Josh Grider

Josh Grider
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It obviously takes some degree of talent to make it in the music business. It also takes killer songs that mesh the perfect lyric with a fitting and compelling arrangement. But perhaps the hardest, most frustrating part of the whole ordeal are the roles that timing, cosmic alignment, and personal will to succeed play. This matrix of unidentifiable variables that come together for some, while conspiring against others is what Josh Grider explores on his newest album, Luck & Desire.


Luck & Desire didn’t start out as an album title. “'Luck and Desire was just this song I had about songwriters and the music business.” Josh explains. “One day Jeff Middleton (co-writer) and I were talking about all the folks, ourselves included, that come to Nashville chasing a dream. They’ll lose money, time, and spouses, even their minds trying to figure out how to make it in this crazy business. We talked about how opportunity has so little to do with talent, and so much to do with timing. That led us to this idea of personifying desire and luck, and the interplay they have. You gotta get lucky, but a lot of that is just hanging around long enough for the chance, and even then there are no guarantees.”

Josh got his chance. The Las Cruces, New Mexico native moved to Nashville by way of Texas in early 2011 just to “try something different.” There, he hung around Music Row for a few years meeting fellow songwriters, signing a publishing deal, and building a network of like-minded peers who challenged his writing and supported his dreams. One of them was fellow singer/ songwriter and soon-to-be producer, Trent Willmon. The connection was mighty. “He’s savvy,” Josh explains. “He understands what being an artist is. He understands what being a writer is. He understands Texas and Nashville, and he understands the road. He understands so much of what I do, and the proof is in the pudding. We made a great record.”


That was the goal—to make a great record. But for Josh, it was about more than just making an album that would sell well or produce a litany of number-one hits. He says his goal was “to make something artistically satisfying enough for the purist in me, but relatable enough that I could play it for my dad.” He pauses and explains, “My dad is a smart guy, but he's not a studied musician or anything, he’s just a lover country music.” Indeed he is. He raised Josh on the classics, the legends. Merle Haggard, Marty Robbins and Willie Nelson are the foundation that Grider builds on, but his own generation of musical peers is also present in his music. “Dave Matthews was a huge influence when I was younger. John Mayer and Chris Thile make me want to just quit,” he laughs. “I'm just blown away by everything those guys do. I could never do what they do, but I'm certainly challenged by them. For me, they are setting the bar for songwriters in our generation.”


Before you discount Josh as another young artist trying to “pop” the country format, listen to him explain how his diverse musical influences, which also include a generous dose of Garth Brooks Tracy Lawrence, Alan Jackson...and even a touch of Dr. Dre...meld: “I always say, if my musical influence was a house, it's built on a rock solid concrete foundation of country. But, there's a blues room I can walk in, and a jazz room and a classical room, but no matter how many rooms there are, I'm always standing on country.”

Josh’s confidence is unflappable. His mix of traditional and modern has combined to make a living, breathing collection of songs that range from ethereal and pensive, to light-hearted and downright funny. He makes no more apologies for his electronic loops than he does for his thoughtful lyrics. He proudly says, “I'm not ashamed of one thing on this record. I love traditional country music, but I doubt anybody will call this a traditional country album. I’ve got all the respect in the world for what was done, but I also believe that you've got to keep moving the ball forward. New stuff has got to keep happening. I'm not going to do it better than Haggard did it, so I'm not going to try and do that. I need to sound like me. My goal is to be greater than the sum of my influences. Not better than, but distinguishable from. Hopefully that’s what you’ll hear in

Luck & Desire.”


The formally trained singer, who remembers pressing, “play” on his Fisher Price tape recorder to hear Ricky Skaggs “Heartbroke,” always knew country was where he belonged. Even though he played guitar in a jazz combo in high school, and received a scholarship to attend college and study classical voice, it only took one night performing in a Waco honky-tonk for Josh’s relationship with his roots to be cemented. “There was this night at Six-Shooter Junction in Waco, Texas. We had a little thrown-together band and played some cover songs, and I was done. I had already been in this little jazz thing, and they wanted me to sing classical at school, but fronting a band and singing country songs was the place I knew I was meant to be.”


