Michelle Branch has come a long way since she had her first radio hit, "Everywhere," as a teenager 10 years ago.
Now 26, she has switched from pop to country, is married and has a 4-year-old daughter.
She joins country and American roots acts Sugarland and Will Hoge for a show July 9 at Ironstone Amphitheatre in Murphys.
Branch said becoming a mother has been a fantastic experience and has given her a different outlook on life.
"It's one of those things that puts this crazy life into perspective," she said in a phone interview from Los Angeles. "You get off stage and you're on the bus, and she's waiting and you have to clean up after her. There's no stopping for that."
Born in Sedona, Ariz., Branch got involved in music at age 8 with voice lessons. At 14, she got her first guitar, and three years later, she was signed to Maverick Records.
Her debut album, "The Spirit Room," went multiplatinum and produced the hits "Everywhere," "All You Wanted" and "Goodbye to You." In 2002, she recorded "The Game of Love" with Santana, and the following year, she released her second album, "Hotel Paper."
She then dropped pop for country, teaming up with Jessica Harp to form the duo The Wreckers. The young women achieved success with their rootsy 2006 hits, "Leave the Pieces" and "My Oh My."
Branch said that after her second album came out, she was approached by urban producers to make dance tracks, but she felt Nashville would suit her better because of its appreciation of songwriters.
"I've always felt my main focus is songwriting and that if I wasn't fortunate enough to sing my own songs, I would still work as a songwriter."
Branch's favorite part of music is the songwriting, and she plans to keep writing them until she runs out of things to say.
Later this summer, she will release her first solo project in seven years — "Everything Comes and Goes." It will be a six-song EP and will be followed up by a new album, "Different Kind of Country."
She actually finished a full-length CD on Warner Brothers called "Everything Comes and Goes" two years ago, but the album was delayed because of staff shake-ups. She's frustrated that the music hasn't gone out to the public yet.
"For me, the songs get old," Branch said. "I have to keep reminding myself that music fans have not heard it."
Branch was excited to recently collaborate with popular R&B artist and producer Timbaland on writing the song and filming the video to "Getaway" for Mini-Cooper cars. The car company wanted to do an ad campaign that combined an urban artist and a country artist because the car can go both in the city and the country, Branch said.
"I still can't believe that I was asked to do a song with Timbaland," she said, adding that all of her friends were surprised at the unlikely musical partnership.
She is delighted to be touring with Sugarland and Hoge. Sugarland, a duo made up of Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush, is known for the hits "Baby Girl," "Something More" and "Stay." Hoge tours the country constantly, performing a mix of American roots music and heartland rock. Hoge and Branch have sung on each other's recordings.
Hoge recently recovered from a terrible scooter accident two years ago. The accident left him with broken bones and made him unable to play music or do much of anything for months.
He finally completed the album he had been working on before the accident and gave it a new title — "The Wreckage" --- in a nod to what he has been through. He said the crash made him recommit to music.
"Once I could hold a guitar, I started playing at home and writing again," said Hoge, who performed with Lisa Loeb at Modesto's State Theatre in 2003. "I think it refocused me as a songwriter and the craft. Some of that had gotten away from me a little bit."
He said he and his band are looking forward to sharing the stage with Branch and Sugarland.
"We're so happy for the success both of those artists have had," he said. "It'll be like a traveling redneck circus."