COUNTRY STAR OF THE MONTH: MORGAN WADE
Written by Tony Schultz on July 1, 2022
Morgan Wade is not your conventional Country Music artist. When you first hear her voice drift across your speakers you may get a vision of a young girl in the vain of Carley Pearce or Kelsea Ballerini. If you’re really listening to her voice there may be a nostalgic echo of Tanya Tucker in her voice. Morgan Wade is breaking some female singer tropes of Country Music where she is singing from a heart so broken that you would swear she was plucked from the 70s or 80s where the wife, the dog, and the truck all left the singer. Her song “Wilder Days” is an absolutely wonderful song filled with remorse and heartbreak with a guitar that sounds similar to a rock song from the 50s. Along with her sound is her look. Her face holds a sorrowful stare that makes you think she’s seen enough of this world to take two lifetimes, and her tattoos are on full display, and they are many.
The 27 year old Virginia native, Wade has had her share of struggles. She started song writing in her freshman year of college. She had broken up with her boyfriend and that had led to struggles with alcohol. I love the statement on her website that says, “She wrote to speak her truth, to save her own life – and perhaps throw a rope to others struggling with the weight of a world moving too fast, loves where you fall too hard and nights that, good or bad, seem to go on forever.” Wow. Not the sugar coated sales pitch you find on most artists’ sites. She has lyrics in her songs that touch on these moments and faces them head on. She didn’t get famous from winning or even appearing on a reality show or plastering her music on social media. She was discovered the old fashioned way with Jason Isbell and his band hearing her sing at a concert and passing on her music to Music Row. She was quickly snatched up with an interesting story to boot. According to CMT, “She was in talks with Sony Music Nashville and told Sony Music Nashville Chairman/CEO Randy Goodman that if he bought her a dog, she would sign his recording contract.” Guess he got her that dog.
Listening to her music as I wrote this you can hear the feelings of pain she has infused into her music. At 27 she feels like she has an old soul, as they say that harkens back to when the genre was more soulful and in touch with it’s roots. She’s definitely not playing a part and not apologizing for who she is as she balances between not looking like a traditional country singer while sounding like one. Her voice has the rasp as if she’s been singing in a beer soaked honkytonk filled with smoke for 20 years. It doesn’t cut through your ears though because it’s so gentle and easy going that it drifts in and the lyrics are what cut you. If she’s singing anthems to let those out there know they’re not alone she is hitting the mark. Take the time to sit and listen to some of her songs and you’ll feel exactly where she’s singing from. I expect her to have some more hits from this album and future albums. You can catch Morgan Wade live at Ashley For The Arts this summer.