Bad Ass Break-Outs: Morgan Wade

Any artist that would fit on a bill with Lucero is generally worth listening to, but the band knocked it out of the park choosing Morgan Wade to join them on their recent tour. I caught Wade and her band’s set at the Pico Union Project before Lucero, and was a fan starting with the first song.

Wade’s voice carries the pains and struggles of hardship in every note, giving her songs, which deal with issues of mental health and addiction, an authenticity that can’t be faked. Though a petite presence on stage among her tall bandmates, as a performer she held the audience’s attention with a stoic intensity. And even when the exact lyrics of her songs couldn’t be made out due to the venue sound quality, the melodies were still strong enough to captivate.

Songs like “Reckless” and “Last Cigarette” pack an emotion punch, while not becoming weepy. A crisp guitar solo adds some rock cred into the former, while Wade’s narrative of being alone and heartbroken follows in the great tradition of country music storytelling. “Last Cigarette” shows off her pop smarts, making a good case for Wade to have crossover appeal.

Lead single “Wilder Days” has deservedly gotten Wade some love from country radio (and with 13m streams and counting on Spotify, it’s clearly found an audience). A story of meeting someone who has gotten past their younger, wilder days but still having feelings for them – the track has a burning romantic core and a memorable chorus.

If more of mainstream country music sounded like Morgan Wade, the genre would quickly lose its stigma with rock fans and hipsters. Wade’s songwriting prowess and powerful delivery are setting her up to be the next bad ass country rock star. Start listening to her music in our Bad Ass Break-Outs Playlist!

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