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Joshua Hedley at Colonial Oak on Sept. 9
September 9, 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm
As part of Sing Out Loud, Josh Hedley, Davis Loose and Kirk Whalen will perform at the Colonial Oak Music Park. This event is FREE and open to the public!
Joshua Hedley is “a singing professor of country & western,” he declares on his raucous and witty new album, Neon Blue. It might sound like a punchline, but it’s not. An ace fiddle player, a sharp guitarist, and a singer with a granite twang, he’s devoted his entire life to the study of this genre. Ask him about it and he’ll explain: “When all my friends went off to college, I went to Nashville. I was 19 years old playing honkytonks and getting an education.” His 2018 debut, Mr. Jukebox, showcased his deep knowledge of country’s history, in particular the beery ballads of the 1950s and ‘60s. His mentors were George Jones, Ray Price, and Glen Campbell, but his most remarkable accomplishment was putting his own spin on their style.
Neon Blue, on the other hand, examines a very different, often forsaken era: the early 1990s. “The last bastion of country music,” says the professor, “was the early 1990s, roughly 1989 and 1996. You could turn on the radio and immediately know you’re hearing a country song. You could still hear steel guitar and fiddle. But there was a hard fork around 1996 or ’97, when country veered off into pop territory. Neon Blue asks, “What if that fork had never happened? What if country kept on sounding like country?” Opener “Broke Again,” with its stuttering hook and bouncy riff, would’ve sounded right at home on a playlist between Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places” and Alan Jackson’s “Chattahoochie, and the majestic “River in the Rain” sounds like a thousand lighters held high during an encore. That era may have been dismissed by traditionalists at the time as slick or overproduced, but Hedley finds something exciting in that old hat-act sound, and Neon Blue plays up the excitement of bigger-than-life choruses, the relatable emotions of those sad-eyed ballads, and the inventiveness of the lively production. “The sound is modern,” he says, “but it’s still discernibly country.”
Davis Loose was Raised in St. Augustine Florida and at an early age found his love for country music. He picked up a guitar at age eleven and started writing songs and began playing local bars and festivals around the state of Florida. At age nineteen Davis moved to Nashville to pursue his dream of being a country music artist. He has performed on world renowned stages like the Blue Bird Cafe, The Listening Room and The Ponte Vedra Concert Hall. Since moving to Nashville Davis has penned songs with songwriters and mentors such as Mark Irwin, Kyle Coulahan, Russel Sutton, Bridgette Tatum and Marty Stuart. Davis has opened for acts such as Travis Tritt, Muscadine Bloodline, Walker Montgomery, The Steel Drivers & Dan Tymynski. Davis is in Nashville permanently pursuing a lifelong career in the Country Music Industry.
Born and raised in South Georgia, Kirk Whalen first started absorbing the stylings of country music from his guitar playing grandpa and mandolin playing grandmother. As a multi-instrumentalist and Singer-Songwriter he blends elements of honky tonk, Appalachian folk, and singer-songwriter music to create a unique and twangy blend in the vein of Roger Miller, John Prine, and Tyler Childers.