Singer, songwriter and musician Channing Wilson’s anticipated debut album, Dead Man, is out today via Ol’ Dog Records/Soundly Music.
Already receiving critical acclaim, on the album Wilson establishes himself as one of today’s most honest and empathetic voices as he addresses universal topics such as love, heartbreak, loneliness and human connection through a personal lens.
Watch “Dead Man Walking” by Channing Wilson
Produced by GRAMMY Award-winning producer Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell) and recorded at Cobb’s studio in Savannah, GA, Dead Man marks a new chapter for Wilson as he steps forward as an artist after two decades as a successful songwriter, having written hits for Luke Combs, The Oak Ridge Boys, Travis Tritt and more.
Reflecting on the record, Wilson shares, “Back in the Depression era, Jimmy Rogers was a big hit, and the reason why was because he sang all these sad songs that let people know they weren’t the only ones going through hard times,” he said. “The one thing I hope for this record is that helps people realize that they’re not alone, that someone else feels the way they do. Because to me that’s the first step to feeling okay again.”
In addition to Wilson (vocals, acoustic guitar) and Cobb (acoustic guitar, electric guitar), Dead Man also features acclaimed musicians Brian Allen (bass), Philip Chandler (piano, organ), Chris Powell (drums, percussion), Leroy Powell (electric guitar, pedal steel, harmonica) and Mike Webb (piano, organ) as well as background vocals from Kristen Rogers.
From a small town in Northwest Georgia, Wilson first discovered his love of spinning stories into song in his late teens. “When I was a kid, I was always coming up with ideas for inventions,” he says. “So once I found songwriting, I was excited to have a way to create something without a hammer and a nail.”
After attempting college twice, Wilson formed a band in his mid-20s and quickly made his name as a formidable local act, but eventually felt called to take his music to next level. In 2009 he began making frequent trips to Nashville (an endeavor financed by selling off much of his guitar collection along with a fishing boat), then landed a deal with by EMI Music Publishing and soon started working with his longtime musical hero, the late Guy Clark.
“There’s that old saying that goes, ‘I just hold the pen and God does the writing,’” he says. “But I know from spending time with Guy that everything he did was incredibly intentional and meticulously thought-out. His ability to say so much in such a simple way is very much an art form to me.”
In celebration of the new music, Wilson will make his Grand Ole Opry debut this Saturday, February 25 and will continue to tour through this spring with shows at Nashville’s Dee’s Cocktail Lounge, Kansas City’s Knuckleheads, Columbus’ King of Clubs, Lexington’s Manchester Music Hall and Louisville’s Mercury Ballroom among many others. See below for complete tour itinerary.