Facebook Twitter RSS

{20 Questions} Josh Weathers, 2nd ed.

I first interviewed Josh Weathers back in 2012. At the time, he was riding a rocketship of buzz that was created from a career making set at LJT and the start of a viral sensation from his cover from the Kessler in Dallas of “I Will Always Love You” (now over 2 million views). He was beating around Texas in a beat up van playing anywhere that would have him.

That was then, this is now. Weathers is now an established headliner who plays when he wants to. He’s become one of the most well-known entertainers in the region and beyond. His family has grown, his career has grown and now his catalog has grown. His latest record, Wild Ones, drops on Friday and he caps release week with a show at Billy Bob’s on Saturday that is sure to sell out. In this edition of 20 Questions we cover all of it. Enjoy!

1. It’s been 7 years since we last did this.  That’s a long time!  You’ve had quite a bit happen during that time period.  Among other things…you put out some records, adopted some children, started an Indian orphanage, gained massive success in business outside music, stepped back from music for a while, went viral for the same video a few times, played President Trump’s Inauguration, and established yourself as one of the premier live acts in Texas.

What’s the biggest difference between 2012 Josh and 2019 Josh?

I would say all of those experiences have changed me drastically… I’ve really embraced the opportunity for personal growth. Embarking on our non-profit, adopting kids, building a business, playing for the president… have all humbled me time and time again. I would say I am far more confident in my identity as a man then I was in 2012. 

2.  Your gigging calendar has transitioned to quality over quantity.  That’s a luxury many musicians don’t have when they’re on the come up.  What’s the best piece of advice you received as a young musician that you like to impart now that you’re a veteran?

I am really grateful for the 10 years I spent playing anywhere and everywhere. I would say don’t be in a hurry for the lime light. That may be contradictory to culture, but I say take some time to figure yourself out and what makes you special. Also, go play weddings…learn how to entertain people, we need more great entertainers! 

3.  Name association:

Pat Green – Legend

Seth James – Hero

Cody Canada – Rockstar

Wade Bowen – Friend to all.

-Kylie Rae Harris – Songstress

Adam Hood – Hero #2

-Steve Helms – Big brother…decent golfer, (laughs).

-William Clark Green – The Beatles and Stones tune is the best jam in Texas Music of the last 10 years.

4.  You cut your teeth in the landscape of 4 hour Stockyard gigs alongside a young lady named Maren Morris. You’ve also been privy to the rise of Leon Bridges from your backyard too.  The question is two-fold, did you predict them becoming superstars? Do you ever regret not choosing that path as well?

I can honestly say, and you can ask any of my friends, I called it with both of them! The level of stardom they’ve reached however, nobody could have predicted. I’m famous at my house every Saturday morning when I make pancakes. That will do for now! (laughs)

5.  Related to that, what do you think makes the Fort Worth/817 music scene so fertile?  The talent pool in Fort Worth seems to be deeper than just about anywhere and people continue to flock to it.

Fort Worth doesn’t have a thing per se that makes the music sound a certain way. Certain cities, it seems, are genre specific if that makes sense. Fort Worth gives artists an opportunity to just be themselves. 

6.  The new record, Wild Ones, was produced with a new plan in place for you. In the past you’ve had your frequent collaborator Nick Choate co-produce with you. This time, you took a new route. What’s the one thing you’d like folks to know about the making of this record?

Nick and I have been brothers for 15 years. He gets what I love about music, but we decided to leave the hard decisions to someone else this time. I had a friend named Michael Howell produce this one at his studio in North Fort Worth. I felt it was time we give someone else that control. We just had fun being musicians this time. I explained my vision to Michael and he made it happen.

7.  It feels like the studio quality of your music is finally catching up to the level of your performance and songwriting.  Do you feel like Wild Ones is the best studio representation you have of what you deliver live?

Absolutely, that was a big goal for this record. We wanted to create that same energy in the studio, and I think we did a good job.

8.  Favorite touring memory of the following towns:

New Braunfels – Playing Gruene Hall the first time at KNBT Americana jam to a packed house right after Robert Earl Keen.

Austin – Playing Stubbs to a packed house with my buddy Luke Wade.

Houston – We used to play this little joint in Conroe like ten times a year… too many stories there!

Lubbock – Playing The Blue Light after being gone for two years and seeing a line wrapped around the block when we pulled up. That was a great feeling.

Oklahoma City – Wormy Dog.

Tyler – One time we looked up Robin Hood Bryan’s studio while we were playing in town. ZZ top made their first two records there. We went by there and he was home! He let us hang out a few hours and told us all kinds of stories.

Amarillo – One of my favorite towns, Hoot’s is always great to us.

