Country Music People December 2018 - Page 46

albumreviews JOSH CARD With A Heavy Heart  Suffer / Won’t Chase Your Love / Better Off That Way / Forgotten Love / Choice To Make / Devil’s Blood / Unknown Legend / Wait For Me / If You’re Wondering / Run On 46 cmp - DECEMBER 2018 Producer: Dean Miller Self release 38:08 There are fewer better feelings in the world than playing an album by an unfamiliar artist and being blown away. Usually you can tell pretty quickly if you’re onto something special. It doesn’t happen often enough but it certainly happened with Josh Card. How can a guy this good not already be on my radar? Crikey, he had me hooked from the nik nik fiddle intro of the very first track. And yes, suffering is just the kind of subject I want my country music to be about. Well, all soon became apparent when I visited his website. Born in small town Florida and now residing in the hills of Kentucky, Josh Card was raised on Conway Twitty but spent 15 years playing in a punk and ‘hardcore’ bands before returning to his roots, and then tellingly has been one of Whitey Morgan’s 78’s. He’s rather less Outlaw than his boss, and a little more straight down- the-line country, and he’s mighty impressive. Card dips into an Eagles/West Coast-influenced sound on Better Off That Way, and unsurprisingly I suppose, gets a little more Outlaw sounding on Choice To Make and Devil’s Blood and embraces an 80s sound on Won’t Chase Your Love. He also smashes the slow waltz Forgotten Love, which is dripping with emotive steel guitar, and later, If You’re Wondering is another killer waltz. The shuffle, Wait For Me, could’ve been lifted from early Johnny Paycheck and is honky tonkin’ perfection. Shades of Chris Isaak guitar permeate Unknown Legend which is constructed more like a rock song and I can even forgive him the odd rather obvious rhyme. Josh Card set out to make an “honest country record” and he’s done just that. He’s the real deal, and this is real country. It’s not retro but he obviously knows his stuff and his influences frequently show through. The instant liking I took to it lasted throughout, and returning for a few more plays I liked it even more. I hope we’ll be hearing a lot more of Josh Card. Duncan Warwick