Showing posts with label Josh Grider. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Josh Grider. Show all posts

Nov 12, 2021

Josh Grider’s LONG WAY FROM LAS CRUCES is Pure Texas Enchantment

By Travis Erwin

Las Cruces sits less than thirty miles from Texas in the far South, Central part of New Mexico. Josh Grider hails from Las Cruces and the city, as well as his personal journey is at the heart of his new album, Long Way From Las Cruces. Now firmly rooted as one of the Texas music scenes most talented songwriters, Grider is almost the Jack Johnson of Texas music. Offering heartfelt lyrics that rely on softer emotions and tender observations, he doesn’t need to roll around in beer and smoke or flaunt his Texan-ness to try and be authentic. Grider simply opens his heart and soul and shares what’s inside and brings his music to life with genuine believability. This album, like his career speaks softly but deliberately and for me Grider is the poetic country voice the world needs more of. 

His delivery often reminds me of classic George Strait, except Grider is a far stronger songwriter. Relying on the creation of his own words more than his ability to find great songs to sing, Grider offers an emotional vulnerability that adds an extra depth to his work. I’ve had the pleasure of catching an intimate Grider show and hearing him talk about his music and perform it in a way that makes you the listener feel as if you too lived it. 

In many cases we have indeed lived it, because the writing is often universal, but the opening and title track of this album is more about Grider sharing his own journey than his attempt at uncovering broader truths. The swinging track, “Long Way From Las Cruces,” is a thank you to the life Grider’s been able to enjoy, thanks to his talents and those of us who appreciate them. 

 “Thank God It's Raining” is the type of track that brings those soft engaging emotions out all the more. Smooth and tranquil in ways many musicians run from while trying to entertain the masses, Grider is able to rely on simply and true emotions to keep you on the hook rather than false party narratives that rely more on commotion than emotion to sell the words.  

To that end, “Life's A Party” offers a contradictory feeling that truly makes you stop and think. Given the title, you expect a more raucous arrangement and vibe, but Grider takes a reflective look on that phrase. The vocals on this track certainly have a Strait edge to them, but the twist of a tired old refrain is what makes this track work. 

The slow almost melancholy run continues with “Can You Feel Me Missing You” and again Grider is a master at making you feel the emotion behind his words with an emotive delivery. This track did not quite hook me as well as the others on this album, but so much of music depends where the listener is in their own life so I have no doubt this track will speak more strongly for others than it did me at this time. 

Much of this album owes a nod to the 90s, back when Mainstream Country still had some soul and genuine emotion. “Two Truths And A Lie” certainly feels like a throwback to that era and yet, it doesn’t feel dated or out of step with contemporary ideals and thoughts. This makes it a strong almost timeless track that simply feels like the internal struggle we’ve all faced after a tough breakup. 

Grider shrugs off the sadness with a more up-tempo track about appreciating life. Despite the shift in energy, “Wanting What You Get” is not a party song, but a gratitude song about simply taking the time to enjoy life as it comes rather than fixating on all the things that haven’t gone as planned.  

We live in a world full of conspiracies and way-out-there ideas that seem to have no logical basis. Love has always been just as outlandish, and “I Know I Love You” plays with the comparison of trusting something you can feel, without truly seeing or knowing in the same way we know other things for certain.

The overall arc of Long Way From Las Cruces is one of discovery, admittance, and perhaps resolve as you accept life as it comes. We all tend to fight the current and try hard to hold on to the ideas and goals that are perhaps beyond their expiration date. No, life doesn’t follow the path any of us lays out along the way, but the truly happy and content recognize and adjust as detours come their way. The final track, “Boots On My Feet” really bring that point and this album home. 

Grider’s latest collection bucks the norms of most popular music that relies heavily on raucous feel-good vibes. Long Way From Las Cruces instead offers beauty and truth grounded in reality. This is no easy feat as, we often look to escape reality when being entertained, but Grider took a different approach by sharing his own experiences and takes on life. Much of the album was written in the build toward Grider’s 40th birthday, and the album certainly has this wise reawakening feel that we all go through as we adjust to what life is rather than what we once thought it might be. 

Maybe Long Way From Las Cruces is less about entertaining and more about enlightening, but in the end, the album and Josh Grider manages to accomplish both.  


Long Way From Las Cruces is available today most everywhere you purchase or stream music.

Apr 6, 2018

Top 10 Biggest Country Singer/Songwriter Jerks

Some would imagine that relatively under-the-radar country singer/songwriters would not be as likely to be divas and d-bags as the ultra-hyped superstars. However, this is not to be. 
Here are some of the most egregious offenders.

