Bryan White


The album was quite personal and emotionally heavy, White says. More importantly, making “Dustbowl Dreams” forced him to get back to his roots and pick himself up off the mat.

“I’m from Oklahoma and we don’t give up. We forge on. We fight. That could be applied to anywhere or anybody, but to me, that’s Oklahoma,” he says. “So, I started making music based around that whole thought. And, yeah, it really did light a fire under me.”

That flame hasn’t dimmed in the past five years. White will release his new album, “Shine,” on June 10 (it can be pre-ordered on iTunes). “Shine” not only serves as a showcase of White’s personality (as someone who’s not perfect and is finding his own place in life, he describes), but also issues a shot to the naysayers who claim White doesn’t have anything left in the tank. It all starts with the first single, “Another Day in the Sun.”

“I know that in Nashville or L.A. or New York, you can become expendable. They’ll tell you, ‘You’re done.’ I hear a lot of people in Nashville say, ‘Yeah, he’s done. He hasn’t had a hit single in years. He’s done.’ And that word, that phrase, makes me indignant,” White explains. “I just can’t stand when people say that because that’s just the industry talking. That’s just money talking. That’s somebody that’s not thinking about someone’s well-being or even the fact that they’re a human being — that their life isn’t wrapped up in a single or how well this does or that does.”

“To me, you’re always one away from another big hit. I don’t care if you’ve gained 200 pounds or lost an arm or you’ve been through depression. If you do something authentic and real and people connect to it, you’re never ‘done’ unless you think you’re ‘done.’”

With “Shine,” White hopes to prove that he’s far from done. The album’s other tracks boast their fair share of modern spunk, as well as some vintage White.

“Amen” is a groovy, relatable rock anthem about how everyone needs a day off sometimes. The up-tempo “Born to be Somebody” examines one’s destiny and how it’s intertwined with overwhelming love. White describes the album’s last track, “What I Already Know,” as raw, loose and powerful. He also gives fresh takes to “Call Me Crazy” (from his 1997 album “The Right Place”) and the song “Another Man’s Shoes” by Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors. The latter, he says, perfectly defined where feels he’s at in his life.

“I really stopped short of crying,” he says of the first time he heard that song. “It was so inspiring, so fresh, and everything moved me so much. As soon as I got home, I wiped two or three days off my schedule and literally did nothing but track that song.”

“Shine” should bring White more attention than anything he’s done in the last 15 years, but he’s not waiting by idly for a mainstream resurgence. In fact, he doesn’t care if it comes or not. White independently recorded and produced “Shine” thanks to the loyal support of his fans through an online Kickstarter campaign. Right now, he’s making the music he wants to make and doing it without the strenuous meddling of a major record label.

White’s putting the rest of his focus on frequent touring and pleasing his fans. He’ll have a busy day on June 7 as he performs at a fan club party in Nashville that morning before flying to Missouri for a concert at the St. Jo Frontier Casino that evening.

“It’s going to be a whirlwind of a weekend,” he says with a laugh.

The day’s events will start with a comedy and hypnosis show by B.J. Talley at 4 p.m., followed by a performance by local country artist Phil Vandel at 6:15. White will take the stage at 7 p.m. The concert is free, but guests must be 21 or older to attend.

White says he’ll play all of his hits from the 1990s, as well as some of his newest material. He’ll be thankful for every soul in the crowd who wants to hear it.

“I can’t get hung up on entitlement and thinking ‘Well, I had six No. 1 records,’” White says. “I have to think of it as a great time that I had. It was a blast, don’t get me wrong, but my eyes are fixed on what’s ahead.”

Those asking where White has been should probably start asking where he’s going. The response to that question is much more interesting.

Shea Conner can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Follow him on Twitter: @stjoelivedotcom.

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