There is something a bit enchanting about sitting across the table from Dove Award winning singer/songwriter, Ginny Owens. Those sparking, sky-blue liquid eyes that you know can’t see you, seem to see inside you. Her voice is soft, yet potent and engaging; some might call it lyrical. She speaks with the same confidentiality and vulnerability that have made her music a fan favorite for nearly thirteen years.
Today, there is a barely contained enthusiasm in the undertones of her words. She is releasing a new album, and her excitement is palpable. “I've been working on this project for two years,” Ginny declares. “I’ve never worked on any project that long. I don't have that kind of patience.” Almost as a shy afterthought she adds, “I really like it.”
Like it, indeed. What's not to like? Whimsically titled, Get In, I'm Driving, Ginny’s new CD is smoky and smooth, jazz-tinged R&B shot through with pop music sensibilities and wrapped around Ginny’s patented brand of sensitive, insightful lyrics.
“I released my final record with Rocketown Records six years ago,” Ginny muses. “I was grateful to have been with that label for eight years, but the times they were a-changin,’ as the saying goes.
“Label marketing execs were scratching their heads trying to figure out how to sell records, but I thought it was an exciting time to be an independent artist. The more that people went to the Internet for their music, the more opportunities there were for artists like me.”
As an independent artist, Ginny had the freedom to create in a way that she hadn't before. She was able to make the kind of music she enjoys listening to; the kind of music she grew up listening to; the kind of music real people in the real world enjoy listening to.
“I grew up listening to R&B, hip hop and soul. I got into jazz while I was in college, and I’ll admit there is a part of me that loves straight pop music. When I think about making music for other people, I try to weave a message of hope into music that is accessible to all types of listeners. My dream has always been to be versatile enough musically to play a club on Saturday night and a church on Sunday morning…and why not? People in both places love music and are desperate for hope.”
To help shape the new record, Ginny called on LA-based sonic architect, David Das, whose credits include work with Rebecca St. James, Katharine McPhee and BarlowGirl. Ginny felt his cinematic film score background, as well as the laid back LA environment, would lend a freshness to the project.
She was right, but as production wrapped, she sought one more expert musical opinion to make the project all it could be. Ginny called on longtime friend and Grammy Award-winning producer Monroe Jones (Third Day, Mark Schultz, Holly Williams) to help bring the record to a strong finish. “Monroe produced my first three albums and gets my music more than anyone else I've ever known. He knew exactly what touches were needed to complete the project.”
The final product is an eclectic collection of eleven songs that take you on an adventure of the soul. From the thudding, breathy opening strains of the title cut, to the lilting, pop-inflected “Mystery of Grace,” and playful, piano-driven “Before You Fly,” Ginny injects fun and fetching melodies with thought-provoking lyrics to remind listeners that life is a journey; one that usually involves a lot of falling down and getting back up again.
Consequently, Get In, I'm Driving doesn’t shy away from Ginny’s melancholy side. Tunes like “Rain” examine the inevitable pain that comes with broken relationships, and “Higher Ground” casts an unflinching eye at the realities of life.“Nearly every song on this record was its own writing process. I began writing many of them soon after leaving Rocketown, then during my season of living in New York City, and most recently while taking care of my mom during her battle with cancer. Most of them weren’t completed until I came back to Nashville and began processing all that I’d been through.”
But she is just as likely to turn yearning into joy with songs like the heartbreakingly beautiful piano-ballad, “Joined At The Heart,” or bluesy, R&B number, “Daughter of Destiny.”
The songs on Get In, I'm Driving might be among the most personal of Ginny’s career. She says it’s almost like reading pages of her diary, complete with the heartaches and the triumphs.
“I am confident in where God has me right now, and I am at peace,” she smiles. “I hope the truth in these songs can communicate hope to people who are looking for it, and maybe even to those who are not.”