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Joshua Ray Walker with Thomas Csorba
December 11, 2021 @ 7:30 pm
A working musician since the age of 13, Joshua Ray Walker first began honing his lyrical talents after the death of his beloved grandfather. “My granddad’s the one who got me into music, and I wrote a song called ‘Fondly’ in the parking lot of the hospital he was in,” recalls Walker, who was 19 at the time. “Back then I was mostly playing rock and punk and blues and metal, but I quickly realized that the songs I was writing were country songs.” Raised on bluegrass, he lists Texas legends like Guy Clark and Billy Joe Shaver among his essential inspirations, but also notes the undeniable influence of country superstars like Alan Jackson and George Strait (“All those ’90s country songs were so hook-driven, they really bored into my brain,” he says). With the arrival of Wish You Were Here (an album that spent 12 consecutive weeks on the Americana radio albums chart), Walker won lavish praise from outlets like NPR Music and began opening for such artists as Colter Wall and Charley Crockett, in addition to headlining tours in the U.S. and Europe. Hailed by No Depression as “an album that outshines expectations for what country music can, and should, sound like,” Glad You Made It earned the admiration of leading critics like Ann Powers (“a new voice who really impressed me”), with its singles featured on such coveted playlists as Spotify’s Indigo and Tidal’s Best of Country 2020. Over the years, Walker has continually captivated crowds with his magnetic live show, a feat that finds him joined by musicians like bassist Billy Bones and drummer Trey Pendergrass (both of whom played on See You Next Time). “I’m really proud of the band on this record, and I’m also proud that I didn’t just go out and get hired guns from Nashville or Austin,” Walker says. “They’re guys I’ve played with for 10 or 15 years, and at this point we’re all like family.”
Born and bred in Texas, Thomas Csorba is a young Americana artist ready to prove himself. Writing and performing since his early teens, Csorba already has some impressive notches on his belt; opening for acclaimed acts like Yola, Amanda Shires and John Moreland, as well as performing at ACL Festival, SXSW and the beloved Luck Reunion. With the release of Thomas Csorba, in 2020 Thomas was ready to bring his voice and songwriting prowess to a larger audience. And while the pandemic put a halt to many of his plans Thomas still managed to have a great year. Putting together a virtual tour of Texas to benefit NIVA, gaining new fans and garnering critical acclaim with The Houston Chronicle asking the question “Is Thomas Csorba the next great Texas songwriter?” Those who discover Csorba today will find a voice imbued with wisdom beyond the singer’s years, a sense of purpose and a searching spirit that suggest his youth.