New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
...I've always thought of myself as a songwriter; I feel these represent some of my best.
Tom Wopat's recording career is headed in a new direction. For those who have tracked Wopat's musical ambitions for the last 4 decades, this is not news. They have witnessed his evolution; from the country rocker of legendary producer Rick Hall's top 20 country hit, "Too Many Honky Tonks," to the Sinatra-esque saloon singer of 2-time Grammy Award winning producer Russ Titelman's critically acclaimed CD, "Still of the Night." Wopat's fans have also enjoyed his collaboration with "Dukes of Hazzard" co-star John Schneider on their 2014's, "Home For Christmas," album.
This time, it's the renowned producer Matt Pierson who spearheads Wopat's latest effort, the singer/songwriter focused CD, eponymously named, "Wopat," which includes several Wopat-penned originals..."Though not awfully prolific, I've always thought of myself as a songwriter; I feel these represent some of my best."
The album will be released on July 12th and will be available on all digital retailers. Fans who wish to purchase a physical copy can do so at https://www.tomwopat.com.
Pierson's influence is perhaps greatest felt in the re-imaginings of the cover material. Gil Goldstein's string quartet arrangements grace selections by Paul Simon
and Randy Newman, especially the latter's "I Think It's Gonna Rain Today." Wopat remarks, "We totally redid my old friend Bruce Hornsby's classic, 'The Way It Is', and Matt made me stretch vocally, in a most gratifying way," on Ray LaMontagne's "Empty
" and John Hiatt's soul-shouter, "Have a Little
Faith in Me."
But it's Wopat's original material that forms the framework of this recording. Two older compositions, "Til Death Do Us Part" and "King of This Town" highlight his storytelling abilities, somewhat in the manner of a Harry Chapin, complete with requisite narrative twists. These selections also showcase the considerable talents of Pierson's basic band: Kevin
Hays on keyboards, Tony Scherr on bass, Kenny Wolleson, drums and vibes, and Larry Campbell on acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, fiddle, dobro, and a whole lot more…
More recent tunes lend an emotional backbone to the compilation. The opening selection, "Up To You" Is also the newest, urging listeners to "raise your gaze" from our increasingly technology-driven lives, and to "open your eyes" to the world we actually live in and share with those we love. "Flying
" is a deeply personal dive into questions of quality of life, from human frailty and life's disappointments to the possibilities of acceptance and redemption.
It's been forty years since Tom Wopat burst into the nation's living room in TV's "Dukes of Hazzard," following which he pivoted back to Broadway, garnering Tony nominations in 1999 and 2008. Through the years, he's delivered nine albums between Broadway, TV projects, films such as last year's,' "County Line," and Quentin Tarantino's, "Django Unchained," and performances at venues as varied as the Grand Ol' Opry, The Hollywood Bowl, and Carnegie Hall.
This 10th album, "Wopat," shows that he continues to expand his vocal range and builds on his reputation as an accomplished singer and interpreter of song.
Mr. Wopat has crafted a musical landscape that engages and entertains - his recording history suggests that there's more to come….