By Jennifer Smith | Reporter
Josh Ward, a country music singer from Montgomery, Texas, was named “New Male Vocalist of the Year” by the Texas Regional Radio Awards, along with winning “Song of the Year” with his hit single, “Whiskey and Whitley.” Ward will be performing on Saturday at The Melody Ranch.
Before he formed his band in 2013, Brandy Reed, from RPR Media, said Josh started playing music in the parking lots of the rodeo circuit in 2003.
“He has been called a “country music traditionalist,” delivering an old school sound with a hauntingly country classic voice,” Reed said.
According to Ward, music has always been his dream and he caught the performing “bug” as a child.
“From an early age on, I was always around music,” Ward said. “My grandpa and uncles would always have the radio on at the house. I started singing in the church choir at four years old, I just loved to sing. When I learned to play guitar years later, being a country music singer kind of became the dream.”
Ward said he’s grateful his music has turned into a business and not just a hobby. Ward appreciates the freedom his job gives him, like how often he gets to travel and the weeks he’s able to be home with his family. However, Ward said the freedom doesn’t come without its struggles.
“The most difficult part about making music is being gone, and missing important things with the family,” Ward said. “Sometimes you’re gone on birthdays or special little moments, that’s a tough one. But there are upsides to that too; we get to run around the country and play for some of the best fans in the world. We get to live out a dream, literally.”
One of those dreams was fulfilled the first time Ward heard his song on the radio. He said he never thought in a million years that he would hear himself on the radio.
“It was a blur, I can tell you that. This whole thing from the start to now has been a wild, crazy, world-wind of a ride, the ups and downs, good and bad,” Ward said. “I’ve been doing this for fifteen years and I think we’re just now getting ‘the look’ from a lot of people.”
Although it has been a blur, Ward’s success wasn’t handed to him. He went from working in the rodeo, to the oil fields and straight into the music business. Ward said each field taught him perseverance and the will to succeed, and he hopes to pass that lesson on to airing artists.
“My simple advice would be ‘hard work and clean living,'” Ward said. “You have to have a no-quit, true grit attitude. There’s a lot of things that are going to get in your way, but don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. Because it is possible if you put the hard work in and don’t let off the hammer, you’re going to succeed,” Ward said. “And I can honestly say being humble and kind to everyone you meet is where the majority of my success has come from. If you’re good to people they see that in you, and they’ll be good to you back.”
As for his performances, Ward said his pre-show rituals includes praying and listening to the artists he idolizes.
“Well praying before I go on stage is a given every night. It’s a blessing that I get to do this for a living, so I give thanks to Him first,” Ward said. “I need a little quiet time to get in the vibe. I’ll listen to Keith Whitley, George Jones and Merle Haggard while I’m getting ready. I honed my vocal skills around those guys because those were my favorites. They knew how to sing heartbreak songs, and I just gravitated to that. I’m a sucker for a sad song I guess.”
And he sings them well according to one of Ward’s fans, Amarillo junior Grant Gillispie.
“He just has something that not many country music singers have anymore. His voice stuck with me because it’s like nothing else I hear on the radio. It’s a cool thing he did by taking his own path and getting country music back to it’s old-school roots. You can hear it in his music, and that’s what makes him stand out,” Gillispie said.
Ward will be performing on Saturday at The Melody Ranch. You can RSVP for the concert here.