May 7, 2018
Songwriter Adam Wright to Release Solo Album ‘Dust’
Album offers closer look at intricate songwriting
May 7, 2018 — NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Adam Wright has written thousands of songs by now – some for country music’s reigning legends, including Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson and Lee Ann Womack; some for he and his wife’s duo, The Wrights; and then there are others that he’s written for himself. Releasing June 22, Dust compiles 11 of those songs. The album pleads with listeners to take time and think about what they are listening to – for those who do, it provides an in-depth look at carefully crafted songwriting; the kind where each detail is placed with precision and honed with a fine-toothed comb. The first single, “From My Bough,” with Womack’s background vocals, appeared on Rolling Stone Country’s 10 Best Country and Americana Songs of the Week on Friday.
The 11 songs on Dust have many layers and encompass everything from death to broken dreams to complicated Southern roots. The album often examines the darker parts of life, but there are still glimmers of hope shining throughout. Interwoven between the two are songs that tackle various aspects of the human condition – inspired by his toddler or a man he met in a bar, or even two imaginary young women navigating different facets of life. The songs are not personal; instead, he entered the minds of his characters and wrote from their perspectives, as these imaginary people navigate dramatic situations.
Wright grew up in Newnan, Georgia, once a small town and now a suburb of Atlanta. One of the most chilling moments on Dust is a gothic tale originating in Wright’s hometown, “Billy, Get Your Bike.” Written with just one chord, the song is based on a true story of a young boy seeking revenge for his stolen property. Wright examines Southern heritage on “From My Bough.” Written from a tree’s perspective, he was thinking how some of the same trees he climbed as a child have a much darker past. That’s Lee Ann Womack’s voice lingering in the distance, who’s been one of Wright’s biggest supporters over the years. His song “The Way I’m Livin’” was the title track of her first independent album in 2014, which received a Grammy nod. She also co-wrote a handful songs with him for 2017’s The Lonely, the Lonesome and the Gone.
The title track from Dust was inspired by Wright’s son examining the smallest parts of life filtered through the sunlight. He thought about how people and situations can be more than intended, and the characters within the song double as concepts. The only song on the album co-written with another writer, “Ruby,” was written with Vicky Echiverri and features a Western motif, sounding like something Marty Robbins might have recorded in the 1960s. It was inspired – if somewhat subconsciously – by his love of Cormac McCarthy, who helped him realize that rules are sometimes a figment of our imagination.
The Western theme of “Ruby” shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows Wright. The red curtains in his songwriting room at Carnival Music are decorated with horses and riders, as if they could have been pulled from his childhood bedroom. Wright signed his publishing deal with Carnival in 2013, owned by Frank Liddell, who is also Womack’s husband and producer. His stepdaughter is singer-songwriterAubrie Sellers, whom Wright co-wrote several songs with for her New City Blues album.
“[These songs] require a lot from a listener. If you’re not into that, I get it, and this won’t be your cup of tea. No hard feelings. But if you have the time and don’t mind paying a little more attention to what you’re listening to, I think you might get something out of this album. At least I hope you do.”