W ade Bowen, who earlier this year made it to the top 40 on the Country Songs chart with "Saturday Night," has some very loyal fans. Nobody knows that any more than him. He laughs just a little bit when he is reminded that it has been four years since he last released a studio album, 2008's "If We Ever Make It Home."
"They're letting us know that they are very anxious to hear the new stuff," says the singer. "Of course, with 'Saturday Night' doing so well in that market, they've let us know that they are excited - and they have let us know that they are ready."
Because of the demand of his fans for the new music, his record company is taking a rare approach to giving them the new music. On May 29, the singer, who is caught somewhere between a "new" artist working on his major label debut and a proven road veteran with five independently released albums, will respond to his fan's demands for new music by releasing a 10-song collection titled "The Given."
The new music will be available at all digital music retailers and in select brick and mortar stores. As an added bonus, Bowen will give fans full-access to the recording process by offering the work tapes from the writers' room of several of the new tracks exclusively on wadebowen.com beginning release day.
"The album is called 'The Given' because I feel like all of these amazing opportunities have been given to me by my fans," explains Bowen. "They are the reason I get to live my dream every night and they've been patiently waiting almost three years now for new music. So, I'm excited to be able to say 'here it comes and there's more on the way!'"
Bowen knows that the move is very different for a major label, and he's grateful for the chance to showcase his new material. "I'm so blessed that they've stuck with me and that I have a great team at the label who is willing to let me throw the rules out and get this special version for the fans out right away."
While fans may just be starting to become aware of Bowen's talents, his success inside the Lone Star State speaks for itself. Nine of his singles have topped the Texas Music Chart, and he was named the 2010 Live Act of the Year by the Lone Star Music Awards.
"I'm beyond excited," Bowen says of the news. "It's been a while since we've had a studio record out. Everything that has happened since we have signed with Sony has been a great feeling, and to get some new music out to the people is always fun. It's great to be able to play it for them, and see their reaction to it. It's a real exciting time for me."
Bowen's label head feels the move makes sense, as well. "With the fan base that Wade has already built it only makes sense to throw out conventional wisdom and make this great new album available to his thousands of loyal fans as soon as possible," said Sony Music Nashville Chairman and CEO Gary Overton.
Produced by Justin Niebank, the album includes a Townes Van Zandt cover of "To Live Is To Fly" featuring special guest vocals by Guy Clark. What was it like to work with the songwriting genius?
"Well, he could not have been more gracious and easier to work with," Bowen relates. "He's one of my biggest heroes in the universe. Sometimes, all you have to do is just ask, and he said 'Yes.' I'm still shocked every time I hear that track. He's a great guy, and it's one of those memories that I will have forever. It was truly a magical experience."