Columbia Records’ last few attempts to break a new artist have not been highly successful. Jessi Alexander, Shelly Fairchild and Cole Deggs & the Lonesome got one album each with minimal chart success; Brice Long and Ashley Monroe both had their albums go unreleased on the label; Van Zant faded out after two albums, the latter of which was a commercial failure; and Can You Duet‘s Caitlin & Will landed just outside the top 40 earlier this year. Josh Thompson shows a great deal of promise and may finally break the spell seemingly cast on the label with his new single, “Beer on the Table.” (I’m a poet and didn’t know it.)
It’s a cute twist on the age-old expression “it puts bread on the table” — he’s working hard to get money for everything from gas and electricity to scratch-off lottery tickets and, you guessed it, beer on the table. Specifically, beer on the table on Friday night when he’s partying with his friends. The production and vocals are fresh and edgy, rocking out to an extent while still maintaining a radio-friendly sound. Both the production and melody are somewhat reminiscent of Trent Tomlinson’s “Drunker Than Me,” and Josh’s vocals are slightly reminiscent of Trent’s.
This kind of song has been done many, many times before, and there are plenty of rock-influenced country songs on the charts right now. While some of these rockers ring hollow, Josh has an everyman quality to his voice that lends it a sense of authenticity, making for a highly engaging listen that should bring him a decent-sized hit. If he can follow it up with a couple more songs of this caliber, he’ll definitely be an artist to watch in the coming years.