“People Are Going To Think It Was On Purpose” – Joshua Ray Walker Nearly Drowned Swimming Right After He Recorded “Voices”

Joshua Ray Walker country music
Joshua Ray Walker

Joshua Ray Walker …man, this one’s heavy.

Walker drew back the curtains on dark thoughts on his 2020 track, “Voices.” As he has been open about fighting depression in the past, “Voices” talks about the ugly truth about being in a dark place and the suicidal ideations that sometimes fill your mind when you are in that headspace.

The song is gut-wrenching and graphic, yet so beautifully heartbreaking as he details how he would consider ending his life. During a recent acoustic session, Walker opened up about the backstory or moments that he associates with songs, and “Voices,” and how a life-threatening situation changed his perspective:

“You know, I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety a lot of my life. I had just written this song when things started to take off for me and my career.”

While on tour with American Aquarium, right before he was about to play Gruene Hall for the first time and before heading to New Braunfels, they were in Corpus Christi, Texas, the night before. Before leaving the Texas beach town, he chose to take a swim in the ocean. He wanted to get a good swim, so he headed straight towards a buoy a good distance from the shore.

Halfway out there, he felt a strong breeze and realized that a storm was rapidly rolling in. He started swimming as fast as he could toward the shore, but the choppy waves and undertow kept him from progressing toward the sandy beach.

“I tread water, and I tread water and I almost don’t make it back. And I’m out in the water for 90 minutes. And I know that because from the time I went out into the water to when I got back to my car, it was about two hours, and that included a 30-minute walk home, so I had to be in the water for that long.” 

Walker then details how he had just recorded this song and realized he had to make it so that people didn’t think that “Voices” was his goodbye letter.

“All I could think was, ‘Oh my god, I just wrote a song about drowning myself. And people are going to think that was on purpose.’

You know it’s funny. If you are someone who has suffered from depression and you’ve ever had suicidal ideation in the past, being forced into a life or death situation where all of a sudden you are really fighting for yourself tooth and nail to continue living it kind of puts all that mental illness in your past and into perspective when you’re really faced with it.”

He then goes into a stunning acoustic cover of the track, and tears nearly come to your eyes listening to the sad song after hearing that story. He delivers the twang of the lyrics with a smooth and robust tone, drawing listeners in from the start.

“I might put this truck in neutral
Let it roll into the lake
First, I’ll finish off this bottle
So it looks like a mistake…”

And HOLY HELL, talk about that last note. I mean, I never thought it would end – it was incredible. Joshua Ray Walker is an unreal talent in the country music space, and this one is a must-listen.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock