Brennen Leigh embraces western swing on ‘Obsessed with the West’ (stream the title track)
Country singer Brennen Leigh is gearing up to release her seventh album, Obsessed with the West, which she made with western swing veterans Asleep At The Wheel -- a band she's been listening to since childhood -- and which finds her fully embracing swing for the first time in her career. "I’ve been obsessed with western swing music since I was a kid and it’s always been an influence. My records in the past have ranged from bluegrass to country music to folk, but I’d never fully explored swing until now," she said. "When I moved to Nashville from Texas, for some reason it triggered another western swing phase in my life. I was out of Texas, but something about the swing was still grabbing me; I was listening to a lot of Bob Wills, and of course The Wheel. I had first been exposed to Western swing through my parents’ Asleep At The Wheel records while I was growing up."
"This is my love note to western swing; to the rich culture it comes from, as I see it," she adds. "I listen to and have been influenced by a lot of dead people, but our genre is important, and I think it deserves new life and new songs. The old stuff is where I come from, my songs turn out to be a melding of the old styles, whether I like it or not. You put cinnamon in something it’s going to taste like a snickerdoodle. I don’t know how not to put it in there."
The album comes out May 6 via Signature Sounds (pre-order), and we're premiering the title track, a lovely ballad that finds Brennen paying homage to "the old stuff" but bringing her own unique flair and sounding totally fresh in the process. "My favorite place on earth is the western United States, especially the plains between the Mississippi and the Rockies," Brennen tells us of the song. "You could explore the area for a thousand years and see a beautiful new thing every day; a plant, a creature, or a feeling. There are a million tiny ecosystems. The wind sweeps away sorrow and exhilarates. I can finally fill my lungs; there must be more oxygen there. It might be familiarity (I grew up on the plains, where it slammed car doors and blew trees in half)…but it’s more likely magic." Listen below.
Brennen also has upcoming tour dates, including shows with Asleep At The Wheel, and you can find those listed here.