Fifteen years have passed since Ty Herndon hit the top of the country singles chart with his debut single, “What Mattered Most.” That helped to usher in a period where the handsome singer was all over the radio with songs like “Living In A Moment” and “Hands Of A Working Man.” With a successful run in country music, it must have been somewhat of a surprise for Herndon to win a Dove Award this spring for writing the Little Roy Lewis/Lizzy Long duet single “When We Fly.” Maybe, but not as much of one as you might think.
“I didn’t think about winning a Dove,” Herndon says when asked if he had ever seen himself as an award winner during his early years in country music. “At that point, your focus is set on the ACMs and CMAs, and all the award shows going on. But I had listened to gospel and Christian music my whole life, so I was no stranger to the Dove Awards and the artists that participated in it. When I found out we were nominated for that, I was really tickled. For this particular record, which is such a spiritual journey, I couldn’t have asked for a better stamp of approval.”
With that certification, Herndon has just issued a new album, Journey On, that is getting rave reviews from fans and critics alike.
“I don’t think I sat out necessarily to write a Christian record,” he tells LimeWire Music Blog, “but I started writing about my life and all the great things that God has done for me over the past ten years of my life, it came out to be very much a Spiritual record that has country songs on it.”
Even though the disc has an inspirational slant, Herndon is quick to point out that his new music can fit in with any format. “I think that ‘Journey On’ definitely has a mass appeal. It can be played contemporary Christian, country, or adult contemporary. It’s just about the fact that all of us go through things in this life, and we all have to get up, put one foot in front of the other, and journey on, and know there’s always going to be someone there—whether it’s God, a family member, or a friend—whatever you believe in that will get you through to the other side. It just has a really cool message to it. I was thrilled to be able to write that song. The cool thing that kicked this album off was ‘When We Fly.’ That was an amazing opportunity to write with Joel Lindsey and Wayne Haun, who have been Dove winners in the past. To write that song was something that I thought would be really cool to do, and the song turned out so great that we put it on our record, as well. We both have prospered from the press we’ve received from winning the Dove Award. It’s been a pretty big blessing.”
Journey On is the first album from Herndon that features his name on every song on the disc as either a writer or co-writer. “This is the first album for which I’ve written everything,” he confirms. “It was a real challenge. Instead of writing a book, I wrote a record. It’s kind of an autobiography of my life for the past ten years.”
The title track is a huge part of that process, the singer says. “I wrote that with Caleb Collins. He’s a young writer—about 29 nine years old, and a good friend of mine. We had just sat down one night, and I had been mentoring him a little bit, and he said, ‘You know, you’ve got a really wonderful story, and your journey has been amazing.’ That song came from a place of a lot of encouragement and a lot of really great people in my life that helped me through a lot of situations.”
Another tune with a lot of powerful themes is “Today,” a song that Herndon is very proud of. “I was in a place of worship with this song. Belinda Smith is such a great songwriter, and she comes from a place of extreme worship. One day, we were just talking about the miracles that we see in this world and our life, and how we have to stand in awe. That’s kind of where that came from. I hope that song will give you an understanding of where my heart is.”
There have been a lot of changes in Herndon’s life since he hit the scene in 1995. What if he had a chance to write a letter to that wide-eyed newcomer who was just about to release his first album back then? “I think I would tell him that I loved him. I would tell him that he’s got some roads ahead of him, and be careful with your choices. Watch your back, and more importantly, give God the glory for all the things that are about to happen to you.”
Journey On is available in stores now, but core fans might want to venture over to his website. Fans can buy the album there, and can also buy a variety of packages including everything from backstage passes to a personal phone call from Ty.
“People spend their hard earned money on something, so you might as well offer something special. I loved the idea the label came up with as far as offering up things like a phone call, and different levels of packages that you could come up with. Then, you can also just buy the record, so it’s whatever you want to do. I’m not doing it by myself. There’s a lot of great marketing people involved from the label.”
Herndon is eagerly looking forward to the reaction to Journey On, but he’s not resting on it. The singer is working on a new country project with Victoria Shaw, and he says the future is looking up! Of his producer, who helped launch Lady Antebellum, he says, “She’s hard on songs, and I love that. It’s going to be exciting!”
Fuente: LimeWire Music Blog