Wade Bowen’s forthcoming album Solid Ground (out Feb. 9 via Thirty Tigers), serves as a reminiscent look at the Texas-born singer and songwriter’s relationship with his home state. The standout track “So Long 6th Street” celebrates his time in the Austin music scene, with help from a couple of famous friends with Lone Star State roots.
Fellow Texans Miranda Lambert and Jack Ingram provide backup vocals for this example of modern-day red dirt country storytelling. Together, the trio transport fans, including folks who’ve never stepped foot in an Austin venue, back to that chapter in Bowen’s life story. Hopefully, both singers’ cameos point their fans to what should be one of Bowen’s strongest releases to date.
Bowen spent a couple of years in Austin following his graduation from Lubbock-based Texas Tech University. The song captures his experiences navigating one of the world’s best-known live music meccas as a newcomer. He’s since become a spokesman of sorts for the entire state’s admiration for its role in popular music history.
Bowen acknowledges that he’s flying his red dirt flag prouder than before on his 11th album since 2002. Like Robert Earl Keen and other keepers of the Lone Star State’s musical legacy, Bowen tips his hat to more than just the country music of Bob Wills and Willie Nelson. Texas’ rockers and bluesmen, and ZZ Top’s mastery of both approaches, flavorsome album cuts. He even looks to mariachi bands and other Tex-Mex influences on album cut “Day of the Dead.”