Country music artist Wade Bowen's brand new hymns album made an impressive debut on Billboard's Country Album chart when it debuts at #18. The album titled Then Sings My Soul: Songs for My Mother includes 12 timeless hymns and was produced by singer-songwriter and close friend of Bowen's, Sean McConnell, who has written tunes for artists including Scotty McCreery and Brothers Osborne. Tracks include well-known classics like "Amazing Grace," "In the Garden," and "How Great Thou Art."
Bowen is impressed that fans are responding to the album warmly. "It's been overwhelming to see the response. People love it. They sing along, and it's just really cool. You've got standards like 'I'll Fly Away' - people know the words. They're not afraid, even in a bar. It's a little weird being in bars and playing gospel music but I think people are really enjoying it."
He says fans have even said they have already started playing songs from the album at funerals, and friends have told him the project has impacted them deeply.
"One of my buddies sent me this really nice letter saying how much in his faith it helped him," he said. "It's something where you're like, 'Man, this is really affecting people in a really cool way.'"
Suggested by his dad, Bowen recorded the hymns album as a Christmas gift for his mother. "We gave it to her Christmas morning. It's chaotic and crazy at our Christmas, so we kind of got the chaos over with and then surprised her with it. She just started bawling crying, and my dad started bawling crying."
The unique purpose of the album makes this one particularly special for Bowen, as it originally wasn't meant for the world to hear.
"This one is so personal. When you make a record and you think it's not gonna be released, you attack the thing in a different way," he explains. "This is something I'll never be able to do again. I will always have this story."
Bowen was a member of the band West 84 with friend Matt Miller, before the band was re-aligned in 2001. He released his first album in 2002, Try Not To Listen, which became a regional hit in Texas. He released his first live album 2003 and another studio album in 2006. In 2008 he released If We Ever Make It Home, his biggest success to date. On November 21, 2009 Wade Bowen recorded his second live album at the famous Billy Bob's Texas in Fort Worth, Texas. The album was released on April 27, 2010 as a CD/DVD combo.