With six Grammys, numerous Dove Awards, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and numerous other accolades to her credit, Amy Grant is an American music icon who has erased lines between genres and earned the respect of fans and peers with her honesty, vulnerability and ceaseless creativity. Whether laying her soul bare in her 2008 Book "Mosaic: Pieces of My Life So Far" or exploring faith and family in a diverse catalog of hits from "El Shaddai" to "Baby Baby," Grant's artistry has continually resonated with audiences since she first hit the national spotlight as a fresh-faced teen with a guitar three decades ago.
Her latest effort, Somewhere Down the Road, is a potent collection that takes the listener on a musical journey that reverberates with messages of resiliency, promise and hope. The 12-track set includes four new songs, several previously unreleased gems from her musical vault and a newly recorded version of "Arms of Love." The new album also serves up four poignant treasures from Grant's existing songbook, including the powerful title track.
"From a work stand point, I've had the amazing opportunity that anything I've ever wanted to try, for some reason, the door has opened. I love music as much as I always have, but I feel very contented when it comes to work. What brings the sizzle back to me is a great idea and it can be somebody saying, ‘hey, I have this idea for a song!' As soon as they speak the words I go, ‘Ahhh, that's great. We've got to sit down and do it right now.' That's how I felt about this project."
Somewhere Down the Road reflects an accomplished artist at a time of renewed creativity and also echoes the life of a woman who is not afraid to write and sing about life's most heart-wrenching moments as well as the sublime joys. Amy Grant has always been honest, vulnerable, real, never afraid to share where she is on life's journey. "There have been times in my life that I was sitting in the cat bird seat and everything was going my way but currently, this is a time [with] a lot of uncertainty within my extended family as we've experienced pain, loss, and joy," admits Grant who has dealt with aging parents and the loss of a close friend this past year. "This is the kind of record where it takes maturity to put out, so we went back and looked at old songs, unreleased songs, and new songs that fit together in a way that I think will make a really amazing and intriguing journey.
The first single from the new project, "Better Than a Hallelujah," penned by Chapin Hartford and Sarah Hart, is Grant's first new radio single since "Simple Things" in 2003. When Amy's manager, Jennifer Cooke, emailed her the song, she knew she had to record it. "The honesty of it, the vulnerability of the lyrics, the beautiful melody, and that the song found me right where I was in my own journey was incredibly powerful," says Grant, admitting the song resonated strongly with her as she dealt with the death of her longtime friend musician Ruth McGinnis. "The song is just so poignant and redemptive. In the lyric there is no religious code or lingo going on and the message is true, it's good news. I love every scenario it's painting."
Though Grant is an industry veteran, and one of a short list of artists to have scored No. 1 hits in each of the last three decades, Somewhere Down the Road finds her enjoying several first time experiences---among them recording in the new studio she and husband Vince Gill built in their Nashville home, contributing one of her own paintings as part of the cover art, and for the first time recording a duet with her 17-year-old-daughter Sarah. "‘Overnight' was written by Luke Laird, Natalie Hemby and Audrey Spillman. I've known
Natalie since she was six and she's a great songwriter. She sent me a song that she had written called ‘Overnight.' It's talking about if things happened overnight, you wouldn't appreciate the process. It says ‘If it all just happened overnight, you would never know what it means. If it all happened overnight, you would never learn to believe in what you can't see.'" Though her stepdaughter, Jenny, sang background vocals on Grant's hymns records and her eight-year-old daughter Corrina added a spoken word contribution to her last Christmas collection, this marks Grant's first duet with one of her children. "I've wanted to sing with Sarah for a long time and when this song showed up I thought it would be perfect for us to record."
She could easily rest on her considerable laurels, but the dawning of a new decade finds her as passionate as ever. "It's all about the idea," she says. "I love the song ‘Better Than A Hallelujah.' I love the opportunity to get to do a song with my daughter. I love the concept of Somewhere Down the Road. I am personally moved by the concept of our journey through life and because of all the years that have come before, I find myself in a unique and somewhat rare position to be able to sing about that journey, and that's an opportunity I don't want to miss."
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