Josh Weathers career can be described in many ways, but mercurial may perhaps be the most fitting adjective. Never one to follow the herd, Weathers has found success on his own terms. The viral nature of modern social media brought him to the doorstep of major label and reality TV fame and fortune, but he walked away because it didn’t square with what’s in his heart. A man that has the type of self-confidence and belief in the Plan, is not one to be taken lightly. Weathers has always had more talent than just about anyone around him. He’s a gifted entertainer, deft vocalist and adept guitar slinger. His style has grown from singer/songwriter to blue-eyed soul revivalist to praise leader to country crooner to where we are now which is a mixture of all those elements.
Owing to his pattern of doing things in his own time and way, his latest release, Wild Ones, comes out a full decade after his previous album Big Night in the City. As referenced in his recent 20 Questions interview, Weathers attests that this new project is probably the closest he’s come to capturing his live show intensity in a studio format. If you’ve been to a Weathers show in the past few years, many of these songs will be familiar. Album opener, “Sometime” has been the standard third of fourth song in the set when he wants to change the pace. Full of graceful multi-part harmonies, resonating guitar and lyrics regarding the mansion awaiting us all upstairs. Chris Watson’s keys play a prominent role in propelling the song to a powerful crescendo. The title track was released before the album and it is a catchy, triumphant testament to celebrating life buoyed by some contemporary production techniques. “Before I Met You” was once described by Weathers as his attempt to write a Stevie Wonder song (he succeeded). One of the most impactful tracks on the record is the arresting cover of Mike and the Mechanics “Living Years”. Knowing Weathers’ backstory of losing his father as a teenager enables the tune to pack an even greater punch.
The main reason this is a successful album is the feelings it creates. Much like a live Weathers show, this collection of songs is life affirming. You feel better upon listening, even when he’s cutting deep into your soul. His vocals take you to church, the guitars take you to the rock show and the melodies are firmly planted down on the fun side of town. The only qualm one can really find with this record is that it’s only 8 tracks. It’s the perfect complement to many of life’s activities and doesn’t quite sound like anything else. This record could be as big as Josh Weathers wants it to be. And the cool thing about that is that none of us know exactly how big that truly is.