine-piece band, played more than half the new album, including the title cut which was co-written with Anderson.
“This song started out as a poem for Bill’s daughter, Terri,” he said.
During the short set, Wariner seemed relaxed and happy to be sharing his new music. In addition to trademark ballads, he kicked it up a notch with uptempo tunes such as “High Time” and “Make It Look Easy.” A four-piece horn section slipped onstage for “Katie Wants a Fast One,” a song Wariner has described as “mambo meets Hank Sr.” (On the album, “Katie” is sung as a duet with Garth Brooks).
Faith in You, Wariner’s third Capitol album, will hit record stores May 9.