10. Brandy Clark
Keeps "Draw 4" up sleeve when playing Uno
Tour rider requires Koolaid pickles, a Creed prayer candle, and 5 bottles of Olde English

9. Ed Hill
Thinks Farce the Music is hilarious
Actual crisis actor

8. Mac McAnally
Thinks Soulja Boy is better than 2Pac
Donates to charities promoting homelessness

7. Josh Grider
Does not tell someone if they have a booger
Hobby: Martin Shkreli fan fiction

6. Gretchen Peters
Has been kicked off multiple flights for fighting and drunkenness
Personally puts tiny scratch on each vinyl album ordered through her website

5. Will Hoge
Wears awkwardly short shorts to co-writing sessions
Default font on all emails? comic sans

4. Lori McKenna
Performs thorough and morally judgmental background check on co-writers
2 can a day Copenhagen habit
Wears big hats to church and sits in front of short people

3. Travis Meadows
Spreads nasty rumors about Whiskey Jack's hygiene
Argues with cashiers over expired coupons
Changes Alan Jackson online set lists and Wikipedia page to say AJ covers Lil Wayne, Future

2. Mandy Barnett
Writes "Nice" on page 69 of every library book she checks out
Coughs on buffets
Still wears a bluetooth earpiece

1. Kendell Marvel
Refused shot, gave 73 people flu this year
Secretly writes bro-country songs under pen name Chris DeStefano
Doesn't refill the Keurig
Claims world's largest laserdisc porn collection

Aug 4, 2015

New(ish) Video: Josh Grider

From Josh Grider's new acoustic EP, Brokedown, here's a video of the one song that's not acoustic...

May 17, 2012

The Pastures of Madison County

I was able to make it back to this year's incarnation of Pickin' in the Pasture, a family and friends event in Madison County, MS starring Fireman John's BBQ, Drew Kennedy's beard and usually Josh Grider and/or Matt Skinner, after I missed 2011. I won't do a big write-up like I did in 2010, but it was another great show. Our three heroes, along with Josh Grider's lovely wife, a lovely bassist named Chris and a lovely drummer named (___?) played a full band/four singer concert for the family, friends, dogs and a blogger. They took turns trading solo tunes (Drew Kennedy did "Vapor Trails" among others), cover songs (Josh Grider and his wife did a great version of Johnny and June's "Jackson") and co-writes (Matt Skinner did both an electric and an acoustic version of the haunting Corb Lund co-write "One Left in the Chamber"). It was a fun time and here are the pictures to prove it!

Matt Skinner, Josh Grider and Drew Kennedy tuning up pre-show.

Josh Grider accompanies his wife on guitar.

Drew Kennedy has a wallet chain. Remind you of anybody??

The band in reverse.

Matt Skinner tearing it up on guitar. 

The tall and handsome Josh Grider is now a Nashville songwriter. Please don't write about trucks, Josh!

Josh Grider with two future bluegrass or country superstars. Seriously, they were great!
Sidenote: Josh has gotten really good on the guitar.

Electric show-closing barn-burner "Ain't Livin' Long Like This"

The beginning of the late-night acoustic jam.

Annnnd, this isn't from Pickin' in the Pasture, but here's a video of Matt Skinner performing the awesome tune "One Left in the Chamber."

Feb 3, 2012

YouTube Gems: Josh Grider

From his forthcoming Live at Billy Bob's album (&DVD), here's FTM pal Josh Grider with "Slow."

Feb 2, 2012

OMG Reviews: Josh Grider - Slow

by Brittany Fant, 14-year-old music fan and aspiring reviewer

Listen to the song here.

O.M.G.! Josh is sooooo cute! (But don't worry, Hunter Hayes, I'm still marrying you!) Guys my age can't grow beards like that. Well, Johnny Rames can, but he got held back 3 years. Anyway, nice beard. The cover makes me think this song will be RLY good!

Ummm no. This song is too SLOW, hahahaha! And it's about old people stuff, like jobs and getting married and having kids. It is sweet though. I mean, if a guy wrote something like this about me, I'd pretend it was awesome, depending on how hot he was LOL. Josh has kind of an accent but I can't tell where it's from. I just know it sounds, you know, country.

I guess some people in Texas or Mexico might slow dance to this song at their Friday night hoedowns or something. I don't like slow music unless it's Taylor, so this isn't doing N-E-THING 4 me. Why is this CUTE guy singing boring music?!??? He should rock out like HUNTER!  On a side-note, what is a hoedown? I thought that was what Ashley Sikes did in the band hall last week LOLZ.

N-E-Way…. this just isn't very good… but I'll give it an extra point because of sssooooooo much hoooottttnissssssssss.

1 1/2 Heart Hands out of 5.

Sep 16, 2011

YouTube Gems: Drew Kennedy

From Drew's upcoming (stellar) album Fresh Water in the Salton Sea, here are my scruffy pals Drew Kennedy and Josh Grider with "War with Myself."


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