Texas Country chart-topper Josh Ward makes Amarillo stop

Josh Ward played for his first audiences sitting on the tailgate of pickup trucks in parking lots during breaks at high school rodeo events.

 

Encouraged by the response he got, he started his own band in 2003. The Montgomery, Texas-based artist has since released an EP and two full-length albums that have spawned seven No. 1 singles.

A recently released single, “Change My Mind,” from his latest “Holding Me Together” album is quickly heading up the charts. Ward’s music has garnered a wide range of descriptions. Sonicbids called it “traditional honky-tonk mixed with Texas Attitude and Gold Ol’ Southern Rock.” ReverbNation was more concise, coining it “Lovin’ and Leavin’ songs.”

The affable artist will be bringing his rich blend of music to Amarillo on Friday at Hoot’s Pub before he heads off in August on a West Coast tour with Cody Johnson, who played at Homer’s 20th Hometown Reunion last month.

Growing up in Texas and competing in rodeos, Ward listened to all the country legends – Willie, Waylon, Hank and Merle. You can hear all those influences in his songs.

“When I open my mouth, country can’t help but come out,” he said.

Music from all three of Ward’s albums will sound out from the Hoot’s stage. The 37-year-old singer/songwriter said he and his music have matured over the years. Each of his songs reflects honesty who he was and where he was when he wrote it.

“It’s all about growth,” he said. “It’s moments in time. That’s what records are about.”

Ward is relentless about the quality of his live performances. He and the band pride themselves on making sure the songs they play in front of their fans are the same as the songs cut in the studio — with the added punch of a live experience. Ward is all about interaction with the crowd. It feeds his soul.

“When you look out there and you see that one person or that hundred people or that thousand people — when you see them get it, it’s the best feeling in the world,” he said. “If our fans are giving us 100 percent and loving us, I’m going to give them 150 percent of every ounce of my being.”

The popular artist stays balanced by spending plenty of time in nature. Music may be his passion and the way he makes his living, but the Great Outdoors is his therapy.

He hunts and fishes and returns home to his piney woods as often as he can. He is as proud of winning the 2011 Oakley Big Bass Championship as he is of being named New Male Vocalist of the Year in 2013 by Texas Regional Radio.

Ward is working on a new record, hoping to continue the magic of his chart-topping past singles. His latest album, “Holding Me Together,” released in 2015, has had five consecutive No. 1 singles.

Ward shakes his head at the thought of his success.

“Growing up playing music and wanting to start a band back in the early days, I never thought about number ones or making it big,” he said. “All I ever wanted to do was go play my music and hope people enjoyed it.”

Band members that play with Ward come from all walks of life. They think that helps them play to people from all walks of life. Happy with his crew, Ward can sit back a little and reflect with pride on all they have accomplished.

“It’s something to be able to say, ‘Dadgum, we did all right for ourselves,’” he said.

How to go

What: Josh Ward

When: 10 p.m. Friday

Where: Hoot’s Pub, 2424 Hobbs Road

Information: joshwardmusic.com

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