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Tuesday, April 30, 2024

“Collision Course” To Be Released May 10


Cover art of new album by Jimmy Wooten.

For 23 years, Shreveport singer, songwriter and musician Jimmy Wooten has played in a variety of venues, from local Mexican restaurants to Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry.

On May 10, his hard work will officially pay off.

The 40-year-old’s first album, “Collision Course,” will be released. The following night, Wooten and his family, friends and fans will celebrate with a party at Louisiana Grandstand.

“It means everything,” Wooten says of his debut album. “I’ve played music for a living — basically my only source of income — since 2001, right out of high school. That’s playing different instruments with different people, from locals to Neal McCoy on huge tours. All the studio work, everything I’ve ever done, has been building up to this moment where I’m putting out a full body of work — 14 songs.”

It’s hard, if not impossible, to classify Wooten’s music as a particular genre -- thus the name “Collision Course.”

“Rock, soul, country and blues. It’s all in there. … It’s a collision of genres. …There’s a soulful, southern, groovy, rootsy sound to all the songs.”

“Collision Course” features mostly love songs, as Wooten tips his hat to wife Sara for her support through the years. That support included periods of time that she spent alone while her husband lived his dream.

“‘Collision Course’ was written from all the battle-hardened years of touring with Neal and being out on the road all the time and the pressures of being away from your family. You’re on stage under the lights every night, and there’s not much else to do on the road except to play music and drink. I probably drank more than I ever have in my life during that period. It’s stressful. The more successful you get, the more pressure.”

Wooten believes “Collision Course” could lead to more success on a larger scale.

“The hope would be that everybody who follows me now will listen to it, enjoy it and want to come request a song at shows. But the goal is to grow my fanbase to the point where I will make my living from playing ticketed shows where people will come to see me play.”

This would be different from how Wooten currently generates income.

“I do make money off streaming, and I sell a lot of T-shirts, and all of that goes to help out the family (Wooten and Sara have two children). But my main income comes from playing live shows and entertaining people at whatever size venue it is. My hope is that this album will help me break out as an artist and get some bigger opportunities.”

While Wooten certainly has credentials, a different level of respect comes with an artist who has his/her own album.

“The second you brand yourself by putting out a song and selling T-shirts with your name on it, it doesn’t make you better than anyone. But it does add a little bit of legitimacy. Me putting out a whole body of work, 14 songs, is a little more of a statement.”

Wooten began working on “Collision Course” two years ago. He wrote some songs specifically for the album, while others were written years earlier and re-recorded.

“It’s just a lot of work to do a full album as an independent artist who is financing everything themselves. If I want to establish myself as an artist around the country, or even internationally, I need a full body of work.”

But making that full body of work isn’t cheap.

Wooten estimates it took $15,000 to make “Collision Course,” and that’s with him owning his own studio. Most of that money came from Wooten’s fans.

“I did crowd funding, where I made these special T-shirts that have some of the album’s artwork. They read, ‘I helped make this album.’ I sold enough shirts to 65% fund the album. The other money I had already spent myself to do this. My fans have been very supportive followers and really wanted to see this album happen. They jumped on it. I sold a lot of shirts, which helped me release the album. It was a long process, a huge undertaking, and it means everything to me.”

This is why Wooten didn’t want to release “Collision Course” without fanfare -- thus, his album release party.

“Anybody who follows me, whether it’s family, friends or actual fans, I wanted to give them a chance to come hear the music live – some of it for the first time. Louisiana Grandstand is the coolest music venue we have in the whole city. It’s a 400-seat theater, that is equally epic as it is intimate.”

Once “Collision Course” is released, you will be able to listen and download it on all digital platforms. To buy tickets to the album release party, visit www.louisianagrandstand.com.


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