San Angelo – We were playing Blaine’s and Texas legend Augie Myers got up and sat in with us.

Bryan/College Station – We played a joint there once with Somebody’ Darling and we sang a “Small Town Saturday Night” together to a packed house. It went off!!

9.  You’ve gotten to see or perform with a great number of legends and fantastic musicians; if you could play a gig with one other act currently working, who would it be and why

That’s a tough question…. I’d say Stevie Wonder. Nobody changes the atmosphere like Stevie Wonder. That dude is a legend and just oozes joy. 

10.  You’ve played in countless bars and venues, and you’ve also played in church settings with praise bands.  The audiences of both aren’t that dissimilar are they? I’m assuming the same things that get folks excited in a honky-tonk, also get them grooving in behind the pews.  

My job is really the same to me no matter where I’m playing.. I want to create an atmosphere love, joy and gratitude. I want my gift to be used to give God glory in every setting. 

11.  Have you given any thought to doing a full-blown live album with an extended band of backup singers, horns, complementary guitar players etc in a really good venue?  

That’s on the schedule for 2020!

12.  Stories behind the following songs:

-”Big Night in the City” –I wrote it with idea of young love in a small town in mind.

”That Kind of Man” – I wrote this about a young lady who, more or less, asked me out knowing full and well I was married. The incident kind of caught me off guard because she was dead serious. 

-”Wild Ones” – I wrote this for the folks that are on the front lines risking their necks to share the gospel. That’s the easiest explanation.

”Before I Met You” – Before I met my wife I thought I had it all figured out….(laughs).

”From This Day On” – About my walk with Jesus.

”Sometime” –I was really inspired by a hymnal that my grandmother gave me. A lot of the lyrics really moved me. Part of the lyric in this is taken from a song in that hymnal written about 120 years ago! 

13.  The record also features a cover of the Mike and the Mechanics hit “Living Years”.  What motivated you to cover that song on the record? Were there any others you considered?

I lost my Dad when I was 19. That song really gets me. I recorded it for him.

14. The musical journey through your completely respectful impressions of folks like George Strait, Bruno Mars and Prince pepper your live show.  Is there any impression that is only found behind the wheel of your truck that hasn’t made it to the show yet?

I don’t think so, (laughs).

15. One time, at the Saxon Pub in Austin, I heard you bust out an impromptu cover of Ace’s “How Long” because y’all had heard it on the radio while driving to the show.  Choate and Blaine Crews just smiled and followed you. Has there ever been a moment when you pull something out and they just have to leave you stranded because they don’t know where you’re going?  

(laughs) Nope, somehow they’ve always got me!

16.  It’s 3am and you’re driving home from a show.  You stop at a Buc-ee’s. What are you walking back to the van with?

Texas club sammich, Topo Chico…some of those warm cinnamon pecans, probably a new pair of overpriced Sanuk sandals, and a Yeti hat, even though I don’t own a Yeti cooler. (laughs)

17. You have a very distinctive and unique style.  Do you get help with that? What’s your favorite vintage shop?

Nope, I shop alone. I don’t shop vintage much anymore. It’s funny how different a large was in 1975! (laughs)

18.  Rapid fire:

Topo Chico Original  or Topo Chico With Lime? Original

Favorite restaurant in Fort Worth? Man, that’s too tough. Bonnell’s, Capital Grille and Salsa Limon are some of my favorites.

Favorite movie? Lonesome Dove

Vinyl or Streaming? Streaming

Salsa or Queso? Both!

19.  This is the spot that we usually ask what your favorite George Strait song is, but you’ve already answered that (“Friday Night Fever” which you cover sometimes). You mentioned in that last interview that if you met George you’d “croak”.  With all your adventures over the past 7 years, have you come close to meeting him?  

I know people that know him I just haven’t had the guts to ask any of them for the hookup.

20. What’s your favorite Bible verse?

Matthew 6:33

{Brad's Corner} July 2019: A Fan Looks at 40

{Brad�s Corner}

A while back I read an article that claimed one’s music taste and choices caps out at what they dug around age 17. I incredulously tossed aside the data in the article because it certainly did not apply to me. Long ago, I resigned myself to the fact that I’m an abnormal, obsessive music consumer. I find kindred spirits in people like Mattson Rainer, Shayne Hollinger, Eddie Trunk, Matt Pinfield, Tom Mooney, and William Miller from Almost Famous among others.

We don’t just listen. It’s more than that to us. It’s a lifestyle and a dedication. Sometimes to our detriment.

