Tickets: Advance $30 DOS $35…..
Morgan Wade didn’t write to be a sensation, for critical acclaim or massive concert tours. She wrote to speak her truth, to save her own life – and perhaps throw a rope to others struggling with the weight of a world moving too fast, loves where you fall too hard and nights that, good or bad, seem to go on forever.
2021 saw Reckless, her Thirty Tigers/now Sony Music Nashville debut, and lead single “Wilder Days” topping critical lists from Rolling Stone, TIME, Stereogum, New York Times, Boston Globe, FADER, Tennessean, Whiskey Riff, Billboard, and The Boot and Taste of Country who both proclaimed, “a once-in-a-decade debut.” With a voice that is raw hurt, deep knowing and somehow innocence retained, Wade wrote or co-wrote a song cycle about the reality facing teens and 20-somethings that embraced raw desire, the reality of getting high and getting sober, the realm of crawling through the wreckage with a tough vulnerability that is as singular as the young woman from Floyd, Virginia.
“I didn’t know anybody like me when I was a kid, listening to music,” she confesses. “That’s why I fell in love with Elvis, that raw emotion. He held nothing back, and I loved that, so when I started writing, that’s where I went. I didn’t know you couldn’t. And to tell kids ‘do your own thing,’ that’s a bit much, but if I can show them something else? That might light a fire.”
The sinewy songwriter covered in ink understands striking that fire. Wade, shamed for singing at school, felt the singe. She recalls, “I’d spent so long being told, ‘Your voice is weird’ by other kids, and it’s such a pivotal time. They’d say, ‘What’s wrong with you? You can play for yourself but do it at home.’
“And it helps,” she knowingly concedes, “because you do it for you.” Developing her distinctly singular – turpentine and honeycomb – vocal tone, her emotional transparency suggests Etta James, Adele, Patti Griffin, Lana Del Ray, St. Etienne’s Annie Clark, even Alison Krauss.
With insider trade HITS proclaiming, “Imagine Kris Kristofferson as a Gen Z woman,” The New York Times raving, “she sounds like she’s singing from the depths of history” and FADER offering, “Wade has a voice like a jagged blade, sharp enough to draw blood but lustrous under the light,” Reckless landed hard and true. A product of her collaboration with Sadler Vaden (guitarist in Jason Isbell + the 400 Unit) and engineer Paul Ebersold, the trio worked to keep the guitars forward, the edges rough and her voice the star in the loose tumble of players meshing on the edge of Tom Petty/Lucinda Williams’ rock & roll.
Just as importantly, Vaden – who came across Wade at a music festival, where his guitar tech asked for a CD – recognized the power of a woman being truly honest. Rather than shy away from her faltering places, self-doubt or demons, the first thing they worked on was “The Night,” a white-knuckled account of rough emotions and meaner addictions.