Wade Bowen Rededicated Himself To His Career Ahead of His 10th Album, "Flyin'"

Wade Bowen: "I feel like this new stuff is the best version of myself and my career that I've ever had. I'm trying to get out there and get as many people as possible."

A few years ago, Texas country artist Wade Bowen found himself at a crossroads. He asked himself if he was going to hit cruise control on his career or rededicate himself to his art and push even harder. 

He didn't know how he would do it, but Bowen committed to work even harder. 

"That's what I've done the last few years," Bowen said. "We've worked harder than I feel like I've ever worked in my life, but I also feel like I've had more fun in that journey, which spurred me to work harder. When you're enjoying your job and enjoying what you do, you want to do it more. And so that's kind of been what my process has been. It's been fun."

Bowen will release his 10th studio album, "Flyin'," on Friday, May 10. He self-produced the 12-song album that weaves through old-fashioned honky-tonk country to classic rock. Songwriter Hall of Fame member Hillary Lindsey, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman and singer-songwriters Eric Paslay, Chase Bryant, Heather Morgan are featured on the album. 

"I feel like this new stuff is the best version of myself and my career that I've ever had," Bowen said.  "I'm trying to get out there and get as many people as possible. I just feel like it needs to be heard. With that comes a lot of work, and I'm willing to do it right now more than ever."

If someone had told Bowen in his 20s that at 46 years old, he'd still be this excited to work so strenuously at this stage in his career, he wouldn't have believed them. But, he said, that's the magic of music. He thinks about Guy Clark, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Willie Nelson, who all created some of their best work later in life. 

"Music is a beautiful thing that we can do until we die," Bowen said, noting that Clark recorded one of his strongest albums in his 60s. He remembers writing songs with Clark as a young man when the Texas icon was late in years. "I was just some young kid, and he was still venturing into the young songwriters. I think the drive is still there. The beautiful thing of music is that it's always going to be there for us in our lives."

Bowen began the recording process by writing as many songs as he could, allowing the album to "show itself," he said. He enjoys whittling down the songs to find the album he wants to make and discover what he's been writing about. 

 "Flyin'" is the second album he has solo produced.

Bowen wanted "Flyin'" to be cohesive but admits it's not as cohesive as his past albums. He recognized that people now listen to tracks more than albums, so he took some freedom with individual songs.

"It was embracing the times for me, and I really enjoyed that process," he said. "It took a lot of pressure off of me.  I think that's where you hear the diversity in the record."

If fans listen to "Flyin'" front to back, he believes some of the songs will surprise them, and he takes much pride in that. Bowen wrote several songs with Paslay and Morgan on the album, including the title track, "Flyin'." Naming the album is always the most challenging part for him, he said. But the three of them were on a songwriting trip to a ranch when they wrote that song. He said he knew as soon as he finished it that it would be the album's title track and the first song in the collection. 

"That was everything that when I wanted to represent what I felt as far as the feeling I had, I wanted everyone to feel that way when they looked at me and looked at my socials and when they came to our concerts when they just see anything moving forward with Wade Bowen, I wanted them to feel like they were flying with us," he said. "I want them to  feel good and feel like, 'Man, this guy's flying around just feeling good, smiling through it all and having a great time, and what is going on over there?'"

 "Mary Jane," penned by Chase Bryant and Jon Randall, is a ballad that flows into the Eagles-inspired "Rainin on Me." Bowen wrote the uptempo with Randy Montana because he knew the album was missing that moment. He said the song has energy but is also a little sad. 

"When I was first learning to play guitar, I used to sit around and play a lot of songs for my mom late at night, and a lot of it was Eagles music," he said. "I feel like I took a lot of that influence and dumped it into this song. When we crank into this song every night on stage, it just has a drive to it that feels good."

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