It’s only just over a year since Morgan Wade arrived on the mainstream country music scene, but she’s already made quite the impression.
Rolling Stone named her debut album ‘Reckless’ as its best country album of 2021, whilst lead single ‘Wilder Days’ broke the top 30 on the US Country Airplay charts. She’s also been wowing audiences here in the UK both at C2C (where she opened the festival’s main stage alongside Priscilla Block and Tiera) and on her recent UK tour, including a sold-out show at the Garage in London.
I sat down with Morgan before her BST Hyde Park set last weekend to talk about the deluxe version of ‘Reckless’, her cover of ‘Suspicious Minds’, filming her latest video for ‘Take Me Away’, how she’s found her time in the UK and plenty more besides.
Last time we spoke was just before the release of ‘Reckless’ in March 2021 – what have you been up to since then?
Oh wow! Yeah, a lot. A lot of touring. That’s mainly what I’ve been doing is a lot of touring.
You’ve just finished your first headline tour here in the UK. How have you found the reaction?
Oh it’s been great. I didn’t know, like when they were like, “hey we’re gonna book you some headlining shows over here”, I was a little nervous. I didn’t know if anybody would come and then they all sold out. I was like, “hey, this is great!” [laughs] Like every show’s been amazing. It’s been a lot of fun.
Have there been any highlights or things that have particularly stood out to you?
I mean, it’s like every night they just scream ‘Wilder Days’ right back to me. But the thing is, over here they know the words to every single song. So it wasn’t just like just one in particular, it was all of ’em. I was like, “all right, we know the deep cuts over here too”. It’s great! I love it.
You put out the deluxe version of ‘Reckless’ earlier this year. Was it difficult to decide what songs to include on the new edition?
No. I knew that we didn’t put ‘The Night’ on the original ‘Reckless’ – not for any particular reason – and then a lot of people wanted that one. And then we did the ‘Suspicious Minds’ cover, and then we had ‘When The Dirt All Settles’. And there was just a couple of other ones that I was like, “yeah, it’d be good to throw those on there”. So yeah, it all organically worked out.
I did want to ask you about the ‘Suspicious Minds’ cover – what drew you to that particular song? And was it quite daunting to record your version of it?
I was a little nervous to record it. I love that song, I’m a big Elvis fan and so when we were starting our tour last fall I was like, “let’s work up one cover”. So we worked that one up and then we were playing a show and the CEO of Sony, he was there, and afterwards he was like, “you should really record that, it was great”. So I was like, “well if he’s saying it maybe we should try it out”. And it turned out really cool.
Your first trip to the UK was for C2C in March and now you’re here at BST. Would you say that you get a different feel at a festival show compared to other gigs?
Yeah, yeah. I mean it’s a little different feel. You know, you’re outside and it’s like a different environment. But so far all the festivals I’ve done over here have been great. I can’t complain – every show’s been great!
Are there any songs you’re particularly enjoying playing live at the moment?
Well I just think it’s really cool, over here they get as excited for ‘Take Me Away’ as they do for ‘Wilder Days’. So that’s really awesome.
Speaking of ‘Take Me Away’ – I know you’ve just put out a video for that song, so can you tell us more about that?
We recorded that, we filmed that video over a year ago, and it just came out. It was so hot that day. We filmed it in this old place where they shoot Western films in Nashville. I got a tick that day. I was very mad about that. And then at the end, they were like, “we’re gonna do the horse scene”. I shot so many scenes with that horse, and then there was just this one little clip at the very end, and I was like, “are you kidding?! I did all that, and that’s all we got?!” That’s my beef with that [laughs].
How do you feel that your music’s evolved since you were making ‘Reckless’?
Yeah, I mean, I’ve been writing a lot. I’ve got 20 something songs to go record. I just haven’t had any time. I’ve been over here enjoying myself! So I’m trying to arrange some dates to record when I get back. And I’m definitely in a different place. You know, I wrote those songs for ‘Reckless’ – we finished recording it before the pandemic and I’d written some of those songs two, three years before that. Some of those songs are like four or five years old. So I’m definitely in a different place than what I was.
I also wanted to ask you about making your Opry debut back in April. How did you find that experience?
I mean, my manager was like, “hey, they wanna give you a tour of the Opry”, and I was like, “OK”. So we went in there, just walked round, then at the end they were like, “would you like to come play?” I was like, “Absolutely!” [laughs] Yeah, it was great. I mean, it was a really cool feeling. I grew up hearing a bunch of artists that went there and everybody talking about that. So it was a really big bucket list thing.
What does the rest of the year look like for you? You’ve mentioned the new music and I know you’ve got some tour dates in the US this summer…
[laughs] Yeah, that’s mainly what the next six months looks like, is heavy, heavy touring. I mean, from now until Thanksgiving I’m pretty solidly booked. And then getting in the studio for the new project and working towards new music. That’s the main stuff right there. I’m ready to get new stuff out.
Can you give us any clues about the new stuff yet? Or is it still all top secret?
It’s, I mean, I would say it’s a good continuation. It’s still evolving, you know. I think ‘Reckless’ was a good stepping stone for where the new stuff’s kind of going. I’m excited. We got some kind of ’90s grunge stuff going on too. So I’m excited about that!
And have you got any plans to come back to the UK again after this trip?
Yeah, I’m ready to come back, so that’s just kind of what we’re working on now. I’ve got great agents over here too, so I’m very excited. It’s been great.
I know that at your London show you mentioned that you really liked the shopping here, so I have to ask – have you been to the big Primark on Oxford Street yet?
[laughs] I have not, no…
You need to go! It’s like a cheap clothes mecca – go in there and be prepared to get lost and spend far too much…
OK, alright [laughs]. Yeah, that’s what I need to do. You’re feeding a bad habit! [laughs]
And lastly – did you get your shoes? [after Morgan mentioned she needed new shoes for an event the next day at her Manchester show]
I did! [laughs] I did get my shoes yesterday. And then before I left, I got word, “oh you can wear your Jordans” [laughs]. But I did wear the new shoes. I was like, “nope, I’m gonna wear ’em!”.
Morgan Wade’s album ‘Reckless (Deluxe Edition)’ is out now on Arista Nashville.