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Joshua Ray Walker Mines Uninhibited Moments Of Truth And Vulnerability On Stunning Debut Wish You Were Here

January 25

Joshua Ray Walker will release his stunning debut Wish You Were Here on January 25, 2019 via State Fair Records. On the album, Walker mines uninhibited moments of truth and vulnerability, sharing pieces of himself with an effortless sincerity that is likely to make you laugh as easily as cry. The Dallas, TX classic country torchbearer faithfully captures both the highs and lows of working class living through his incisive songwriting. It’s the type of debut album that will leave a lot of listeners asking, “where did this guy come from?”
 
Told through a melodic, character-driven writing style that’s honest to a fault, Walker depicts a cast of subjects on Wish You Were Here that are down but never out.
 
“I often unintentionally write from the perspective of characters that I dream up,” says Walker. “I can usually attribute a character to a person I’ve met, or people that I’ve known, combined with similar traits I find in myself. If it’s by poor decisions or circumstances beyond their control, I find inspiration from the downtrodden and destitute. I see myself in these characters. I use these characters to explore things about myself in songs I’d otherwise be too self-conscious to write about.”
 
But Wish You Were Here’s best moments come when Walker sets aside the pretense of his characters, letting down his guard on tracks like the second single, “Canyon,” to reveal his own fears, biggest insecurities and insatiable longing felt throughout his father’s ongoing battle against Stage 4 lung cancer.
 
“I’m a big, big man,” he sings in its gut-wrenching chorus. “Not just in size or in stature, but in terms of space that can’t be filled. I’m a bottomless canyon without a drop to spill.”
 
That’s not to say Wish You Were Here is comprised of nothing but tear-jerkers. For every “Canyon,” that lays itself bare at your feet, there’s the wry, self-deprecating humor of a “Last Call,” that jokes about it being better, at the end of the night, to just get out of the bar before the lights come on. For every “Keep,” where the discovery of an ex’s old trinkets sends the narrator over the proverbial cliff, there’s a “Love Songs,” that gives a lighthearted kiss-off to lovers past.
 
Raised on the sounds of the Smoky Mountains, Walker has been playing music since he was a small child, walking next door to his grandfather’s house — an avid bluegrass fan and novice musician himself — every day after school to listen to records together. He also learned his first banjo and guitar tunes in his grandfather’s workshop. It wasn’t long before Walker grew into a well-seasoned multi-instrumentalist by grade-school and a working musician since the age of 13.
 
Recorded by John Pedigo of The O’s (Old 97’s, Vandoliers) at Audio Dallas (where Willie Nelson recorded Red Headed Stranger) and Studio B at Modern Electric Sound Recorders, Joshua Ray Walker’s debut instantly earmarks him as one of Texas’ most gifted lyricists and musicians and a major force in the songwriting community moving forward.
 

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Date:
January 25
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