Joshua Ray Walker releases 'Glad You Made It' TODAY and rearranges European tourdates10-07-2020
Joshua Ray Walker seemingly came out of nowhere when he released his debut album Wish You Were Here in January 2019, but by years end, the Dallas, TX native had clearly added his name to a short list of young Texas songwriters capable of picking up the torch lit by legends like Guy Clark, Blaze Foley and Townes Van Zandt. Walker will release his sophomore album Glad You Made It TODAY (!) via State Fair Records, and like the Texas titans before him, Walker confidently blurs the lines between the personal and the universal, between fact and fiction, between country music and the sundry sounds that orbit the genre. The album finds a balance between emotionally-charged, soul-baring storytelling and bright, buoyant arrangements, and demonstrates that Walker’s name belongs in any conversation about the best young songwriters making music right now, regardless of genre.
From "Voices" — a showcase for Walker's voice, with a high-lonesome yodel worthy of Dwight Yoakam — to the album's haunting, hard-rocking closer, "D.B. Cooper," Glad You Made It presents an interpretation of country music that's greasy one moment and emotionally devastating the next. A true Texas storyteller, Walker writes from the perspective of down-and-out characters who haunt the darker corners of the Lone Star State. There's the fake-tanned beauty who sells bass boats in the bittersweet, accordion-filled "Boat Show Girl." The addict who's ready to give into temptation during the honky-tonk rager "User." The procrastinator losing track of time in "Cupboard," a song whose first-rate guitar work evokes Dire Straits playing cowboy music in a Texas dancehall.
"Even if I'm writing about a boat show girl — a woman standing in a bikini, trying to sell Bud Light — I'm examining something about myself through these characters," says Walker, who began picking his first songs in his grandfather's workshop in East Dallas. "They're part fictional and part autobiographical. These are people who're running out of luck, but that's not going to stop them. Everyone's doing what they've gotta do to get by, and I love meeting characters like that. I take bits of those real-life people and combine them together to create the subjects of my songs."
Walker's debut album was met with critical praise and radio success. Rolling Stone called album centerpiece “Canyon” one of the “25 Best Country and Americana Songs of 2019,” and NPR Music calls Walker "a truth-teller, in the mode of Guy Clark or Rodney Crowell." Wish You Were Here spent 12 straight weeks in the top 40 of the Americana radio albums chart, and Walker spent most of 2019 touring across the U.S. with artists like Old 97’s, Rhett Miller, American Aquarium, Shooter Jennings and Charley Crockett.
This year Joshua Ray Walker was supposed to tour in August/September and in the UK this December. The UK part is still on the roll, but the August/September dates had to be rescheduled, see the currently announced dates here:
02/12: London, UK - o2 Academy2
03/12: Brighton, UK - The Prince Albert
04/12: Filey, UK - Tommy's Bar
05/12: Gateshead, UK - Gosforth Civic Theatre
06/12: Glasgow, UK - Hug & Pint
09/12: Nottingham, UK - The Running Horse
10/12: Birmingham, UK - Kitchen Garden Cafe
13/12: Forest Row, UK - Hop Yard
30/08: Berlin, DE - Privatclub
01/09: Marseille, FR - Le Molotov
02/09: Barcelona, ESP - Rocksound
03/09: Zaragoza, ESP - Rock & Blues Café
04/09: Madrid, ESP - Café Berlin
05/09: Santander, ESP - Little Bobby
08/09: Nijmegen, NL - Merleyn
11/09: Groningen, NL - Der Aa-Theater