Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The return of Chely Wright

An award-winning, singer/songwriter, author and activist, Chely Wright's personal and creative journey has inspired millions while changing country music.

Now, after more than five years away from the spotlight, Wright has announced the MRI/Sony release of her long anticipated new album.

I Am the Rain is available for pre-order now before arriving in stores and online retailers everywhere on Sept. 9.

Preceded by the new track "What About Your Heart," a series of videos combining studio footage and artist commentary will be released track by track via Wright's official YouTube channel and all social media leading up to and after the album street date. Wright will do a US headline tour, to be announced soon.

Wright's eighth studio album and first new musical release in more than half a decade, I Am the Rain was funded in large part by a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign - the #1 most funded country music Kickstarter project to date as well as the 11th most successful music campaign in the global benefit corporation's history.

The album was recorded last September at Los Angeles' legendary Sunset Sound studio with multiple Grammy-winning producer/artist Joe Henry (Allen Toussaint, Bonnie Raitt), backed by a impressive contingent of session superstars including Grammy -winning engineer/mixer Ryan Freeland (Aimee Mann), guitarists Adam Levy (Norah Jones, Ani DiFranco) and Mark Goldenberg (Brian Wilson, Jackson Browne), bassist David Piltch (Madeleine Peyroux, Glen Hansard), keyboardist Patrick Warren (Tom Waits, Lana Del Rey), woodwind multi-instrumentalist Levon Henry, pedal steel guitarist Eric Heywood (Hayes Carll, Over The Rhine), and drummer Jay Bellerose (Willie Nelson, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss).

It follows 2010's Lifted Off the Ground and sees Wright showing her personal side on songs like "Inside," "Where Will You Be," and "Pain" (featuring backing vocals from Emmylou Harris). Several songs were co-written with Henry - "Holy War" and "See Me Home" - the latter described by Wright as "the rudder of the whole album."

"At The Heart Of Me" was co-written with Henry and longtime friend Rodney Crowell and there's a rendition of Bob Dylan's "Tomorrow Is A Long Time" featuring backing vocals from The Milk Carton Kids. 

"I believe I've given birth to a beautiful new baby," Wright says, "and I would like people who see my baby to think it's beautiful too. That's how much this new music means to me. I am so very lucky it all came true."

Named by the Academy of Country Music as 1995's "Top New Female Vocalist," Chely Wright has notched 17 country chart hits followed, including singles like "Shut Up and Drive," "It Was," "Jezebel," "Never Love You Enough," the duet with Radney Foster "Scary Old World," and her #1 smash, "Single White Female."

Adding to that list are successful co-writes such as Clay Walker's top 10 single, "I Can't Sleep" and her duet with Brad Paisley on "Hard To Be A Husband, Hard To Be A Wife." The latter earned her a Country Music Association Award's nomination for Vocal Event of the Year; one of several nominations she received from the CMAs. She is also a CMT Flameworthy Award winner with four #1 music videos on the channel.

2005's The Metropolitan Hotel spawned the single, "The Bumper Of My SUV," which was #1 on the Billboard sales chart for nine weeks. But just as her star was most ascendant, Wright embarked on a five-year hiatus, choosing to put her flourishing artistic career aside in order to fully focus on her personal life. She returned in 2010 by publicly coming out as openly gay, the first major country music artist to do so.

Wright immediately became an inspiring and determined advocate for the LGBT community, with Like Me, her best-selling 2010 Random House memoir, earning widespread acclaim for Wright's powerful chronicling of her life and career, from growing up in heartland Kansas to the intensely emotional experience of coming out in public.

The following year saw the release of Wish Me Away, an intimate documentary detailing Wright's private struggle with her very public decision as well as its inspirational aftermath. The feature-length film was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award in Outstanding Documentary, and a dozen top festival awards including the Grand Jury Prize as "Best Documentary" at the 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival. In addition, Wish Me Away's 2012 Showtime broadcast received a News and Documentary Emmy Award nomination in the category of "Outstanding Informational Programming - Long Form."

2010 also saw Wright's foundation of the LIKEME® Organization, a 501(c)3 non-profit whose flagship project is the LikeMe Lighthouse; Kansas City's first and only LGBT Center. In addition, Wright currently serves as national spokesperson for GLSEN, and appears regularly in the media to speak on LGBT equality and the needs of the LGBT community. For more information on the LIKEME Organization, please visit

Track listing:

Where Will You Be
At The Heart of Me
You Are The River
Holy War
What About Your Heart
Tomorrow Is a Long Time
Blood and Bones and Skin
Next To Me
See Me Home

No comments: