Josh Gray: Songs of the Highway
Josh Gray and the Dark Features are set to release their first full length album, Songs of the Highway, on April 16, 2019. The album is an eleven-track masterpiece that flows eloquently from one track to the next, taking the listener on a musical and lyrical journey throughout. Josh Gray challenges the establishment and his listeners to act instead of complying to circumstance. Reminiscent of Music City’s pioneering revolutionaries, Songs of the Highway, sheds light on modern social injustice and inequality in an increasingly self-absorbed society.
An old soul in a new age, Gray rallied fans in a 30-day Kickstarter campaign generated by the power of social media; raising almost $9,000 to help complete the project. Recorded at the renowned Bomb Shelter in Nashville, TN, Josh Gray called on the assistance of an all-star cast to bring Songs of the Highway to life. Produced by Drew Carroll (Promised Land Sound, The Deslondes) and mastered by John Baldwin (Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson). With additional production and mixing provided by Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Margo Price). Larissa Maestro (Deer Tick, Eminem) lends her talents to shape a signature string arrangement for the standout protest anthem, Darkest Before the Dawn.
Songs of the Highway is experimental Americana that compliments the album’s roots-rock appeal. Contemporary narratives, metaphors and poetry pair with Gray’s voice in a hypnotic baritone of self-reflection and social discourse. Inspired by such luminaries as Leonard Cohen, Josh Gray invites the audience on a journey of contemplation. Questioning the world and himself along the way. Over 30,000 miles of rubber to road in 2015 alone, Josh Gray found himself playing bars, dives and venues across the East Coast. Hours of solitude would lead to finding inspiration at the crossroads.
Josh Gray has drawn inspiration from the likes of Cash, Dylan and Nelson for his musical excursion. You can feel that inspiration on each and every track of Songs of the Highway. The poetry of Dylan, the storytelling of Cash, and the persona of the “Red Headed Stranger” will reach out and touch you in a musical and lyrical sense. Having reviewed some albums that have had spectacular songwriting as a part of the mix, I can honestly say that Josh Gray has written an album that belongs in a category all its own. When I first started listening to this album I felt that it was “different” than what has been coming out of Nashville as of late. The album has a flamboyant feel of a Sturgill Simpson and/or a Jason Isbell production, but yet a down to earth, “pure” sound. Josh Gray’s Songs of the Highway is without a doubt one of the best albums I have heard in 2019. This is a debut album that you are not going to want to sleep on. Get on the wagon now, as Josh Gray is sure to be a household name in the music business sooner, rather than later.
Musicians on the album:
Josh Gray: Guitar, Vocals. Tucker McKee: Electric Guitar. Kenzie Miracle: Fiddle. Julio Matos: Bass Guitar. Jason Munday: Drums
The best cover of Punk Rock Girl. Ever.
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A Special Thanks to Robbie Larsen for use of the Photos. Go check out his page. Amazing work.