If you’ve know me for anytime at all, you know I am HUGE Lee Brice fan, for many years now, going to back to my days working at 93.7 Kiss Country in Fresno. Nearly 8 years ago, an opportunity to book a guy who had recently celebrated writing a single for Garth Brooks that had become #1, you remember “More Than A Memory” came across my desk? I talked to one of my clients and we were trying to think of something cool to do for after a George Strait concert that was coming up. And voila, the “Strait After Party with Lee Brice” was born and I became a fan and friend for life.
#CMchat is incredibly grateful to David Keller, the owner of Digital Dreamz for helping set this up! It’s a been a long time coming.
Lee Brice is a man whose time has come. On his stunning sophomore album, Hard 2 Love (Curb Records), the four-time Academy of Country Music nominee demonstrates a new maturity and patience, both in his songwriting and vocals.
“I made my first album, Love Like Crazy, over six years,” explains the South Carolina native, lifting his trademark turned-around ball cap and rubbing his forehead. “It didn’t feel like a cohesive record, but more like a lot of different songs. And six years later, I’ve grown as an artist and a writer.
“Everything on the new album is very pertinent to who I am right now and where I am in my life. I have some very personal stuff on there, and I had to be really honest with it. Hopefully, folks will see that.”
Certainly radio listeners are already aware of “A Woman Like You,” a married couple’s starkly honest meditation on love and devotion. Immediately upon release, the mid-tempo ballad became iTunes’ number five most-purchased song and sold more than 30,000 copies a week. Not bad for a first single off an album. “It’s moving faster than anything I’ve ever had,” Brice says with a smile in his warm, familiar baritone. “It’s just so real.”
As “A Woman Like You” suggests, Brice presents himself throughout the album as a man who fully knows who he is and steps up to own it. He co-produced every track, bringing in friends Kyle Jacobs, Jon Stone, Doug Johnson and Matt McClure to share production duties on various cuts.
“At 32, I’m growing up, and I’ve done a lot more singing, not just in the studio but live. I’ve done about 200 shows a year for the last five years, and I realized that you can move people and peel their faces back without necessarily screaming at them. I’m just learning there is a patience that you gain with experience and I’m trying to dig in. You could be a great singer or performer, but it’s the whole package that makes an artist. It starts with the music that’s out there.”
As co-writer of eight of the thirteen tracks on Hard 2 Love, Brice has aimed for strong melodies and smart, emotional storytelling that aims straight for the heart of the human condition: the bluesy sigh of “See About a Girl;” the tailgate reverie of “Parking Lot Party;” the bittersweet tug of love in “Seven Days A Thousand Times;” and the down-on-your-knees gratitude of “One More Day.”
10/7 #CMchat with Steve Wariner 6pPT
10/14 #CMchat with Colt Ford 6pPT
10/21 #CMchat with Lee Brice 6pPT
10/28 #CMchat with Chase Rice 6pPT
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