Texas Artist Wade Bowen has gained widespread popularity in the Lone Star State; tonight, he'll show Tennessee what he's made of when he makes his Grand Ole Opry debut. He's pictured above headlining the Conroe Cajun Catfish Festival in Conroe, Texas last Saturday
"You've got your getaway," Wade Bowen sings, "And I've got mine."
Bowen, a Waco, Texas native who earned his college degree at Texas Tech and now lives in the Central Texas town of New Braunfels, has a sound that recalls Garth Brooks and Bruce Springsteen with a classic knack for songwriting that's similar to legends like Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard.
In "Getaway", the singer - with his cool-as-a-cucumber approach - talks about how giving one another space can help out in a romantic relationship.
Bowen - who happens to be the brother-in-law of Cross Canadian Ragweed frontman Cody Canada - is such a versatile artist that he can make you laugh with tongue-in-cheek songs like "God Bless This Town" and "Keep Hanging On" and also make you cry with songs like "Turn Out The Lights" and "If We Ever Make It Home."
Bowen wrote "Turn Out The Lights" about his wife, Shelby, and her battle with post-partum depression. Bowen has raised awareness for PPD and raised money through charity golf tournaments.
"If We Ever Make It Home", the title track to his latest album, is about what a great of a day it will be when all of our soldiers are out of harm's way.
Bowen has matured a great deal, musically, since his college days in Lubbock, when he fronted the band, West 84 - named after a highway in Texas.
I still enjoy hearing songs from early in his career, but it's been cool to see Bowen evolve into one of the Texas/Red Dirt Music scene's elite artists.
His best songs - in my opinion - are his ballads. I wish somebody would count the number of times the word "love" is used in his song, "Who I Am." It's got to be some kind of record, for the number of times "love" is mentioned in a song, in which "love" is not in the song's title.
"Mood Ring" and "One Step Closer" - off his Lost Hotel album - are also excellent ballads with lots of emotion.
I hope the good people of Tennessee get a chance to enjoy and experience Wade Bowen's music tonight. They might see the name of what they think is just another country newcomer on the Opry bill tonight, but us Texans know that Bowen's got a solid decade of wowing crowds and filling honky-tonks and festivals.