Mark your calendars for April 28th, when long-time music hit maker, Collin Raye, releases his latest CD titled "NEVER GOIN BACK". The first song “Mid Life Chrysler” is hitting radio on March 9th. I visited with Collin about the music, the influences behind it and what to expect in the near future.
Bev: Collin it is always so good to visit with you. You keep cranking out new music year after year, and I am so excited to see a new CD hitting the shelves again. “Mid Life Chrysler” is currently scheduled for release on March 9th – the first song off the CD as a single, is this going to set the tone for the CD?
Collin: The project as a whole is so diverse that I am not sure it will actually set the tone for the album. There are so many different avenues that TIME LIFE wants to pursue with this and I do not think the follow up will be anything like this first single. I have tried to make my records a little more eclectic, which can sometimes hurt an artist, because it makes it more difficult to market when it is not all one kind of sound. This has a wide variety on it from country to pop to inspirational to ballads. I am thrilled how this turned out. This is a special record for me.
Bev: How much were you involved in the writing for this project?
Collin: I wrote three of them. “Never Going Back”, “The Only Jesus” which I co-wrote with Michael Curtis, who was the co-producer on this CD and “She’s With Me” which is the last song on the CD and is dedicated to my precious granddaughter and I honestly feel this is the best song I ever wrote. I have always liked to place a song that is very special to me last on the album, and this is definitely a special song.
Bev: Did you have a hand in producing it also?
Collin: I have been co-producing for about the last four albums, even though I did not always take credit on it. I have not always been the best business man and demanded my name be on things, I just wanted a hand in the music I was making. I finally have taken a little stronger standing and with Michael I have been able to do exactly what we both set out to do together and it really worked well for us.
Bev: How did you arrive at the title, is there any message in that?
Collin: I wrote the first song on the album with the same name, and it has the theme of going down paths that don’t always turn out how we expect them so I used that as the album title as well. The two dimensional side to the album title is that I am in such a different place in my life and with my music now and I think I have graduated past some of the initial things an individual must go through to achieve goals and simply put I am never goin’ back, not that it was bad, but I am not that same person at this point in my life.
Bev: As you chose the songs for this CD, what were you looking for?
Collin: I always gravitate to the songs with impact, but I do not look for them; I wait until they come to me or land in my lap and I feel the impact as well. I have found it to be a recipe that works for me. I had about a four year hiatus this time, so there was no pressure to follow up a previous project. I like songs that take direction and the CD more or less takes shape on its own.
Bev: I know you are a big believer in finding songs that reach out and really mean something to the listeners and we have already discussed the last song being very special, does it also have the most meaning to you?
Collin: Yes without a doubt. My granddaughter Hailey has a mysterious and rare degenerative brain disorder that no one has been able to diagnose, and she has gone from being fine to being bedridden or chair ridden and cannot speak or swallow and it is pretty bad. So the song is about what she means to me. It is very difficult to put into words how you feel. This is a tribute to how much I love her and how she has impacted my own life. As a parent, or in my case, being the grandparent, the first thing you do when stricken with something like this, you try and make sense of it and ask God why. There are so many people that have critically ill children and it touches you more and more when you know that a song you put out there for someone you love can also touch so many other families and individuals in the same place.
Bev: Last time we spoke was right after your song “Soldiers Prayer” was released, do you have any special memories from that song?
Collin: It is hard to pick only one. Every show we do, I hear over and over that people expect this song and want to bring the soldiers out on stage. It amazes me how the families are affected and not only the soldiers and troops. I have met so many of our military men and women, but it is also the family members and loved ones back home that seem to connect to the song. I really have heard so many amazing stories about this song; it would be unfair to pinpoint just one.
Bev: In October, you hosted the Inspirational Country Music Awards, do you enjoy that kind of role or would you prefer to be on stage as musical entertainment?
Collin: I love to host anything. I am a natural goofball, so I love being in front of people. I was honored they asked me and to have such a genre recognize me is very touching. I feel like I am good at introducing other people and being able to make people feel inspired or good about themselves by choosing positive things about them as I welcome them on stage.
Bev: You have recently relocated to Salt Lake City, Utah. What prompted that move and how has it affected your music career?
Collin: My manager lives there and with the mountains it is so beautiful and the people are great, but the health issues of my grand-daughter were the primary reason we moved. There is a wonderful hospital here that does research for children that leave no stone unturned. Primary Children’s Hospital is trying harder than ever to diagnose her problems. As far as the career, I don’t think it makes a difference because everything is so portable.
Bev: As you have matured with the music industry, what have you enjoyed the most?
Collin: I think the honor and privilege of still making records. I have always played music and hopefully, always will, regardless of how well my career is going. The fact an audience will still buy a ticket to come see me is an honor. I truly enjoy the whole process of making records.
Bev: I know your daughter sang with you on the Christmas CD, does she appear on this CD too?
Collin: No she is not; she has been so busy with the kids that we really did not have the opportunity to join me on this CD. I recorded it in Muscle Shoals, Alabama so for her to come there was nearly impossible with the kids. I hope to do more with her though as she truly does have a beautiful voice.
Bev: This CD is released on Time-Life Records, is this a new collaboration?
Collin: Time-Life does things one album at a time, so the goal is to make it a long term relationship and do more, but as of right now we will see how this one goes and take it from there. I have enjoyed working with them so far.
Bev: Collin, as always, I enjoy talking to you and this has been my pleasure to visit with you about the new album and your family. I wish you much continued success and look forward to next time.
Collin: Thank you and was my pleasure as well. I will talk to you soon.
For more information on Collin Raye visit http://www.collinraye.com/ or www.myspace.com/collinraye.