For Immediate Release October 12, 2016
AWARD-WINNING SINGER-SONGWRITER CHELY WRIGHT
AND I AM THE RAIN EARN ACCLAIM AND CHART SUCCESS
UNIVERSALLY ACCLAIMED COLLECTION INCLUDES GUEST APPEARANCES
FROM EMMYLOU HARRIS, RODNEY CROWELL, AND THE MILK CARTON KIDS
Multiple GRAMMY® Award-winning singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash Praises
“Love [Chely Wright]’s new record ‘I Am The Rain.’ Inventive, soulful. Real.”
(New York, NY) I AM THE RAIN, the acclaimed new album from award winning, multi-million album selling, singer-songwriter, author, and activist Chely Wright, is fast proving one of the year’s most important and highly praised releases. Released last month via her own Painted Red Music Group and distributed by MRI/Sony, I AM THE RAIN is available now in stores and at all online retailers.
I AM THE RAIN arrived September 9th and immediately made a positive chart impact, debuting at #7 on the iTunes Store’s “Top Country Albums” as well as at #9 on Billboard’s “Americana/Folk Albums” chart. In addition, the album entered Billboard’s “Independent Albums” chart at #16, “Top Album Sales” at #53, and “Top Country Albums” at #13 – the latter marking Wright’s second highest ever debut on the overall Country tally.
I AM THE RAIN has quickly begun earning critical applause to match its popular success, with Slate praising it as “a collection of characters, opinions, and moods that draws listeners into its world… a soulful Americana set that tackles such subjects as religious hypocrisy, forgiveness, and the rudderless, somewhat scary state of being in love.” “Fans of (Wright’s) longtime work will no doubt identify with the open-hearted honesty of tracks such as ‘Where Will You Be,’ ‘Blood and Bones and Skin,’ and the emotionally raw ‘Pain,’ which features harmonies from Emmylou Harris,” noted Billboard.
Dallas Voice also raved, “I AM THE RAIN embodies Wright’s continued evolution from a clever, skilled hit-writer embraced by corporate Nashville to a cerebral (and happily out) songwriter, free and untethered by radio-hit formula. (The album’s) melodies take their time, relying on emotional heft rather than the Budweiser twang of modern country, and the instrumentation runs the spectrum – ‘At The Heart of Me’ is lifted by a lilting flute, ‘Will You Be There’ is piano-driven – resulting in an album that skews more Laurel Canyon than Tennessee Valley.”
“The new music from Chely Wright is as thought-provoking and as emotionally raw as anything she has ever released before,” wrote Sounds Like Nashville. “Performances such as ‘Where Will You Be’ and ‘Inside’ reveal a depth and a warmth that is unlike anything she has ever recorded before.”
“It’s been six years since Wright bared her soul with LIFTED OFF THE GROUND,” wrote The Toronto Sun. “Now, on this long-awaited return, she strips down her music, enlisting producer Joe Henry to add his earthy textures – and a few left-field flourishes – to her acoustic-guitar Americana tales of love, pain and connection. Welcome her back.”
“The material on I AM THE RAIN finds (Wright) opening and exploring a new musical chapter,” wrote Rolling Stone, “one that is certainly closer to the all-encompassing Americana format than contemporary mainstream country.”
“The album, (Wright’s) first since 2010’s LIFTED OFF THE GROUND, is earthy, muscular, mighty and charges the soul with thoughtful wisdom and soul-shaking interpretations,” declared AXS.com. “Wright’s masterful ability of uncovering the deepest and darkest emotions known to mankind is a marvel to behold. What she achieves on songs like ‘Where Will You Be,’ ‘Pain,’ and ‘Next to Me,’ songwriters and musicians dream their entire life of creating stories half as resonating and important. Much like the great female storytellers who came before her, I AM THE RAIN is Wright’s career-defining moment – as much as HEART LIKE A WHEEL served to cement Linda Ronstadt as a force to be reckoned with or Carole King’s TAPESTRY redefined the singer-songwriter mold.”
