Miranda Lambert is one of a few big-name special guests to appear on Collin Raye‘s upcoming album, Scars, the “Love, Me” singer’s first collection of original material in more than 10 years. In fact, Lambert’s cameo comes on the project’s title track, which Raye has released as a first glimpse into his new material.
Lambert powerfully plays the role of harmony vocalist in “Scars,” a ballad that reflects on the lasting marks — both physical and emotional — that a person incurs over the course of their life.
“But the pain that I remember / Is the pain that makes me stronger / I’ve had to look at life that way,” the pair sing in one particularly poignant moment. “I‘ve learned to rise above it / To keep from going under / Take it step by step, day by day / And I’m not ashamed …”
A “Scars” music video showcases a variety of people in the midst of different struggles, each waging their own battle against whatever it is that’s causing their scars. We see people in the throes of addiction to alcohol and pills, a woman entrenched in an abusive relationship, a homeless man with a sign that reads “Once I Was Like You,” and a number of servicemen and -women bravely fulfilling their duties.
“Scars” was co-written by Raye’s brother, Scotty Wray, who also happens to be a longtime pal of and guitar player for Lambert; in fact, Wray and Lambert performed an early iteration of “Scars” back in January of 2016, during a writer’s round-style performance that Lambert gave at Nashville’s City Winery. When she introduced their performance, Lambert admitted that the song was a tough one for her to sing.
“This song is — Oh, God, I hope I’m not gonna cry when I sing it,” she said, going on to explain that she and Wray have been performing together ever since she was 17, and that they had both had “a really, really s–tty year in 2015.”
For those keeping score at home, 2015 was the year of Lambert’s very public divorce from Blake Shelton. While Wray’s personal life isn’t nearly as widely documented, he and Lambert connected over their difficult years by getting matching wrist tattoos, which the two showed off from the stage.
“Anyway, we used to just be the band, me and him, for a long, long time. And he wrote this song, like, 16 years ago, a year before I met him. And I have been in love with it for that long … Every time he sings it, I would cry, for the last 15 years.”
The song’s appearance on Scars makes his new project even more powerful, Raye points out, because the two brothers also have a long-standing musical history together, even if they parted ways at a certain point in their careers. Wray’s name appears in the songwriting credits of a handful of tracks on Raye’s new album, and the two men even wrote a couple of the songs together.
“Being that we started our musical journey together as teenagers, then in our 20s we began to go separate paths, this album is truly a ‘full circle’ moment in my life,” Raye reflects. “The timing for this is just right.”
Every one of Scars‘ 14 tracks was co-written or written by either Raye or his brother, with Raye having a hand in 12 of the songs on the project. When it came to the recording part of the album-making process, Raye added some special twists on the material, too: The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach plays electric guitar throughout the album, and Vince Gill also serves as duet partner for the seventh track, “Rodeo Girl.”
Scars is due out on Nov. 20.
Collin Raye, Scars Tracklisting:
1. “Ghost Story” (Scotty Wray)
2. “Scars” (duet with Miranda Lambert) (Scotty Wray, Tony Ramey)
3. “Bad Storm Coming Tonight” (Pat McLaughlin, Joe Allen, Collin Raye)
4. “Dancing Alone in the Street” (Collin Raye)
5. “Never Going Back There Again” (Collin Raye, Britanny Raye, Michael Curtis, Troy Powers)
6. “Loved By an Angel” (Pat McLaughlin, David Ferguson, Collin Raye)
7. “Rodeo Girl” (with Vince Gill) (Pat McLaughlin, David Ferguson, Collin Raye)
8. “Chasing Renee” (Collin Raye, Jacob Wray)
9. “I’ve Got a Lot to Drink About” (Collin Raye, Shaunna Larkin)
10. “Ever Making Up Time” (Collin Raye, Gene Lasage)
11. “Let It Go Away” (Joe Allen, Collin Raye, David Ferguson)
12. “Rock ’n’ Roll Bone” (Collin Raye)
13. “Young as We’re Ever Gonna Be” (Scotty Wray, Collin Raye)
14. Mama Sure Could Sing” (Scotty Wray, Collin Raye)