LIVE: Morgan Wade – York Barbican, 18/05/2023 1

LIVE: Morgan Wade – York Barbican, 18/05/2023

Morgan Wade has energy and talent to burn. Two years ago the breakout alternative country music star from Floyd, Virginia burst onto the scene with ‘Wilder Days’, the brilliant song that concludes her scintillating set tonight. Reckless, her successful debut album from which ‘Wilder Days’ is taken, was released shortly thereafter and since that time Morgan Wade hasn’t stopped.

Last year she signed to Sony Records, a deluxe edition of Reckless was released, and she performed in the United Kingdom and Ireland for the first time, appearing at the C2C Country to Country Festival in London, Glasgow, and Dublin. 

Morgan Wade now returns to this country for her very own headline tour. Entitled the Crossing State Lines (and Oceans!) Acoustic Tour, these shows follow several dates in her home country and come hot on the heels of the earlier No Signs of Slowing Down Tour which saw Wade play no less than 32 sold out venues right across the United States. 

Furthermore, Morgan Wade has just this week revealed details about her second studio album, Psychopath. The album will feature 13 new tracks and comes out on 25th August via Sony Music Nashville.

Speaking about the forthcoming album, Wade says: “Regardless of what people say about Psychopath, I’m proud because I feel like it showcases where I’m at with my sophomore album. I have no choice but to be authentic. And I have to feel what I feel. And right now, I’m really feeling the music.”

Morgan Wade

And Morgan Wade brings all of these positive attributes and strong personal characteristics into this evening’s performance. Accompanied by her regular guitarist, Clint Wells – “Ol’ Boopy, in his fun socks” – the two musicians are seated in front of a row of dimly-lit standard and table lamps, further shrinking this often cavernous, soulless venue into that of a small club setting, through the warmth of their interaction and the intimacy of the music. 

In this stripped-back, acoustic form, the vulnerability inherent in many of Wade’s songs is magnified. The lyrical themes of her past struggles with addiction, mental health, and individual dissolution are laid bare through the clarity and phrasing of her voice. It is a powerful instrument of varying texture and depth, ranging from that of a weathered and worn Stevie Nicks on an absolutely sublime ‘Crossing State Lines’ to the raw emotional charge of ‘Met You’

The newer material – of which ‘Psychopath’ and a beautifully tender ‘Fall In Love With Me’, complete with some delightful electric guitar from Clint Wells are both prime examples – affirms Morgan Wade’s growing confidence as a songwriter. And taken together with the earlier songs from Reckless and Puppets With My Heart (the 2018 album she recorded with The Stepbrothers) they not only evince Morgan Wade’s continuing reconciliation with her troubled past but also herald a pathway towards an even brighter future.

Photo: Simon Godley

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.