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In June 2004, aspiring country singer Jessica Harp packed everything into her car and left her Kansas City, MO, hometown for Tennessee to finalize a recording contract with Nashville indie-label Dualtone Music Group. Fate intervened when her best friend Michelle Branch called somewhere along the way and asked her to form a country/pop duo, which the girls dubbed The Wreckers. A No. 1 country single, a gold album, a Grammy-Award nomination, and high-profile tours with Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban followed, but Harp could never shake the feeling of wanting to show the world what she could do on her own.
Now she finally has that chance with the upcoming release of her major-label solo debut A Woman Needs a breezy modern-country collection that finds the honey-voiced Harp telling appealingly relatable stories about her life, loves, and heartbreaks on tracks like the playful Boy Like Me, the feisty A Woman Needs, and the earthy Homemade Love. Country music is about real people and real things, and that always spoke to me not only as a music fan, but as a singer-songwriter, Harp says. I like to tell stories with my songs. This is the album I have dreamed of making since I was eight years old and singing along to my moms Judds and Reba McEntire records.
While The Wreckers were touring with Keith Urban in the summer of 2007, Harp had begun writing songs on her own. She befriended Urbans bass player, Jerry Flowers, who, in addition to being a musician, is also a singer, producer, and songwriter. Flowers wound up co-writing several tracks on A Woman Needs, including the title track, Break-Up Song, and More To This Than You, as well as producing the album.
One thing Harp and Flowers knew going in to make A Woman Needs is that they wanted the album to be fun and upbeat. That was another lesson I learned during my crash course with The Wreckers, Harp says. Aside from the singles, Stand Still, Look Pretty is a sad album, and we would play hour-long sets at these big fairs and festivals where people just wanted to dance and have a good time. So I was thinking about touring and playing the songs live when we recorded the album. But I think theres something for everyone here.
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