Currently sitting at number 3 on the Texas Country Chart, Josh Ward finds himself in a familiar place. Josh is about to notch the 5th number 1 single from his most recent album Holding Me Together. Josh is a true traditionalist who represents the kind of country music that so many people have fallen in love with. This summer Josh will be joining fellow Texas artist Cody Johnson on his west coast tour. A special thanks to Josh for being the first person I have ever interviewed for the blog!
You list legends like Keith Whitley, Chris LeDoux and Merle Haggard among others as your musical influences. Do you try to incorporate some of their sound into your music intentionally or is it more subconscious for you when you write?
It’s subconscious I think, but those are the guys that have always inspired me, so I tend to stay in that same vein of country music.
What current artists do you find yourself listening to and drawing inspiration from?
I’ve got a lot of good buddies that are putting out great music right now and I tend to listen to them when I’m at home or on the road. Cody Johnson, Jake Worthington, Randall King, Dustin Sonnier, those guys are always on rotation on my playlists.
While on the rodeo circuit you honed your craft as an artist and saw how much the crowds enjoyed your music. Is that what propelled you into a career in music?
Yes, 100%. I fell in love with being able to entertain a crowd, see them enjoy the show, getting their feedback and their support pushed me to where I’m at today.
At a time when much of country music has moved away from its roots, you have developed a classic country sound with your first 2 albums. How important is it to you to stay true to that sound?
It’s extremely important to me, it’s who I am. While others get told what to write, what to record, I have 100% control of what I’m putting out there, and what people are paying for.
How did your childhood growing up in Montgomery Texas influence your music?
I grew up with my Grandpa Hubert “Pop” and my Uncle JL, they raised me. They were always listening to country music…Merle Haggard, George Jones, Faron Young, Marty Robbins – from as far back as I can remember.
In August you will be touring with fellow country artist Cody Johnson for some west coast dates. How excited are you to get to tour with someone like that? Did you ever think that you would be touring with an artist like Cody?
Cody and I have known each other for 10+ years, we’ve shared many stages together here in Texas. This will be my first run with Cody out of state and we’re pumped about it! It’s gonna get Western for sure! It’s always an honor to get the call to go out and perform with Cody and his band.
“Whiskey and Whitley” is a pretty special song. Could you talk about how you discovered this gem?
I heard Kevin Denney perform it live years ago at the Blue Bird Cafe, that’s where I found the song years later when I ran into Buddy Owens & Kevin who wrote it along with Mark Narmore. They gave me the go ahead to record it on the second album, that was really cool. Then we released it and it went #1 and also earned the Texas Regional Radio Song of the year in 2016. I was honored to give that song some life and get that award for those guys. It’s always going to be a favorite of mine, and the crowd loves it equally as much.
For people who haven’t gotten to see you live, what is a Josh Ward show like? What are some of the things you look to bring to your tours?
It’s “COUNTRY” – Songs you can dance to, songs you can cry to, songs you can love to, it’s a high energy honky-tonk show, I want to give the fans what they paid their hard earned money for and that’s a good time.
Your most recent album Holding Me Together already has 4 number 1 singles and may have a 5th soon with “Change My Mind,” so are there any plans for your next album?
Yes, we’re gearing up and the next album is currently in the writing and song selection process. I’m making a few trips up to Nashville when we get back from the West Coast Run, late August. Excited to get together with some great song-writing buddies up there. We’re anticipating giving the fans a new album in early 2018.
Again a special thanks to Josh Ward for allowing me to interview him.