Christian Lopez’s 2015 debut album Onward positioned the Nashville-by-way-of-West-Virginia songwriter as an artist to watch. The Dave Cobb-produced album showed Lopez to be a talented storyteller, vocalist, and guitarist, and got the attention of NPR, No Depression, and all of us at American Songwriter.
Now Lopez is preparing to return with his sophomore album, Red Arrow. He teamed up with producer Marshall Altman this time around, digging deeper sonically and lyrically for a collection of songs that take Lopez’s musicianship to an exciting new level.
Ahead of the album’s release, Lopez has shared “Steel On The Water,” a song that was inspired by a 2016 trip aboard the John C. Stennis aircraft carrier. Lopez joined the 5,000 sailors aboard the ship — which sailed from Pearl Harbor to San Diego — to offer up entertainment and companionship. In doing so, Lopez developed a deeper appreciation for both the power of music and for the sacrifices made by the nation’s service men and women.
“I spent every moment I could spending time and playing music with my new friends,” Lopez says of his time at sea. “I learned so many amazing stories, some incredible and some heart wrenching. But I took away something I’ll never forget: a new understanding and appreciation for the military service members I’d never felt before. That week on the Pacific changed my life and I hope to do it again someday. I wrote ‘Steel On The Water’ on my last day aboard, in my cabin.”
Red Arrow is out September 22. Listen to “Steel On The Water” and view photos from Lopez’s time aboard the aircraft carrier below.