WADE BOWEN SOLID GROUND

Texan singer-songwriter Wade Bowen may not be a name you recognize but he’s an artist that’s worked from the ground up to nurture a strong following. Solid Ground is free from gimmicks and trend-roping, concentrating instead on crafting an artistically rich collection of songs. With co-writes from the likes of Andrew Combs, Charlie Worsham and Miranda Lambert, and vocals from Lambert, Jack Ingram and Lucie Silvas. Opener, ‘Couldn’t Make You Love Me’, with its great harmonica intro and confident rock swagger provides the perfect backdrop for Bowen’s gritty and powerful vocals. He’s somewhere between Luke Combs and Chris Stapleton in vocal timbre and like the latter he packs a power of passion. ‘Day of the Dead’ infuses the mariachi sound of Western Mexico. It’s a stark contrast and the first of many fantastic tracks. ‘Compass Rose’ is a straightforward country number and a real joyous moment on the record. Interestingly, Lucie Silvas’ vocals, are mostly fairly low and used to harmonise with Bowen’s. Same with Miranda Lambert who appears on ‘So Long 6th Street’ with Jack Ingram. The real standout is ‘7:30’, a co-write with Angaleena Presley and Waylon Payne. The moody rock of ‘Acuna’ is easy to lose yourself in, the raucous ‘Fell in Love On Whiskey’ tells an age old allegory of alcohol leading to moments of intimacy, and ‘Death, Dyin’ And Deviled Eggs’ provides a softer, stripped-back moment.