Josh began putting pen to paper in high school and soon realized his passion. He beams when he says, “Writing is my favorite thing in the world. I’m very fortunate to be given the ability to deliver what I write, and I guess that’s why singing the songs I wrote is my second favorite thing in the world.” Writing is more than a job for Josh. It’s a passion that allows him to chronicle his life, and a therapy that helps him make sense of the world around him. When speaking about song selection for Luck and Desire he says, “I just started looking at what I had been writing and all of the sudden these themes of want, and need, and desire, and getting or not getting what you want started surfacing.” According to Josh, that is just what seems to happen. “There will be seasons in my life, and things that I go through that will definitely influence my writing. It's really neat to go back and look at how the songs reflect what I was going through at any given time, and how I was trying to work it out musically.”


He's a thinking man's writer with an incredible baritone voice that delivers lyrics directly to his listener’s soul. But he also has a keen funny bone, and he cleverly bookends Luck & Desire with evidence to both of this attributes. He calls the title track the dramatic introduction to this melodic movie and “One Night Taco Stand” the hilarious outtake reel. Listen closely—the front end of the album is loaded with luck, but the project wraps with pure desire.


There is, too, an unspoken theme to Luck & Desire that Josh is most proud of. “Luck and Desire definitely play a big thematic role in this album,” he says. “But that particular song sort of ends sadly for desire. I think there’s more hope than that in the record. Overall, I want there to be hope, because I have hope. Without it what the hell is the point? I say focus on the good and believe that something good will happen, and it just might.” 

Date Venue City State Note
No Tour Dates Available
06/12/2009 - This is: Josh Grider Trio - Read More
02/18/2008 - Josh Grider Stumbles on the Edge of Greatness and into San Angelo Again - Read More
08/16/2007 - In Josh's words: "City of Crosses" - Read More
06/23/2007 - Josh Grider is "Crazy Like You" - Read More
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Average Rating : 0              Total Reviews: 49

Josh Grider  08/29/2007            
So Far I have not been impressed he is getting better but not great YET!
Josh Grider  08/24/2007            
I have been able to experience Josh, both in person & via CD, and this CD is tribute to what he believes in. He writes from the heart, his experiences and his hopes. I only wish that the rest of the world would remove their ear plugs on what some consider "good music" and listen to a man that brings something of value to the table. I applaud what he has done thus far and stand to praise what is coming for him. Buena Suerte G-ride!
Josh Grider  08/15/2007            
I may need to give this another listen because the first time I listened to this I was not impressed. Voice is good but the songs are weak as is the overall sound. All the songs are slow and don't seem to have the passion in them that you hear in other artist songs. This doesn't compare to some of the more recent albums by other Texas Country artist. I pre-ordered this in hopes that it would be good but the first listen through was a disappointment.
Josh Grider  08/15/2007            
The songs are strong. The raw, powerful honesty of "Tragic Circumstance," the wistfully busted heart of the "Rusty Cowboy," and the sage-like widsom of "Crazy Like You" are only three of the components of one of the best albums of 2007.
Josh Grider  08/09/2007            
Phenomenal album from a phenomenal talent. Makes a firm statement in a land of pretenders.
Josh Grider  07/31/2007            
Incredible body of work starting for this future super star! This album will define Josh Grider and his amazing songwriting! Doesnt hurt that this is yet another great Walt Wilkins and Tim Lortch production either....GET THIS RECORD!
Josh Grider  06/23/2007   
Josh Grider outside Blaine's Pub in San Angelo, Texas (LIVE! Photo/Mark Kneubuhl) Josh Grider the man is a true reflection of his music. There is sort of a relaxed intensity in his both his songs and himself. Showing up at Blaine’s Pub at 9:25 p.m. Thursday for a 9:30 gig, he got right to the set-up and sound check in a lumbering but methodical way and began his first set at a time that all consider to be fashionably late for his one-man acoustic show. With just a microphone and his best friend ‘Mr. Gibson,’ Josh needed no warm-up, hooking the crowd quickly with the first few bars of “Everybody Knows,” a tune that, throughout 2006, all but lived on the Texas Music Charts and ended up the 27th most popular song of that year. Read more at
Josh Grider  11/01/2006            
i never really buy cd's, but i just had to buy this one. its one of the best cd's i own and i have no doubt that these guys are gonna get big fast. i definitely recommend this cd to anyone who loves texas country music. keep up the good work guys!!
Josh Grider  09/20/2006            
This is one of the best live bands in Texas right now, go check them out.
Josh Grider  09/19/2006            
Matt Avery
Smile :) is the poop
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