Album Review: Josh Grider - “Good People”

Texas-based singer/songwriter’s 8th album showcases a slightly different side than previous albums and is all the better for it.

How does an artist keep things fresh nine albums into their career? Why by focusing on different elements of a record. Instead of trying to make a record which can only be played in a full band setting, Josh Grider and his co-producer Bobby Hamrick have crafted a 12 track album which can be played in guitar pulls, songwriter nights or, yes, with Grider’s touring band. It’s an album where the songs are allowed to shine.

“Bad Times Roll,” with its playful groove, gets the record off to a good start with a lyric which suggests we should let things roll off our backs and minds instead of letting it eat at us because life is too short not to. Texas radio hit “Good People” has a vibrant kick drum and country instruments that just makes you wanna smile and nod along while Josh sings about the kind of people who mostly make up the world. This, friends, is an honest-to-God country song that deserves to be played all over America. Anyone who ever joined a band will enjoy the country rocker “My First Band” while “A Woman” recalls the great Don Williams in it’s laid back storytelling simplicity.

“How Lucky I Am,” is one of two songs not co-written by Josh Grider but that just allows for Josh to sing a breezy song which recalls the classic 70s and 80s country soul of Ronnie Milsap. I was a fan of Barry Zito’s EP from last year so when I saw that the retired MLB Cy Young winner co-wrote my favorite song on Good People, “Pictures Do,” I was reminded about how strong of a songwriter Zito is. Add in Grider’s own mighty pen an you’ve got a Great, classic country song. Sample lyric:

Pictures don’t grow up, pictures never change,
They’re frozen forever in the moments they were made,
They don’t fall out of love, they don’t change their minds
They won’t ever get sick and leave hurting’ hearts behind
They say there ain’t no stopping the hands of time
That ain’t true, that’s what pictures do

It’s the kind of song that should be a massive hit. It’s relatable and if it’s not a hit for Josh Grider, it needs to be a hit for SOMEONE. “Local Honey” is a jovial tune while “Less and Less” is a radio-ready mid tempo track. With a strong pack of songs Josh Grider and his team have crafted the kind of record many fans have been wishing to hear more of from the mainstream and while it seems it’s moving back towards the songs featured on Good People, if you seek out Josh Grider’s latest album, you will not be disappointed.