What’s more, Rolling Stone has just declared Wright to be one of the “20 Best Things We Saw: AmericanaFest 2016,” hailing her as “Best Captivator” for a show-stealing turn at the 30A Songwriters Festival’s Bluebird Café showcase: “Veteran tunesmiths Gretchen Peters, Mary Gauthier, Jeff Black and Verlon Thompson all turned in strong performances during an early evening in-the-round guitar pull. But it was former mainstream country star and current New York resident Chely Wright, making a rare Music City appearance to debut material from her just-released I AM THE RAIN album, who had the lion’s share to win or lose – and win she did. The startling production (by Joe Henry) and lyrical heft to the material on Wright’s exceptional LP (think INTERIORS-era Rosanne Cash) is tailor-made for Nashville’s preeminent listening room. Highlights of Wright’s turns in the spotlight included ‘Mexico,’ the wistful tale of a truck-stop waitress, and the delicate, gorgeous ballad ‘Inside.’”
Folk Alley praised that the album is “…thoroughly stunning.” The review continued stating, “at the heart of it is Wright and the most mesmerizing, magical batch of songs she’s ever culled or composed. A lot of artists get compared to Jason Isbell these days and very few deserve it. But, thanks to its breadth and depth, its vulnerability and its transparency, I AM THE RAIN feels very much like Chely Wright’s Southeastern. It’s just that good.”
Multiple GRAMMY® Award-winning singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash also tweeted, “Love [Chely Wright]’s new record ‘I AM THE RAIN.’ Inventive, soulful. Real.”
Wright – who has been the subject of recent profiles in diverse major media outlets spanning No Depression to NBC News – is celebrating I AM THE RAIN with a series of much anticipated US live shows. The dates – which see Wright sharing an exclusive double bill alongside Amy Ray – resume November 28th at Alexandria, VA’s Birchmere and then continue into early December. Exclusive VIP meet-and-greet packages – including an I AM THE RAIN CD and tote bag – are available for select dates at chely.merchtable.com. In addition, Thrillcall.com will be doing special ticket giveaways for all remaining dates – please see Thrillcall for complete details. For up-to-the-minute details and remaining ticket information, please visit chely.com/tour.
Wright has also just unveiled a wide range of I AM THE RAIN merchandise, including a limited edition signed CD, t-shirt, tote bag, and stainless steel water bottle. All items are available exclusively on tour and via chely.merchtable.com.
Chely Wright’s heroic personal and creative journey has inspired millions while inalterably changing the world of country music and beyond. Now, after more than five years away from the spotlight, I AM THE RAIN truly affirming her as an incandescent, once-in-a-lifetime artist.
Wright’s eighth studio album and first new musical release in more than half a decade, I AM THE RAIN was funded in large part by a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign – the #1 most funded country music Kickstarter project to date as well as the 11th most successful music campaign in the global benefit corporation’s history. The album was recorded over five days last September at Los Angeles’ legendary Sunset Sound studio with multiple GRAMMY® Award-winning producer/artist Joe Henry (Allen Toussaint, Bonnie Raitt, Carolina Chocolate Drops) at the helm, backed by a impressive contingent of session superstars including GRAMMY®-winning engineer/mixer Ryan Freedland (Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah Dogs, Aimee Mann), guitarists Adam Levy (Norah Jones, Ani DiFranco) and Mark Goldenberg (Brian Wilson, Jackson Browne), bassist David Piltch (Madeleine Peyroux, Glen Hansard), keyboardist Patrick Warren (Tom Waits, Lana Del Rey), woodwind multi-instrumentalist Levon Henry, pedal steel guitarist Eric Heywood (Hayes Carll, Over The Rhine), and drummer Jay Bellerose (Willie Nelson, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss).
I AM THE RAIN – which follows 2010’s much-admired LIFTED OFF THE GROUND – sees Wright continuing to develop her overall sonic palette. Deeply personal songs like “What About Your Heart” and “Pain,” (featuring backing vocals from the one and only Emmylou Harris) reveal a striking new freedom as a songwriter, their heart-hitting melodies more than a match for her frank and incisive lyricism.
I AM THE RAIN also showcases a number of songs co-written with Henry, among them the provocative “Holy War” and “See Me Home,” the latter described by Wright as “the rudder of the whole album.” Other highlights include “At The Heart Of Me” (co-written with Henry and longtime friend Rodney Crowell), as well as a powerful rendition of Bob Dylan’s timeless “Tomorrow Is A Long Time” featuring backing vocals from acclaimed indie-folk duo The Milk Carton Kids. As unflinching and adventurous as it is heartfelt and inspirational, I AM THE RAIN begins the next remarkable chapter in Chely Wright’s increasingly historic body of work.