Music News & Reviews

Amy Grant to sing new, old songs in Wichita

Amy Grant says she couldn’t be happier living the life as an independent recording artist.

“I’m really enjoying it,” she said. “I’ve always been on the other side.”

Grant signed a deal with RCA as a teenager in 1976.

For 33 years, the adult contemporary/Christian singer-songwriter was part of a corporate machine. But she has moved on.

While Grant, 50, was writing songs for her independent release, Brian Ward of EMI Records was sifting through her files.

“He asked why I never released a particular bunch of songs,” Grant said. “I listened to a number of these songs that Brian liked, and I decided that he was right to ask that question. It was time to release some of these songs.”

Then Grant ran into a cousin.

“She said, ‘You know what song I love of yours? “Arms of Love.”’ And she played it,” Grant said. “I thought that song could go on the album. A lot of people missed that one the first time around.”

So her latest album, “Somewhere Down the Road,” is a hodgepodge of passionate and poignant songs. Some cuts are new and some old.

“This was one of my most fun experiences in terms of recording an album,” Grant said. “I recorded at my leisure, and it was an education since I never paid for recording time out-of-pocket.”

Grant will showcase some of the fresh cuts, some hits and other material when she performs Saturday at Central Christian Church, co-headlining with Michael W. Smith.

“It’s not easy coming up with a set list,” Grant said. ”I’ve made a lot of albums, since I’ve been around for a while."

The charismatic Grant laughs when looking back at her early years.

“The first 10 years of my career was back when I didn’t have children,” Grant said. “I didn’t have my first child until 1987. Life was a lot less complicated then. Now two of my kids are in college. How weird is it when your 23-year-old comes home and you have a beer with him? Life is just so different now. I’ve never been happier.”

Part of the reason Grant’s life has been so blissful is her 11-year marriage to country artist Vince Gill.

“My husband and I are really connected,” Grant says. “It’s nice to have someone that really understands and loves you. And then there’s my kids. I get to step back and really enjoy my four children. I really can’t complain about a thing.”

Grant was a prolific recording artist during her first 25 years on the circuit. However, she has taken more time between projects in recent years.

“It’s nice not to feel that pressure,” Grant says. “I don’t put out albums as rapidly as I once did. But I’m still going to put out new music regularly. I love making records and going on tour.”