Old-school country songbird RaeLynn (aka Rachel Lynn Woodward) — who rose to prominence as a Blake Shelton-mentored contestant on “The Voice” five years ago — is overjoyed that her Warner Bros. debut disc “WildHorse” is finally hitting shelves March 24. Until now, fans have only known the Baytown, Texas native through twangy singles like “Boyfriend,” “God Made Girls” and the recent “Love Triangle.” But having co-written 11 of the album’s 12 tracks, she says, “the record shows you my journey over the last four years, moving to Nashville at 18, falling in love, going through a couple of heartbreaks, falling in love again, getting married, and just becoming the woman I am.”
Your husband Joshua Davis just enlisted in the military. Is that difficult for a new bride?
He left last Monday. And yeah, it’s hard. But it’s such an honorable thing. And I definitely know how it feels to have a loved one who serves – my brother serves in the military, too. But it’s definitely different when it’s your husband. But I have a really good support system around me. And I’m really proud of him – he’s such a standup guy.
You’re touring with Blake Shelton right now. What did you learn from him on “The Voice”?
The main thing I learned from Blake is to take my time onstage and always be the artist that I want to be. Being in Nashville, everybody has their opinion of what they want you to be, and what they want you to sing and write. But Blake told me to write the songs that I want to write, and I took that advice. I never have changed who I was, creating music.
You’re 22 now. How scary was moving to Music Row at 18?
Well, I had a roommate for a little bit, and then I got my own apartment. And I always knew what I wanted to do at a really young age, so I was really fortunate that I had parents that supported me in that. My parents always made sure that I had food. Even so, I’m pretty sure that I lived off of animal crackers and fried pickles for a couple of years.
What motto do you live by?
One of my favorite artists in the world is Dolly Parton, and there are so many ways that she gives back — she’s a light in this world. So I want to be able to tell my kids that yes, Mommy sang in arenas and sold records. But she also did great things for other people and communities. I want to always give back in any way I can.
Have you met Dolly yet?
Yes. At the ACMs last year. And I cried.
IF YOU GO
Blake Shelton, with RaeLynn
Where: SAP Center, 525 W. Santa Clara St., San Jose
When: 7:30 p.m. March 10
Tickets: $30 to $188
Contact: (408) 287-7070, www.ticketmaster.com
Blake SheltonLove TrianglePop MusicRachel Lynn WoodwardRaeLynnVoiceWildHorse