Wade Bowen has never had it easy on his journey through country music.

“I’ve never been one to sit around and complain about it, though,” the accomplished singer-songwriter says during a recent interview with Taste of Country. “I’m not the only artist that’s gone through a bunch of crap.”

And crappy it was for a good number of years for the Texan troubadour, starting in 2017, when he "got out" of a major record deal and proceeded to make a record titled Solid Ground.

“I felt really good at that moment in my career, but I still was lost,” Bowen remembers. “I was still trying to find direction and answers.”

Unfortunately, those answers would be hard to come by, as Bowen then found himself dealing with a slew of vocal issues starting in 2018. And then in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

“I could have easily just sat around and groaned about it, but I chose to do the opposite,” he remembers. “I chose to make some business decisions that changed some things for me, and I also surrounded myself with some more positive influences. When you surround yourself with people that believe in you more than you believe in yourself, all of a sudden, it’s amazing the things you can do.”

One of those amazing things was the creation of Bowen’s new album Somewhere Between the Secret and the Truth, constructed amongst the chaos of his life at the time.

“I think in my career I've been a very open diary kind of a songwriter and artist,” says Bowen of the album that serves as his first new solo material in four years. “I’ve worn my heart on my sleeve probably too much at times, but I just feel like that's the way it's always been.”

Bowen’s diary seems to open wide on songs including “It’s Gonna Hurt.”

“I just wanted to lead with the simplicity and the spirit and the passion and the soul of me as a singer on that one,” Bowen says of the song he co-wrote alongside Drew Kennedy.

Bowen’s impressive songwriting talents also shine on “The Secret to This Town,” which he wrote alongside the talented Heather Morgan.

“I love songs that have characters within it,” says Bowen, who also collaborated with Vince Gill on the album track "A Guitar, a Singer and a Song.”

“But when I first started writing it, I couldn’t believe I was trying to write another small-town country song. But that's the beauty of country music. We can take these ideas that have been written about for years and years, and then we must get creative as writers and find different ways to say it and ways to say it in our way. Lyrically, I felt like it was something [Bruce] Springsteen would do.”

The album includes a total of 12 tracks, all of which Bowen had a hand in writing.

“I went through such a crazy few years of my career and life in general,” Bowen reflects. “What I want people to hear on this record is a man that went through all of that and came out a better person and a better artist.”

And what does he hear when he listens to it?

“I feel like I hear a man who has his life and his career figured out now more than ever,” he concludes. “I think you can do that without necessarily having to get in depth on all that I've been through. I think you can just hear it in the tracks, hear the confidence and how excited I am to be writing and playing the best music, I feel, of my life.”

Top 10 Country Songs of 2022 So Far, Ranked

There are plenty of feel-good country jams on this list of the top country songs of 2022, but the No. 1 song is a gut punch. These 10 songs are ranked by critical acclaim, radio and sales success, and importance to the genre.

Five of the 10 artists made our Top Country Songs list from 2021 as well, but there are no repeats. If a song made a previous list or didn't spend most of its time on the charts in 2022, it's not eligible. So, before you ask where your favorite song is, be sure the miss isn't just a technicality.

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