We’ve been anticipating this Joshua Hedley album for quite some time now, and the day is finally here.
The Nashville-based singer, known for being a mainstay at Robert’s Western World on Lower Broadway, dropped his sophomore album Neon Blue, and boy, it’s a double shot of ’90s GOLD.
Prior to the album release, he dropped three promotional singles, including a cover of Roger Miller’s “River In The Rain,” “Broke Again,” and the title track, “Neon Blue.”
Not only is this album incredibly fun and nostalgic to listen to, it just goes to prove that the traditional country sound we all know and love is still alive and well in the Music City.
Needless to say, the title of the record perfectly sums up the feeling of this whole album, as Hedley explained:
“For whatever reason that title just popped into my head, and I was obsessed with it. You’ve got the neon lights of a honkytonk, but you’ve also got that sadness. It was amazing to see how they can turn a loose idea into a really tight song.
It was a crazy learning experience, and I came out feeling like a better songwriter. We got the vibe for the album from ‘Neon Blue,’ and every other song was built around it.”
Neon Blue is chock full of certified twangers that will have wishin’ you were sittin’ on a barstool in some ol’ ’90s dive bar. Featuring a heavy dose of steel, fiddle, and two-steppin’ beats, this might just be my favorite album of the year right now.
Call it concept album if you want, but Hedley says it was more of an exercise in artistic vision… taking a singular idea and running head-first into it:
“I learned so much making this record. It really changed me. I’ve always been a song guy, but I’ve become more interested in exploring a singular idea for an album. I feel much more confident in having a specific vision of what an entire record can be.
Call it a concept album or whatever you want, but I think it’s more about just having that focus and direction. It’s definitely opened up another layer of the creative process, and I don’t want to lose that.”
Whatever you call it, call it fucking fantastic.
Here are a few of my favorites:
“Old Heartbroke Blues”
“Free (One Heart)”
“Found In A Bar”
“Wonder If You Wonder”