I found a home here at Galleywinter when I was barely legal to drink. This place gave me a forum to expound my opinions and stuff I dug. To be certain, I still love most of the stuff I did at 17, but I find new stuff I dig all the time. Again, I realize that’s not the norm. Classic Rock is a successful format for a reason.

I grew up in a household where music was present, but not necessarily a focus. Born in the 70s, raised in the 80’s, and discovered life in the 90s, stumbled into adulthood in the 00’s, living in the 10’s, anticipating the 20’s. One of my earliest musical memories is riding down Lake Shore Dr in Waco where a large hill summits before descending toward Lake Waco as John Anderson’s “Swingin'” blared from the stereo of my dad’s ’78 Chevy. I remember asking “Daddy, play it again.” Alas, it was coming over the airwaves of KJNE 102.5 and not the cassette deck.

I cranked out the jams on this thing in the 80’s.

Cassettes were my first format. I had a Fisher-Price cassette player that was gifted to me on my 5th birthday. It had a microphone jack and you could record yourself. I was a full service karaoke party before I even knew what that was. The first two tapes I remember listening to incessantly were Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA and the USA for Africa “We Are the World” single. I had not yet discerned taste. I was 5.

Prevalent on our living room television each night was Ralph Emery’s Nashville Now. A talk-show, throwback hayride radio show delivered in front of the cameras and a live audience at the old Opry Land. You might see Waylon or Cash…or you might see a corny singing group brought over from the theme park when Roger Miller got too loaded to make his appearance. Some nights, you would see all three. Plus, Shotgun Red. What made the show great was the banter. Emery had a laidback, conversational style that was a precursor to the modern podcast . It was the first inclination I had that music was more than just the stuff we listened to in the car or back patio. These were actual human beings who led interesting lives. We took a family vacation to Tennessee around this time and visited Opry Land, the Ryman and the like, but sadly no taping was taking place. We did manage to stop at a little house in Memphis on the way back. I wasn’t exactly sure who Elvis was beyond “Hound Dog”, but I knew he was important. I remember wearing flip flops as we walked through locations such as the Jungle Room; I slipped my sandals off for a quick barefoot squeeze of the shag carpet. I was going to take a piece of this guy with me. More on that guy and house to come.

Waylon and Bocephus having a typical Nashville Now moment in November 1988.

Around this time in my life, two forces started shaping my burgeoning musical taste. My older sister with MTV and my grandparents annual pilgrimage to Branson, MO. I’ve written many times before about the massive impact MTV and my sister’s requisite 1980’s music had on me. I plopped down in front of the TV on long summer days and my babysitters had names like Bowie, Jackson and Sting. I remember thinking David Lee Roth was the pinnacle of cool and that Dire Straits made the best cartoons. Duran Duran must like jungles. Michael Jackson could solve gang crises with dance. Alternatively, the long roadtrips to Branson were met with the cornpone likes of Boxcar Willie, Shoji Tabuchi and Mel Tillis. My spectrum was wide. And I loved it all. If it had a good melody, I was all in. Be it an Ozark Jamboree or a flamboyant, genre-bending new wave rock sample. I wanted it all.

I soon realized, not everyone enjoyed music the same as me. I could go from one of my grandparents old Ray Charles vinyls (played on one of those use tabletop monstrosities in their den) to Motley Crue and follow that up with George Strait without missing a beat. Other people, even those my age, were already rigid in their likes. “I only listen to country.” “I only listen to 97.5 (Waco’s Top 40 station)” and my favorite, “Rap is crap.” Hip-Hop was in its early forms and it may have been LL Cool J or Run DMC that first hooked me, but by the time I saw/heard Beastie Boys I was over the moon for it. I remember kids trading pirated (recorded from the radio) copies of License to Ill in the bathrooms of my elementary school. I now had an additional genre to throw into the mix.

And so my adolescence coalesced until I reached my early teen years. Country with the parents, MTV in my room, my large stereo scanning the dial. My Fisher-Price had been upgraded to a large state of the art stereo system (which I still own). For my 11th birthday I was given two cd’s: Alan Jackson – Here in the Real World; Bell Biv Devoe – Poison. That was the start of a collection that would grow to over 1,000 cds over the next decade. And the disparity would always remain that broad. For every Garth or Doug Supernaw, there would be a C&C Music Factory or Eazy E. I would play Sega Genesis Madden for dozens of hours…all while game sound was muted so I could listen to music.

I started seeing more major concerts during this time. I was able to take in George Strait, Alan Jackson, Garth, Reba, Diamond Rio, Wynona, Charlie Daniels Band, Hank Williams Jr, Marshall Tucker Band, and The Beach Boys. Live music was now in my blood. I had to figure out how to get to more.

