Photo Credit Kristin Barlowe

Craig Morgan is gearing up to release his brand new album, The Journey (Livin’ Hits),on September 3.  The new album features 12 tracks consisting of 8 of Morgan’s biggest hits, as well as 4 brand new songs including hit single “Wake Up Lovin’ You.” 

CountryMusicRocks got the chance to catch up with Craig Morgan and discuss his new album as well as his “journey” throughout his career in country music.  Of his new album Craig tells us, “I’ve had a greatest hits in the past so this incorporated a few of the hits off of that as well as some of the more recent hits that were not on the previous greatest hits record, and four new songs.”  Morgan continues, “I feel like the new material is a growth in my career. It’s new material that encompasses a lot of the style and stuff that people have come to expect from me, while at the same time I feel that the songs are different enough that people will appreciate the new material, and the freshness and my desire to continue to grow.”

In addition to the four brand new songs on the album, Morgan re-recorded 8 of his biggest hits.  “It was exciting to go back in and re-record some of the other stuff because I’ve learned a lot. There’s a lot of difference between singing a song when you think it is going to be a big hit, and singing a song after it is a big hit. That was a lot of fun! I’ve learned a lot over the years singing these songs, just little simple things like where to breathe better and so on & so forth, which made it a little easier and a lot more fun to sing. And the new material. Like I said I feel like this new material is probably some of the better songs I’ve ever had in my career. I really feel like these are the songs, this is what it is going to take in order for me to elevate my profile within this industry.”

Craig recently released the album debut single “Wake Up Lovin’ You” to country radio, and since then it has garnered a lot of attention.  Of his new single Craig shares, “The COO of this label played it for me, and I knew it was something I wanted to sing instantly. Once I went into the studio and recorded it, I started doing it live and I realized there was something extremely special about this song. Before I had even recorded anything else, I knew that this was going to have to be the first single off of this new project. That song gave me a lot of confidence to go in and record some of the other songs that I might not have otherwise recorded. Like I said it’s a little different, but still yet maintains enough of the familiarity that people have come to expect from me. It’s pretty exciting when you’ve got something like that. I knew once I did it live I felt like it was going to be a big ol’ hit.”

Fans immediately embraced Craig’s new single since he added it to his set list and started performing it live. “It’s the most amazing thing when I do it live. That’s what gave me the confidence, was the fans. When I do it live and they act like they’ve been listening to it for years, it just makes you feel like you’ve made the right decision.”

Craig Morgan has become a staple within the country music industry over the years. Of his journey Morgan shares, “It’s been an amazing ride. For me it has not been like a lot of them. A lot of people describe their careers as roller coasters, lots of ups & downs. Mine’s been like this huge ride uphill. We’re steadily been climbing in our career the whole time. We’ve managed to have a lot of hits over the years and we are still here with a new label, new management, new look, new music, everything. I feel like it’s a very important point in my career and we’ve steadily just been climbing. We’ve not had a lot of those ‘downs’. There have been a few times where we’ve stepped down a half a step, but never a stumble or a fall. It’s just been one of things, just a normal growth in career. It’s been a wonderful thing.”

Thinking back over all the amazing moments that Craig has had in country music, both on & off stage, he shared some moments that stands out to him. “There’s moments when I sit back, especially after a show If we do a 60 minute show and walk off stage and go ‘holy cow we just played for an hour and it was nothing but hits, I couldn’t even do all the new material,’  that’s exciting. That’s pretty cool! If I’m off on on expedition of some sort and I’m out somewhere contemplating, I realize all of the cool things I’ve got to do in my life and in particular in my music career. The people that I’ve met and the journey that I’ve been on has been over the top.”

“The thing that probably stands out the most though for me is my induction into the Grand Ole Opry. In my opinion that is one of the greatest compliments that can be paid to a country music singer. To be a part of that family is extremely humbling.

Music is consistently evolving, especially country music. When asked what he thinks sets country music apart, Craig shares “The Reality. I think country music, more so than any other genre of music, talks about the majority of the people of this country, talks about their lifestyle.” Morgan continues, “When I listen to some of the pop stuff, I don’t of many people that ride around on a bus & sling their bling. Our music talks about life, day to day life. Places where there is more trucks than cars, and about what we do on Sundays. A majority of the people in this country live that way. I think that is why our format does so good.  It’s a wide format, everything from really hard core country to stuff that lends itself more to the pop side, and that is a good thing.”

Craig Morgan’s The Journey (Livin’ Hits) is definitely an album you will want to add to your music collection.  Listeners will enjoy the songs they all know and love, as well as embrace the new music Craig delivers.  Be sure to pick up The Journey (Livin’ Hits) on September 3 at a retail store near you, or online at iTunes by clicking HERE or on Amazon by clicking HERE.

Keep up with Craig Morgan by visiting his Official Website, Like him on Facebook and Follow him on Twitter.