When you think of incredibly underrated and or forgotten artists from the past few decades, who comes to your mind?
For me, it’s Chris Cagle, who was a hit making machine until he seemingly disappeared, Trent Tomlinson, and Jason Michael Carroll.
All three put out a number of songs that I’ve found myself still spinning on repeat to this day, wondering how they didn’t become massive, household names.
Maybe because they sang real country in a time period where overproduced pop country, with shallow lyrics began plaguing country music radio?
Probably, but who truly knows.
However, there’s another artist from the 2010s who constantly comes to my mind, who has me scratching my head wondering how he didn’t become a star…
And it’s Josh Thompson.
I’ll admit, I was never familiar with Thompson until Riley Green played a cover of his song “Cold Beer With Your Name On It,” but once I listened to the cover and took a deep dive into the singer’s catalog, I thought to myself:
“How in the damn hell was this guy not a star?”
The Wisconsin native only has a total of three studio albums to his name, with the latest, Change: The Lost Record, dropping back in 2017.
The guy’s number one hit, “Blame It On Waylon,” a boot stompin’, honky tonk twangin’ about basically being an All-American badass, and “Cold Beer With Your Name On It” is catchy as hell, but the man had so much more to his arsenal that needs to be shared with anybody who bleeds pure country music.
“Cold Beer With Your Name On It”
“Something’s Gonna Get Us All” is a great one that’ll give you a solid perspective on life, even when the news is practically telling us the world’s going to shit.
“Way Out Here” is the ultimate small town anthem, and for somebody who grew up in BFE like me, it’s a near perfect depiction.
“Way Out Here”
“Sinner” will have you asking for repentance in a heartbeat, while also learning a great lesson on forgiveness.
A personal favorite of mine is “Daddy Had A Beer,” a song about how all of Thompson’s best memories growing up involved his dad with an ice cold beer in his hand, and it’s simply mind boggling to me how that song didn’t finish atop the country charts.
“Daddy Had A Beer”
Needless to say, Thompson’s excellence says a lot about the state of country music in the 2010s.
However, it appears the guy may have found his niche as a songwriter, as he wrote a few songs on Luke Combs’ What You See Is What You Get, was a cowriter on Jon Pardi’s “Ain’t Always The Cowboy,” as well as a few songs on Luke Bryan’s Born Here, Live Here, Die Here album.
He’s also written for Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton, Jake Owen, and more over the years.
Although he appears to still be doing well for himself, it’s hard to believe that this guy never had the opportunity to reach the mountaintop as a singer.