by: Hallie Bertrand
Editor’s Note: The Blue Light show happened February 6.
If you didn’t know any better, you might say Josh Grider was an overnight success.
In 2011, Grider won the first Billy Bob’s Texas recording contest, signed a publishing contract and moved to Nashville and recently landed a spot on the TV series “Troubadour, TX.” His current single “Lonestar Highway” is number 12 on the Texas Music Chart and number seven on the TRRR and rising. Seven years into the business and a handful of albums doesn’t sound like overnight success to me. It sounds like Grider’s hard work is paying off. It’s been a hell of a two years, but he’s just getting started.
Check out more about the Troubadour, TX tour, the show Wednesday night and more at thearroganttexan.blogspot.com.
New Slang: I guess I started listening to your music about a year and a half or two years ago when you were doing the Billy Bob’s contest, which you won! How was that whole experience?
Josh Grider: They just did a contest and put it to the fans to see who would record the next Live at Billy Bob’s record and we got nominated by Radio Free Texas and it was just an online vote basically and we were just the last band standing. More fans voted for us than any of the other bands. It was summer 2011 actually when we recorded the record and it came out early last year, February of 2012 and it really kick-started a whole bunch of stuff for my career.
NS: Like now you’re a TV star! You’re now on the show Troubadour, TX with people like Ray Wylie Hubbard and Cory Morrow. How did that all come about?
JG: Yeah! After the whole Billy Bob’s thing I met Tim Dubois in Nashville and he offered me a publishing deal and then he was also sort of in business with the people who do this Troubadour, TX TV show. It’s just basically a show that’s kind of a documentary reality show about Texas artists; some of the lesser known and some of the more well-known. Tim said he thought I’d be a good fit for this TV show and I agreed. So I’m in the group we call the “Dream Chasers.” It’s me, Matt Caldwell and Zane Williams who will also be in Lubbock tomorrow night. A girl named Kylie Rae Harris and Cody Johnson are also involved on the “dream chasing” side of things. And then you’ve got your more established artists like Walt [Wilkins], Wade Bowen, Ray Wylie, Roger Creager. We just kind of alternate throughout the show and they follow us around show what life is like, you know, off stage, kind of a behind the scenes feel.
NS: So you, Matt and Zane are in town tomorrow, right?
JG: We’re at the Blue Light Live doing kind of an acoustic three-way song-swap and we’re doing some radio and TV stuff in Lubbock tomorrow too.
NS: Will they actually be taping for the show tomorrow night?
JG: Yeah we’ve got a camera man out with us just sort of documenting the whole tour so there’ll be some footage going down.
NS: I’ve read that you’ve been splitting your time between Nashville and Texas here lately.
JG: I technically get my mail in Nashville. I signed a publishing deal with Tim Dubois so basically I get paid to write songs not just for myself but to pitch to other people. So when I’m not on the road I’m in Nashville on Music Row writing songs and doing that sort of thing. And then when we hit the road we come back to Texas and do the touring thing.
NS: I know you’re a big family man. So are they in Nashville?
JG: Yeah. Kristi and JJ are in Nashville but they travel with me sometimes but they’re in Nashville right now.
NS: Is it hard balancing touring in Texas and then going back and writing and back again?
JG: It’s pretty natural. I’m kind of A.D.D. when it comes to my career; I’ll get sick of something real quick. So it’s fun to come down, tour for a little bit, and about the time I’m ready to get home, I get home and get to write. I need the writing to get a break from the touring and I need the touring to inspire me and give me something to write about. It’s actually a dream scenario for me. I think it’s possible to exist in both worlds, I mean, I’m doing it right now and I’ve been working toward it for a long time.
NS: Alright now I’m going to ask you some questions that you have to answer honestly and quickly. If you were stuck on a deserted island and could only have one CD, what would it be?
JG: Roger Miller, “Roger Miller.”
NS: If you found out, heaven forbid, that you were banned from Texas for the rest of your life, how would you spend your last day?
JG: I would go to the hill country for sure. I would eat some good barbecue on the river in the hill country.
NS: Do you have any weird superstitions on stage?
JG: I really don’t…. maybe I should develop some, maybe it would make my career go a little better. But at this point I’m pretty easy breezy.
NS: What is the most surprising thing on your iPod?
JG: Probably… I don’t think most people would think I have The Chronic on there. I love ‘90s gangster-rap. You know we were young when that came out. It was like music from another planet. When you grow up on church music and country music and then that stuff just blows your mind.