NORTHEAST KINGDOM – Native Wayne Warner is no stranger to entertaining folks of all walks of life.
He is currently launching his newest CD/DVD combination package, "What Lines?" The DVD has 10 cuts and two bonus tunes, "Turbo Twang" and "God Bless the Children." "What Lines?" is Warner’s first album in four years.
This album is different from Warner’s previous works because it contains the look and sound he wants, not what a committee wants, he said
Warner always thought any album that has his name should contain what he wants - good or bad - and he will take blame for whatever happens.
“I’m very excited about it,” said Warner during an interview at his home Friday. “It’s the album I always wanted to make."
Warner made sure to take his time on the album, did not put any deadlines on it and worked on it for three to four years. As the norm, he traveled to Nashville a lot.
“I go to Nashville and stock my cupboards full of kinship, creativity and enthusiasm and come home and pig out,” Warner said. “That’s basically what this record was made out of.”
One of Warner’s highlights was working with Bonnie Tyler. “She was so a head of her time,” said Warner. “They (her songs) still sound like they were recorded yesterday. She’s a pop icon and to have her on my record is something I’m really excited about.”
"Something Going On" is the tune Warner and Taylor worked on together.
"What Lines" crosses boundaries, said Warner, who grew up in a country music family that included playing at local jam sessions in the NEK. That country genre is obvious in the album, but crosses into others. For example, Taylor is a rock icon. The album was also a journey for Warner.
“During the recording process, I went through the death of one of my best friends,” said Warner. “I remember singing a certain song on that album called "I’m Broken" around the same time I was planning on going to his funeral.”
Music, especially country music, is America’s soundtrack, Warner said. “Music is what emotions sound like and I try to tap into those,” said Warner. “I’m all for stereo, left and right, but I think emotions should be dead center. I think music can cut through a lot of calluses.”
Warner learned that through his God Bless the Children Project, which promotes adoption.
“I got so many letters from all over the world from people who decided to adopt just by hearing this piece of music,” said Warner. “That really changed my approach of the way my pen moves when I write a song.”
"Black and White Rainbows" is a project that shows the effects of drug and alcohol use from the gut level. Warner wrote the tune after one of his close friends died of an overdose. Warner is proud that many schools and rehabilitation centers use the song as part of their anti-substance abuse efforts.
Warner, now that his latest album is out, is focusing on his next project. It deals with racial equality, fairness and everyone loving one another. He is trying to get some well-known names to be included in the project but he would not say which ones, because it's not finalized yet.
Warner got the idea for the project after reading a story about a black teenager who died while riding his bicycle during the Church Street bombing in Birmingham, AL, in the 1960s.
Warner said he wants to pay tribute to the teenager and encompass more ground than racial inequality between black and white.