Any artist who has ever hoped to move forward knows all too well the importance of embracing innovation and accepting new challenges, regardless of where and when they occur. Accruing fame and a fan following may be the priority, but the only way to assure a successful career is to evolve and transition in order to reach one’s fullest potential.
With her new album, the aptly titled All Over the Map, respected Nashville artist Teea Goans finds a new form of expression, one that finds her sharing her creativity, perceptions and observations in the form of original songs cowritten with one of Music City’s most highly regarded songwriters, Jim “Moose” Brown. It’s a solid step forward, one that reflects well on a career that’s won her widespread acclaim and the ongoing respect of those who inhabit Nashville’s sprawling music community.
“I feel like I’m in a new place now,” Teea insists. “I’m seeing things in a different way, with a new curiosity and insight. I feel like I have something to say.” Teea notes that this new phase of her career evolved naturally, beginning with time spent reassessing her life and music in the midst of the lull in activity and sense of isolation that she, like many so others, experienced in the midst of the Covid pandemic. The down time allowed her opportunity to carefully consider her next steps.
The songs themselves reflect the energy and exuberance that provided the album’s inspiration. The opening track “Enjoy the View,” emerges as an ode to optimism, one that effectively sums up the album’s sentiment succinctly:
“Slow down, take a look around
Once this day is gone, it won’t be back again
Look up, take life in
The journey’s so much more than just the end…”
Likewise, the beautiful ballad “Easy,” shares the idea that intimacy can be a healing balm that helps assuage the angst and anguish the world often inflicts. “Baby, when this world’s gone crazy, the safest place is to be in love,” Teea sings, offering a soothing statement about romance as a respite that’s both needed and necessary.
Other songs share a certain circumspect. The joyful and freewheeling “The Beat of a Backroad” extols the pure, unequivocal happiness that comes when taking to the highway, feeling the wind in your hair and the sunshine caressing your skin, while basking in the excitement and anticipation of whatever might lie beyond the next curve. So too, the soothing sound of “That’s What I Know” finds comfort in those things that are close at hand — “Grandma’s fried chicken and a big glass of tea,” “flowers in springtime,” “an old porch swing,” and, of course, the strength that comes from knowing there’s someone you can depend on, and who will always be there when they’re needed the most. “In the time that I’m here, I’ll choose love over fear and let the rest of it go…That’s what I know.”
That road she traveled both literally and figuratively brought her to a dynamic new phase of a rich and prolific career. “Life is too short to leave things unsaid or undone. Creating this album was a therapeutic process because it all happened so organically. I was given the opportunity to reveal my soul,” Teea reflects. “Those who may have known me before will get to know me even better, while others who might not be familiar with my work now have a chance to really meet me for the first time.”
- Lee Zimmerman