Around the same time, my grandfather had gifted me a weather radio. I could dial in places as far as Nashville, Chicago and Kansas City. It was my first introduction to people like Howard Stern, Don Imus and sports talk. Needless to say, I was an empty vessel being filled by noise (good and bad) from waking to snoozing. And, sometimes while asleep.

As I continued through my teens, the Grunge movement happened. I still remember where I was when I first saw Nirvana “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. It’s been overly lauded in a reverential Baby Boomer like manner with regard to its impact, but there is no doubt that it was monumental and a definite dividing line for my generation. I was the tail end of Gen X, blurring the line to millenial. Some sociologists call those of us born between 1976 and 1984 Xennials. I’ll take X. Music changed, MTV changed, culture changed. The stakes were higher and more vital than ever. My friends and I laughed along with Beavis and Butthead as Mike Judge meticulously took the piss out of every band around us. My tastes were still firmly rooted in the omnipresent beast of 90’s country, but my peers were turning me on to everything from Stone Temple Pilots and Pantera to Snoop Dogg and Master P. I definitely veered more to metalhead during this phase. Metallica, Pantera, AC/DC, Sepultura, KISS, Megadeth, Ozzy.
I scratched that live music fix I’d acrued by trips to see AC/DC, Metallica, KISS and Aerosmith. I was at Starplex the night Phil OD’d. I vehemently defended Load-era Metallica (and I will still die on that hill). I still needed more live music.

Josh Grider and I will still defend Load/ReLoad.

Around the time of high school graduation was the time of boy bands and nu metal. I detested the former and was a complete mark for the latter. Kid Rock was my favorite flavor of the day. I was able to see him live in early ’99 before he blew up. He was on a bill with Limp Bizkit and Staind in Austin. It was mesmerizing and he may be a punchline to some now, but that night 20 years ago in Austin he put on one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. I witnessed talent, drive, marketing and luck gel right in front of my eyes. A few months later he had a diamond selling record. I still needed more live music.

Cue the Texas Music scene. I grew up listening to the likes of Jerry Jeff, Gary P and Rusty Wier. Late in my high school days, a buddy of mine convinced me to go see a “local country band that’s pretty good.” That band turned out to be a very young Pat Green. He didn’t have it quite figured out yet, but there was something there. I wasn’t ready to take it in quite yet and he wasn’t quite ready to deliver. We both needed some seasoning. My seasoning came with a move to San Marcos for college and his seasoning came from the highways. Once I was ready to embrace it, it had everything I’d packaged together for all those years. The country of my roots, the drive of my rock and the swag of my rap. Plus, he was singing about stuff I could relate to. It was like I’d found a home. I remember going to some festivals during this time and having some of the older 70’s Texas Music holdovers looking down their noses at those of us in our Pat Green and Cory Morrow shirts. It was the same attitude many now spill toward Koe Wetzel. I was told things like “Pat isn’t real Texas Music.” “Walt writes his best songs.” I didn’t care. He was my Pied Piper. While cd’s would still be en vogue for another decade, this was the prime of Kazaa/Limewire. And the at the time blazing speeds of the SWT dorm internet would bring us “Pat Green – Everclear” (sic) in just 30 minutes or so. One night, I returned from Gruene Hall with a carload of buddies, and as any hardcore music fan is wont to do, I’d loaded my ’97 Monte Carlo with pounds of CaseLogic cases holding a large majority of my 1,000 cds. Alphabetized and with cd jacket in the sleeve of course. Alas, the next morning I awoke to find my cases gone. Someone had broken into my car. Years and years of music collection and memories gone. After my anger subsided, I came to a calm knowing that music would always live in my heart. Then, I hit Hastings clearance racks trying to build up the gaps in my newly inadequate collection.

For a time, we really thought that Lone Star Beer in our cereal was a good idea.

My music fandom had never known bounds and was quenchless in its thirst. I always had to know who wrote the songs, who produced the record, where did they record it, what inspired it etc. Those early internet days, while searching for some info on Pat, led me to a place called Tore Up From the Floor Up. A rudimentary GeoCities type community that was talking about things like the Sunday side of a road trip weekend. It was full of characters named Hogleg, Tank, Woodrow and ThreeCurl. Soon enough, that community was rechristened and rebranded into Galleywinter.com. The place where all the outlaws hide…but girls were allowed. If I wasn’t in class or at work (sometimes at one of those places), I was logged in to Galleywinter. Sharing music opinions and nonsense. The breadth of useless musical trivia I had acquired had never been appreciated before. These guys and gals dubbed me “Encyclopedia Bradtannica” and it was loads of fun. It still is.

Hogleg and Cope (RIP) at GreenFest 2002.

