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article imageSinger/songwriter Josh Kelley keeps on keeping it country Special

By Adrian Peel     Jul 24, 2016 in Music
The southern boy "went country" in 2009 when he signed with MCA Nashville, after having begun his career playing rock and blues. His latest album is the follow-up to his country debut, 2011's 'Georgia Clay.'
Born in Evans, Georgia on January 30, 1980, Josh Kelley, married to actress Katherine Heigl since 2007, released his eighth studio album, New Lane Road, in April on Sugar Hill Records.
On Friday July 15, the talented multi-instrumentalist was the subject of an AUDIENCE Network special, where he performed new songs and fan favourites. He was also interviewed at length by Ted Stryker.
Hi Josh, please tell me about the interview that aired on the AUDIENCE Network. How did it come about? Was it an enjoyable experience?
"It was an amazing experience. Because I was on tour at the time, I didn't know what to expect. Just woke up on a tour bus, got in an Uber, stepped on the set of what looked like a big movie production and said, 'Am I in the wrong place??' It was so professional and eye-opening."
You performed a touching rendition of "It's Your Move" on the show. What's the song about? I understand you wrote it following an argument with your wife, who is also in the video?
"'It's Your Move' is a moment that actually happened in the early stages of our marriage. I believe you have two choices when trying to nurture a relationship: you either learn, grow and exercise compromise from a fight or you give up - we have always chosen to grow.
"Katie was wonderful in the video. She wrote the treatment, starred in it and directed it, making my experience so carefree at the same time."
The song is from your recently released album New Lane Road, your first in five years. Could you tell me a bit more about the album, please - where the title came from, etc.
"The title came from a street I used to take to my recording studio every day. Surrounded by farmland and good people, it was always such an inspiring route to take before creating. The album is a little timepiece/diary of my headspace over the last five years - moments of clarity and fear create most of the tones in New Lane Road."
How does New Lane Road differ from its predecessor, Georgia Clay, musically and in terms of content?
"New Lane Road is a little more laidback and throwback than Georgia Clay. I love both records equally; they are just two different times in my life. Both times have a different soundtrack, I guess."
I understand the new album was three years in the making? What made you decide to do almost everything (produce, engineer, etc.) yourself?
"Making this record myself was mostly out of necessity. I didn't have a record deal at the time so I didn't really have much of a budget. The only thing I had going for me is that I can play so many different instruments and I've been a producer/engineer for many years now.
"It was incredibly fun making this record but also a bit lonely. Next record I will be taking my band back in the studio to cut everything live."
Which of the tracks on the album particularly stand out for you? Which are you planning to release as singles?
"I'm the worst at picking singles, but my favourite tracks are 'One Foot in the Grave,' 'Call It What It Is,' 'Take It on Back,' 'Cowboy Love Song' and 'Life's Too Short.'"
Do you feel firmly entrenched in the country genre now? Is that where you see your career from now on? What do you like about country music?
"I have a hard time with the idea of genres... I do really love country music but it seems a bit divided these days. I'm a fan of old school Soul Country and that's the lane I'll stay in. It's a mixture of relatable lyrics, groove and soul - that is where I feel most comfortable."
What are your plans for the rest of 2016 and beyond?
"For the rest of 2016 I will be touring in the States and in Europe, writing the next album as I go and making sure my kids have the right amount of time with Daddy to make sure they grow up with the structure they deserve. I'm already halfway through writing this next record as we speak and I'll tell you, it's pretty damn strong, people..."
New Lane Road is out now and can be purchased here.
For more information on Josh Kelley, visit his official website.
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