Michelle Wright
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Michelle Wright

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The best kept secret in music


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Produced by: Tony Haselden & Russ Zavitson
Release date: July 4, 2006

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Feeling a bit camera shy


It’s been eight years since Michelle Wright delivered a full slate of country material and with the release of Everything And More one would have to agree that the return home is a welcome one.

Does the Return to sounds and signatures that brought this award-winning artist to the dance come as a surprise?

Artists who have worked for the kind of success that Wright has enjoyed over the past two decades eventually come full circle.

With Everything And More, the award-winning singer marries her immediately identifiable voice with an impressive collection of new material that mirrors so many of the changes in attitude and emotion that Wright has experienced as new chapters of her life have been written.

Some songs are celebrations that come from first hand experiences, while others come from that place of insightful observation that has always worked so well for this Ontario-born artist who first established herself as a force back in the early ‘nineties during her tenure with Arista Records Nashville.

Kicking off the album with a hard driving pulse, the title track Everything And More finds the singer’s questions answered with a sudden shot of faith and gratitude: she does, indeed, have everything and more.

On Dance In The Boat Wright's powerhouse instrument is set above a sturdy southern rock pulse capped off by slicing shots of countrified fiddle.

Wright’s voice embraces a traditional country sound on I Don’t Want To Be That Strong. Conversely, the vocalist heads for the bright lights and rocks her way through Riding Around the Sun.

Love Me Anyway finds Wright tackling the sensitive issue of realizing conventional family life may not be in the cards for a thirty-something couple. Sung in the first person, the song (like He Would Be Sixteen from earlier in her career) offers another example of Wright being the first to address a subject that is both timely and topical.

A heartfelt combination of emotions and points of view, coupled with effective shifts in arrangements and tempos, makes Everything And More a complete package that finds Wright singing with conviction and passion, and, when called for, injecting the right amount of urgency or subtle shading.

It is the kind of album that should make for new additions to the list of twenty-five top ten hits she's already produced in her impressive career. Take It Like A Man, Guitar Talk, The Answer Is Yes, Nobody’s Girl, Your Love, and I Surrender are just a few of the songs that continue to make her live shows such spectacular events.

With the help of those chart-topping singles, Wright’s Canadian and American fans snapped up almost two million discs over the course of a decade and in turn she made many a walk to stages and podiums to accept honors at Juno, Academy of Country Music and Canadian Country Music Association awards shows.

Wright’s later years with Arista Nashville were marked by considerable experimentation as Michelle opted to stretch her musical wings. Her range broadened to incorporate gospel and adult contemporary influences. In the new millennium Michelle’s album offerings included Shut Up And Kiss Me (2002), with a title-track single that even garnered play on rock radio in Canada, and her most recent release (her first for Icon Records), A Wright Christmas (2005), destined to become a seasonal classic with its fresh and soulful combination of country-pop and light jazz stylings.

But soon Michelle heard the country muse calling again. “When I started thinking about my next project, I just knew it was time to make another country record. I actually started down that road a year before I hooked up with producers Russ Zavitson and Tony Hazelton,” remarks the brunette beauty who ended up coming home in more ways than one for the recording of Everything And More.

“All those years ago Tony wrote Take It Like A Man for me and Russ published it. They’ve been partners for 16 years. One day Tony and I were writing and I asked him if he’d be interested in producing me. He agreed and brought Russ on board and away we went,” continues Wright, who from track to track and session to session produced the fire and sought out the kind of emotional touchstones that have made the best of her work so timeless.

At a point in her career where it’s best for her to call her own shots in terms of settling on the pulse and tone of a recording, Wright’s approach to this record had alot to do with instinct. “There were times on past recordings where a label wouldn’t let me record certain tunes and they went on to be nominated for Grammy awards. Now as an independent artist I’ve got more say in the whole process. “Plus my longtime manager Brian Ferriman reminded me that none of us have a crystal ball. He kept saying that if nothing else I had to have a good time making this CD. It was good advice. Tony and Russ were also adamant about this being “my record” and they wanted me to work with songs that I felt repr