The music kept growing from there. During college, I sat down and finally forced myself to learn how to play guitar. Using a book and the knowledge of one of my best friends Justin Dickey, I soon became pretty decent. Our heroes were writing songs, why shouldn’t we? We set about writing songs and soon had about 10 that weren’t completely awful. Dickey wrote one about Waco called “Suicide Town” that gained some steam and I had one called “Livin’ Fast” that became a hit among our friend group. We played out live a handful of times, but mainly stuck to the living rooms and campfires. And thus, another dimension was added to my music fandom.

I began to meet many of the performers in the burgeoning Texas Music scene of the late 90’s and early 00’s. They began asking me for help with things like writing bios, slinging merch, web design, booking shows and even management. By the time I moved back to Waco, I was booking/managing Kristen Kelly…and we all rode that rocket to Nashville and up the charts with “Ex Old Man”. On one of those trips to Nashville, I got to stop back by the big house in Memphis. This time, I was fully aware of the greatness of Elvis. No flip-flops this time. But, we did pick up a chick from London named Georgie who we bonded with over a love of music. Funny how that works. I even got to play big time music manager, just like I’d learned about in books and movies on that trip. I “took meetings” and set up a showcase. Worked out pretty well for Kristen. The rest of us just enjoyed the ride.

Kristen Kelly, Derrick Dutton and Josh Roberts performing in Nashville circa June 2009.

Throughout it all, I never stopped loving my musical building blocks. I just kept adding to it. A dash of Hayes Carll over here, a dab of Kanye over there, top it off with some Foo Fighters. My home base was now Texas Music. But, the great thing about that is that the breadth of influence in Texas means everything that built me was welcome. There was no “that’s too country”, “that’s too rock” etc. If it was good and had heart, it was good enough.

From cassettes to cds to Limewire to iTunes to Spotify, I’ve lived it all. I wrote this entirely far too self-indulgent article to detail my love of music through all the seasons of life. As I enter this next season, I eagerly anticipate what’s to come. Each of you could write your own story that may read similar to this one in parts. Music is life. Life is ever changing. We all roll on. Music at 40 is the same as music at 4. I look for things that make me want to listen to it again. “Swingin'” indeed. I can’t wait to write the reprise retrospective at age 80.


-It’s RIVER JAM week! See you in New Braunfels.
Friday July 12 at Cheatham St – Kevin Galloway/Coby Wier
Saturday July 13 at Billy’s Ice – Statesboro Revue/Sundae Drivers
Sunday July 14 at Lone Star Floathouse – just about every great songwriter we could think of.

-The baseball all-star game remains my favorite of the genre.

-Just returned from my latest run in Vegas. It was uber successful. Didn’t lose too much money, saw Aerosmith, lived to tell about it. Avoid Eric the dealer on the Roulette table at Planet Hollywood. He doesn’t have a sense of humor.

-Been able to undertake several GOATs lately. The aforementioned Aerosmith, Paul McCartney, Jimmy Buffett, Jason Isbell. Working on an article about the degrees of songwriting success and everyone’s personal barometer.

-Topo Chico has become the number one consumed beverage at our house.

-Count me among those who find the USWNT better and more interesting than the USMNT.

-This month’s recommended album: Randy/Wade – HMBWT Live. The boys let the tape run on a night in Dallas a couple years ago and the result is what you’d expect. A free-wheeling trip through their stories and songs that allows you to recreate one of their shows anytime you wish. Sidenote–check out the latest releases from Josh Grider/Drew Kennedy, Koe Wetzel and Shane Smith & the Saints if you have not done so. What are you waiting for?

-“Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most.” – Mark Twain

River Jam Artist Preview: Juliet McConkey

Juliet McConkey is a name and artist to take note of. This Virginia transplant is turning heads and catching ears across the Hill Country, and for good reason. She is the proud winner of the prestigious Blue Light Live Songwriter Competition for 2018 and that’s just the start. McConkey has the type of earnest, honest […]

River Jam Artist Preview: Sundae Drivers

Out of the ashes of a central Texas family band, Spivey Crossing, has emerged a formidable group known as Sundae Drivers.  Powered by the unique aspect of three lead singers and twin guitars, this band has grown a sizable and loyal following across the region and state.  Derrick Dutton gets most of the attention with […]

River Jam Artist Preview: Zach Nytomt

Zach Nytomt has been a fantastic singer/songwriter creating a sizable buzz the past few years. He’s got an intense and dynamic performing style that is matched with his expressive songwriting. Nytomt brings a soulful folk approach to country songwriting that provides a fresh perspective and his voice presents these tunes in a way that stays […]