On September 4, singer and songwriter Cindy Morgan returns with her most personal album to date "Bows and Arrows." Donning the lead producer's hat for the first time in her career-along with co-producer and engineer Kyle Buchanan (Ginny Owens, Andrew Greer).
The new album is a tapestry of favorite sounds, from Americana, to pop, to symphonic, all woven together with a common thread. "Bluegrass was the music of my childhood," she explains. "My father was a musician and a songwriter who played guitars in country and bluegrass bands. My mom was a gospel singer. I find myself always returning to the music of my youth, and I think Bows & Arrows is really the amalgamating of all the music I have loved in my life."
Hallels: Congratulations on the release of your book "How Could I Ask for More" and your new album "Bows and Arrows." Let's start with your book, what's your new book about?
Thank you so much Timothy:) The book is a collection of true stories about life; the things that shape us and break us and ultimately remind us of what matters.
Hallels: What inspired you to want to write a book?
I guess I have always loved hearing stories and telling stories. Writing the book was an opportunity to share some of the experiences from my life and the lives of others close to me to soul search and weave through questions and even find a few answers along the way.
Hallels: And you've got a new record coming out too! "Bows and Arrows" has such a unique sound to it and it's so vastly different to your earlier synth pop records. How would you describe the sound of this new record?
I think it is a fusion of americana pop and bluegrass. I was raised in East Tennessee and the music of my childhood has been finding it's way back to my heart for the last 10 years. I did a Hymn record a few years ago (Some Glad Morning Hymns &Spirituals) which was was a definite step in this direction. I love the music of the south but I also love the piano and I am in LOVE with strings. I could not choose between doboro or cello and so I didn't. The fun challenge was finding a way to make them co-exist in one sonic space.
Hallels: What are some of the themes you want to resonate with your listeners from this record?
Brokenness, healing, loss, motherhood, depression, a love for simple things.
Hallels: You have also re-recorded your hit song "How Could I Ask for More," this time as a duet with Andrew Peterson. After years of hindsight, how did you envisage the song right now that is different from the way you intially recorded it?
I loved re-recording this song. The original version was so simple- with only piano,vocal and a pad. It seemed like building it up a bit was the way to go. I cut the piano on upright- Travis Patton did a beautiful string arrangement, Kyle Buchanan played some tasty Doboro, John Roberts on Mando. Finally, I was so thrilled about the beautiful earthy vocal performance of Andrew Peterson. He is just magical.
Hallels: I have been a fan of yours for a long time. Occasionally I still listen to your albums. My favorite album of yours is "The Loving Kind" and my favorite all time favorite song of yours is "Postcards." Do you still listen to your older records? Do you have a favorite album and song?
I really appreciate that Timothy. The Loving Kind was such a life changing experience. I love thinking back to making that record. As far as listening to songs from my previous records, I sometimes have to email songs from previous records and will listen for a few seconds. It is like visiting the past; How sounds and styles have changed. Even how my own vocal style has changed over the years. I am so grateful for every record and for every experience. Music marks time. I love that.
Hallels: You have also written songs for Amy Grant, Mandisa, Point of Grace, Rascal Flatts and so many others. Have you ever thought of recording an album of the songs you have written for others?
Yes, I have thought of that. You never know. Maybe one of these days I might:)
Hallels: After all these years of singing for the Lord, what does Jesus mean to you?
He means everything. I am not sure what my life would be like without Jesus. I think I would be a wreck. Jesus is the embodiment of every good and perfect gift. Unconditional love. Like breath to the dying. He is a stream in the desert.