Swagger. Presence. Perseverance. Soul. Winston Slade is all of these. And it’s kept him on the radar of the country music industry’s major players most of his life. His voice stood out from the beginning and as a teenager he was winning regional awards and opening for major touring acts. He then signed a record deal through the famed Lowery Music Group in Atlanta and released his first album. All was going according to plan as the lead single, “English Language,” topped the charts in Texas and stayed there for 9 weeks. Nashville’s major labels took notice and Slade signed to Curb Records. So far, so good. But very few artists slide through a career unscathed and Slade soon became another character in the tired tale of record label changes and contractual disputes. Curb never released a record and a discouraged Slade returned to Georgia. But there were still believers. Slade kept in touch with his producer, the legendary Rodney Mills (.38 Special, Gregg Allman, The Doobie Brothers, Atlanta Rhythm Section), and a recent conversation resulted in a return to the studio. With their usual emphasis on song, they carefully selected several unknown gems from some of Nashville’s biggest writers, including Rivers Rutherford’s “I’m The One” and “I’ll Be” from Dallas Davidson. Leading with these, along with a handful of other songs and a new band from Nashville, Slade is on the road and in talks with labels once again. A stronger, wiser Winston Slade has emerged and it would appear that this may be his time.