Eight years have passed since Chuck Wicks released his debut album Starting Now, which contained his blockbuster single "Stealing Cinderella." Much has changed for Wicks since then — including record label shuffles and landing his current day job as co-host of NASH-FM's America's Morning Show — and he's the first to admit he's not the same person he was back then.
"I didn't know what the hell I was doing," he says, calling in after his on-air shift. "I was just happy to be making a record. I was happy that I had a record deal. I was happy that my song was going to be played on country radio."
Wicks' new album Turning Point finds him on a new record label and with a more mature outlook, both as artist and songwriter. The title encapsulates his journey from then to now, coming out of confusion and finding his place as a recording artist.
"I believe everybody goes through that in their life with whatever they're doing, where they look around like, 'OK, where am I going?'" adds Wicks. "And something happens and they're like, 'Ah, I know where I'm going now.'"
Turning Point's leadoff track "She's Gone" is a fine example of Wicks 2.0. Opening with a drum groove and some moody electric guitar reminiscent of the Wallflowers' "One Headlight," the song has Wicks talking about a former lover who was nothing but trouble. (Listen to the song below.)
"The minute you say, 'She's a rapid fire coming down a one way target range,'" says Wicks, who says that he and his co-writers created a composite of ex-lovers to finish the song. "She's fast, she knows exactly where she's going. She's got her target in site, and she's gonna get it. She's gonna do whatever she needs to do. She's hotter than fire and all that stuff, but the minute she gets what she wants she's out the door and on to the next."
Wicks soars on the choruses, which bring a relentless sense of momentum. In the end though, Wicks points the blame back at himself, singing "I should have known it" in the middle break.
"I knew she was this way, so it was my dumb-ass fault for falling into it," explains Wicks. "That's the whole point of it."
Turning Point, which arrives February 26th, offers other snapshots of relationships, from the optimistic ("Us Again") to the down and out ("Over You Gettin' Over Me"). Wicks had a hand in writing all 11 tracks and, this weekend, he'll perform at the 30A Songwriters Festival in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.