In music, as in life, it’s all about the connections we make that form our identity and chart our future. We are all only the sum of our experiences and for his first pop-rock album in over 20 years, Gary Wright has a bounty of experiences and close friends to draw inspiration from.
Reaching back to a stripped-down formula that brought Wright so much success on his monster hit Dream Weaver, he has once again crafted another beautiful collection of soul-searching songs that reveal not only the fragile nature of humanity but more importantly, its resilience. With a little help from his friends, Ringo Starr, Joe Walsh, and Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, he more than gets by and takes the listener on a glorious journey of self discovery enhanced by his genuinely inspired vision for the future.
“Satisfied,” the record’s first single, jump starts this aural baptism and grooves its way through an uplifting pilgrimage out of darkness and self despair and back into the sunshine. “Can’t Find No Mercy” starts out in a “Dream Weaver”-esque slumber then morphs into a Stevie Wonder/”Superstition” inspired bounce that’s drenched in revival choir vocals and is just impossible to resist. As Wright explains, “I named the album Connected because I believe we are all connected with one another and that our thoughts and actions have a great influence on our planet collectively. We, therefore, all need to work together in making this world a better place by manifesting more hope and more positive thinking wherever we go as well as doing our parts in creating peace and spreading it wherever we see darkness.”
This affirmative mantra is enforced on “Life’s Not a Battlefield,” where Wright encourages us to love and be loved and to take the time to ask why we are here on Earth. And so it goes throughout this fabulous record filled with optimism and heartfelt enthusiasm. “Kirra Layne,” a precious song dedicated to Wright’s first granddaughter, holds the beautiful lyric, “Your life lies ahead of you, an empty canvas waiting for your touch / And while you paint your masterpiece, know I love you so much.”
As a father myself, this sentiment reinforces every parental feeling I’ve ever had about my children and this kind of wonderful familial feel graces the entire record.
During the recording of Connected, Wright also went through his decades-old archives of material and unearthed several incredible nuggets. As a very special bonus to those who purchase the deluxe digital version of Connected at iTunes and www.TheDreamWeaver.com, Gary is including two songs linked to his long-time friend George Harrison. One is a moving ballad called “To Discover Yourself,” co-written by George Harrison in 1971 and recorded by Wright on the day of Harrison’s passing on November 29, 2001. The other song, recorded in 1989, is titled “Never Give Up” and features George Harrison on guitar.
The “connection” between these two musical legends is a truly fascinating one. Wright became a close friend of George after he was asked to play on his All Things Must Pass sessions, and after that he accompanied Harrison on a trip to India. On this trip Harrison gave Wright a copy of the book Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda, and this inspired Gary to seek out additional writings. While reading more, he found a poem entitled, “God! God! God!” that included the concept of the mind “weaving dreams” and thus the inspiration for his Dream Weaver was revealed to him. Fast forward some forty-odd years later, and Wright’s Beatles connection still continues as this summer he is once again part of Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band, which is currently out on tour for the summer.
Connected has a wonderfully positive theme running throughout this magical exploration of body, mind, and soul, and it’s endearing to know that despite all the troubles in this world, Gary Wright’s hopes for the future as well as his absolute love are indeed, still alive.
Gary Wright: www.TheDreamWeaver.com