The beloved actor, singer and all-round entertainer Shane Richie will fulfil a lifelong ambition when he releases his contemporary country music album ‘A Country Soul’ on November 10th. Everyone who pre-orders the album from http://eastwest1.lnk.to/ShaneRichieACS will receive an instant download of the first track ‘Wave On Wave’.
With ‘A Country Soul’, Shane Richie has made a record that’s true to him and true to his passions. It’s a collection of interpretations of his favourite country, and country-ish, tunes, topped off with a handful of originals.
At the heart of the album are Shane’s authentic performances of some of the classics of the 21st century country music scene. Songs such as ‘Heartache on the Dance Floor’ (Jon Pardi), ‘Wave On Wave’ (Pat Green), ‘What Hurts The Most’ (Rascal Flatts), ‘I Loved Her First’ (Heartland) and ‘Wagon Wheel’ (Darius Rucker) are smash hits in their homeland, with audiences falling head over heels for their combination of open emotion and highly accomplished songwriting.
“What I love about new country is that they all write from the heart,” says Shane. “They write stories. That’s kinda where my head was, with the songs we wrote and the songs I was covering. So, yeah, this is from the heart – and the heartland of new country.”
‘A Country Soul’ also find Shane reimagining other old favourites so they fit seamlessly into the album’s style. His take on Nik Kershaw’s ‘I Won’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me’ switches the original’s shiny 80s production in favour of a boot-stomping Pogues-esque vibe which reflects his Irish roots. Similarly, Stephen Bishop’s ‘On and On’ trades its West Coast feel for some Nashville steel guitar and a soaring gospel choir. Given the context, it’s only natural that Shane’s take on ‘Drift Away’ feels equally as close to Dobie Gray’s 1973 favourite as it does to Uncle Kracker’s crossover smash from 2003.
Earning their places among such hallowed cuts are some brand new compositions, including ‘Shut Up (Cause All I Want Is You)’ which Shane wrote with his son, Rixton frontman Jake Roche, and ‘That Bottle Ain’t Your Friend’ which examines the struggles of alcoholism.
Shane has explored the world of music before with the release of an ill-fated covers album in 1997 before he hit #2 six years later with his version of Wham’s ‘I’m Your Man’ which was recorded for Children In Need. It wasn’t until 2016 when Shane duetted with his old mucker Tony Hadley on a cover of Hall & Oates ‘Do It For Love’ – also for Children In Need – that another opportunity presented itself. A music industry exec got in touch to see if Shane was interesting in doing a new album.
Initially disinterested by the idea of running through the usual covers, Shane was instead offered carte blanche to make the album he wanted to make. Cue a country music passion project, unwavering support from his new record label, and sessions with London-based producer Nick Southwood, a country fan with the Nashville feel.
The ‘A Country Soul’ tracklisting is:
1. ‘Heartache On The Dancefloor’ (originally by Jon Pardi)
2. ‘I Loved Her First’ (Heartland)
3. ‘Wave On Wave’ (Pat Green)
4. ‘Shut Up (‘Cause All I Want Is You)’ (original new song)
5. ‘I Won’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me’ (Nik Kershaw)
6. ‘What Hurts The Most’ (Rascal Flatts)
7. ‘Wagon Wheel’ (Darius Rucker)
8. ‘Heartache Tonight’ (The Eagles)
9. ‘That Bottle Ain’t Your Friend’ (original new song)
10. ‘Love The One You’re With’ (Stephen Stills)
11. ‘On and On’ (Stephen Bishop)
12. ‘Drift Away’ (Dobie Gray)
13. ‘22 Gardens’ (original new song)