Hailey Whitters Draws From Heartland for Upcoming Album ‘Raised’

photo: Harper Smith

Hailey Whitters is a really important artist to this whole thing. With Americana-level writing chops and a traditional-leaning sound, yet mainstream-level appeal and acceptance, she’s vital to the effort to save country music. She illustrated this with her last album The Dream, and the deluxe edition released in 2021, which ended up being her breakout moment after years of paying dues in Nashville.

Now Whitters has a new album on the way called Raised out on March 18th via Big Loud, which takes her back to her Midwest roots in Iowa for inspiration, specifically the town of Shueyville, population 731.

“It’s been 14 years since I’ve lived in Iowa, but more and more I’ve been going back there mentally and being pulled to the people and the places that raised me,” Whitters says. “‘The Dream’ was about my time and experience in Nashville and ‘Raised’ is about taking the road back home to the Heartland. If ‘The Dream’ were my wings, then ‘Raised’ is my roots. This feels like the record I was always supposed to make, but it took ‘The Dream’ to put me on the radar of this town and this team. Now that I have it, I’m excited for my fans to connect more personally with who I am.”

Raised finds Hailey Whitters collaborating with an impressive list of co-writers including Lori McKenna, Brandy Clark, Craig Wiseman, Jordan Lehning (a.k.a son of Randy Travis producer Kyle Lehning), and others. It was produced by Whitters with Jake Gear, who also worked on The Dream and the Living The Dream deluxe edition. Whitters also collaborates with American Aquarium who backs her on the song “Middle of America.”

“This record is where I’m from, this is me,” Whitters explains. “These are the people and this is the place that made that 17 year old girl leave everything she’d ever known to pursue a career in country music and not give up over the last 14 years. ‘Raised’ is a celebration of the heartland, but I think it’s a common story no matter where you’re from. My experience growing up in the middle of the country is very relatable to a lot of people. We’ve all lived in a similar way—the only thing that’s different is the scenery.”

RAISED tracklist:

1 – Ad Astra Per Alas Porci (Jordan Lehning, Pedro Palomino)
2 – Raised (Hailey Whitters, Nicolle Galyon, Forest Glen Whitehead)
3 – Everything She Ain’t (Hailey Whitters, Bryan Simpson, Ryan Tyndell)
4 – Big Family (Hailey Whitters, Cameron Bedell, Nicolle Galyon)
5 – Middle Of America (feat. American Aquarium) (Hailey Whitters, Bobby Pinson)
6 – Plain Jane (Hailey Whitters, Hillary Lindsey, Cary Barlowe)
7 – College Town (Hailey Whitters, Nicolle Galyon, Jimmy Robbins)
8 – Interlude (Hailey Whitters, Pedro Palomino)
9 – Boys Back Home (Hailey Whitters, Brandy Clark, Jessie Jo Dillon)
10 – Everybody Oughta (Matt Roy, Craig Wiseman)
11 – Pretty Boy (Hailey Whitters, Scooter Carusoe, Tom Douglas)
12 – The Neon (Hailey Whitters, Rodney Clawson, Lori McKenna)
13 – The Grassman (Hailey Whitters, Aaron Raitiere)
14 – Our Grass Is Legal (Hailey Whitters)
15 – Beer Tastes Better (Hailey Whitters, Lori McKenna)
16 – In A Field Somewhere (Hailey Whitters, Jeff Hyde, Bryan Simpson)
17 – Ad Astra Per Alas Porci (Reprise) (Jordan Lehning, Pedro Palomino)

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