Music

Joshua Ray Walker: See You Next Time Album Review

todayDecember 2, 2021 113

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By Shack Khoza
Music Journalist

Soul-Stirring Country Music is how I would describe the album See You Next Time by Joshua Ray Walker. This album is for those who adore heartwarming country music, or for those who live in rural areas while listening to good music while working out in the fields. To go even further, it’s also a great stepping stone for listeners who despise country music because of the annoying vocals and how upbeat and romantic it sounds. However, this album has tons of great music solos, lyrics, and gives off a sense of pride for those who love country music.

Walker discovered his calling to country music in his teenage years. He was inspired by his grandfather who showed Walker how to play music on a rusty acoustic guitar. In addition, Walker took inspiration from other Texas Bluegrass artists, Guy Clark and Billy Joel. Walker’s 2019 album Wish You Were Here was a huge success in that it was ranked one of the best albums on the US charts. As the months progressed, Walker was featured in small Bluegrass concerts and shows hosted by bigger country stars such as Charley Crockett.

A year later, Walker released the album Glad You Made It while continuing to tour and receive invites to play with fellow country artists. As of now, Walker is traveling across the west coast states with a mission to introduce bluegrass and country music to listeners who choose to ignore it.

Why is country music disliked by so many listeners? Is it because it appeals only to those who fantasize a perfect life of outdoor living? Does it sound too cliche about farming and cowboy life? Or is it the vocals, vernacular, and articulation of the singer that listeners detest? Walker solves this problem by creating country music with melodies that people like followed by other types of genres that listeners like as well. He realizes that country music isn’t for everyone, but insists that his music can be enjoyed lyrically and resonantly.

The best song in the album is “Sexy After Dark,” where Walker ditches the usual dosey tunes of country and replaces them with jazz and funk. The instrumentation contains a duo of trumpets, a flashy saxophone solo, and stadium organ keys playing as accompaniment with boastful lyrics that make Walker sound very confident in what he does in his after-hour activities.

This is opposite to what every country musician sings because they are usually faithful to a single person. But, Walker noticed that in order to attract a bigger audience, he would have to be a bit more debaucherous and include a melody that sounds raunchy, yet positive.

Now for those of you who want to listen to true, authentic country music that you would hear in bars, saloons, cabins, restaurants, or roadhouses, some recommended tracks would be “Flash Player,” “Cowboy,” “Dallas Light,” or “See You Next Time.” These four songs best represent the beauty of pure American country as they display snail-paced music with whistling tones, violin features, acoustic guitar strumming, and group whooping. They’re the kind of songs that you would listen to while daydreaming out of a window because of how unblemished and flawless Walker’s tenor voice is.

Walker also reminds his audience that country music can make people wanna shake their legs! Songs such as “Fossil Fuel,” “Three Strikes,” and “Welfare Chet” introduce a splash of Cajun and dance music. It is also impressive that he featured an accordion, banjos, and moderate rock-like electronic guitar solos as it presents the merriment and exciting side of country music. These songa are so fast-paced and wild they make you wanna grab a partner and do the Texas Two-Step.

See You Next Time is a well-composed album that would truly change the minds of those who detest country music and bluegrass. His incorporation of different genres, such as jazz and cajun, demonstrates that he wants to expand his listening audience and allow them to understand his humble appreciation for country music.

Written by: ktsw899

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