CHELY WRIGHT UNVEILS I AM THE RAIN
ICONIC STAR ANNOUNCES FIRST ALBUM IN MORE THAN FIVE YEARS,
FUNDED IN PART BY RECORD-SETTING KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN
HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE GUEST APPEARANCES FROM EMMYLOU HARRIS,
RODNEY CROWELL, AND THE MILK CARTON KIDS
PRODUCED BY GRAMMY® AWARD-WINNER JOE HENRY
EAGERLY AWAITED US HEADLINE TOUR COMING SOON
I AM THE RAIN DROPS VIA MRI/SONY ON SEPTEMBER 9
(New York, NY) An award-winning, singer/songwriter, author, and activist, Chely Wright’s heroic personal and creative journey has inspired millions while inalterably changing the world of country music and beyond. 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 will be available for pre-order beginning July 22nd before arriving in stores and online retailers everywhere on September 9th.
I AM THE RAIN is preceded by the new track release, “What About Your Heart.” A series of videos combining studio footage and artist commentary are currently in production and 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 herald I AM THE RAIN with 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.
I AM THE RAIN stands as a major milestone for Wright, truly affirming her as an incandescent, once-in-a-lifetime artist. The album was recorded last September at Los Angeles’ legendary Sunset Sound studio with multiple GRAMMY® Award-winning producer/artist Joe Henry (Allen Toussaint, Bonnie Raitt, Carolina Chocolate Drops) at the helm, backed by a impressive contingent of session superstars including GRAMMY®-winning engineer/mixer Ryan Freeland (Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah Dogs, 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).
I AM THE RAIN – which follows 2010’s much-admired LIFTED OFF THE GROUND – sees Wright continuing to develop her overall sonic palette. Moreover, deeply personal songs like “Inside,” “Where Will You Be,” and “Pain,” (featuring backing vocals from the one and only Emmylou Harris) reveal a striking new freedom as a songwriter, their heart-hitting melodies more than a match for her frank and incisive lyricism.
I AM THE RAIN also showcases a number of songs co-written with Henry, among them the provocative “Holy War” and “See Me Home,” the latter described by Wright as “the rudder of the whole album.” Other unassailable highlights include “At The Heart Of Me” (co-written with Henry and longtime friend Rodney Crowell), as well as a powerful rendition of Bob Dylan’s timeless “Tomorrow Is A Long Time” featuring backing vocals from acclaimed indie-folk duo The Milk Carton Kids. As unflinching and adventurous as it is heartfelt and inspirational, I AM THE RAIN begins the next remarkable chapter in Chely Wright’s increasingly historic body of work.
“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 since proven one of the most beloved and culturally important artists in the genre’s storied history. Seventeen top country chart hits followed, including classic 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 was critically acclaimed and applauded as Wright’s finest collection thus far, with its lead single, “The Bumper Of My SUV,” which held #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 earned unanimous applause, 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 organization devoted to raising awareness at schools, colleges, corporations and in the media about the need for LGBT equality and against classroom and LGBT bullying. 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 likeme.org.
I AM THE RAIN
Release Date: September 9, 2016
2. Where Will You Be
3. At The Heart of Me
4. You Are The River
5. Holy War
6. What About Your Heart
8. Tomorrow Is a Long Time
9. Blood and Bones and Skin
11. Next To Me
13. See Me Home