INTERVIEW: Blake Shelton Talks Full Circle New Album 'Texoma Shore'
By Nicole Mastrogiannis
November 2, 2017
Blake Shelton's 11th full-length studio album Texoma Shore has finally arrived. Up until this week, fans had only heard the album's lead single "I'll Name The Dogs," which the country star released back in September. This week, Blake released five new Texoma Shore songs each day, and now, the full 11-track album is officially in the hands of his fans.
Texoma Shore follows 2016's If I'm Honest, and as he explains, is "an album that could've been made years ago." He tells us of the record, "I'm not saying it's a vintage throwback sounding album, but it definitely sounds like a '90s sounding album. And I love that about this thing because that's one of my favorite decades in country music, and I miss it. So, I'm just proud that we were able to capture that sound with this record."
As Blake mentioned, Texoma Shore was created on the shoreline of Lake Texoma in Oklahoma, Shelton's home. Making this new record close to home makes Texoma Shore "different than any other record [Blake's] ever made, and very personal -- in a good, lighthearted way. He explains:
"I feel like these songs are kind of taking me back to, maybe even 10 years ago [and] where my sound was then. I wanted to make a record that gets me back to that place, musically. Just the fact that I was able to do this record at home, it just doesn't feel like anything I've ever done before. I had chance to work with Scott Hendricks again and wrote a little bit. I wrote a song with Jessi Alexander and Josh Osborne. It's just a very, very special album for me. [It's] very personal, but not in a heavy, dark way. This is all about fun and lightheartedness, and I really wanted to make a record that sounds like something you'd listen to floatin' around on whatever your lake is at home."
One of the most special moments of making Texoma Shore came from the album's lead single "I'll Name The Dogs." Blake was still in the middle of releasing music from his previous album If I'm Honest, but "I'll Name The Dogs" is what kickstarted Shelton to begin his work on Texoma Shore. He tells us:
"I remember the moment that we recorded 'I'll Name the Dogs,' and I knew it was special. And I had every intention of still being in the middle of releasing music from the If I'm Honest album at this moment in time. It wasn't until I recorded 'I'll Name the Dogs' just because I wanted to get in the studio and get a head start on the next project that I realized, 'Wow, this needs to be out here right now.' Not only for me, but I think it's just a sound that country music was missing at the moment. It's got fiddles, it's got steel, it sounds like a record that could've came out of the late '90s. I just feel like it was time for a song like this to be out there. Every time I hear that song, I decided, 'You know what? It's time to come to this new album.' And, we really got in the studio and started working on it at that point."
In addition to "I'll Name The Dogs" on Blake's Texoma Shore album, are songs like the nostalgic, retrospective "I Lived It," which hears him singing about memories like, "Momma poured grease in a Chrisco can/Put a hundred thousand miles on a Sears box fan/Uncle Joe put tobacco on my hand where/The yellow jacket's torn me up."
Also included on the new record is a song from early on in the album called "At The House." Blake previously explained to Bobby Bones of the song, "Literally, this song is called 'At The House,' and this is what I do when I'm home. This is literally my life when I'm home."
And speaking of personal songs, there is "Turnin' Me On," which is inspired by Blake's girlfriend Gwen Stefani. He explained, "I was literally thinking of my girlfriend when I wrote this thing. I don't write that many very personal songs, but this one, I think, hits the mark."