The Josh Grider Trio has departed from the traditional country album with Sweet Road to Ride. While there are some songs that would be immediately identified as country the band has added a groove to their sound that defies the purist sound that runs through the Red Dirt Music scene and it works. In Josh’s own words “Everybody knows who Merle Haggard is, everybody knows who Dave Matthews is, so if you say we meet in the middle, that’s kind of what’s goin’ on. It’s got the boogie in it”. While I am not sure about the Dave Matthews reference Josh is right about this music having the boogie in it. While You Were Sleeping is a catchy little number about leaving in the middle of the night that makes you tap your feet and want to get up and dance and on some level that’s just wrong. A leaving song shouldn’t boogie but damn it does and does it right. Follow that up with Halfway There’s admonition of “It’s too late to go back now” and it’s harmonies and you’ll think you’ve got a feel for where Josh is going but then he takes a turn and hits you Again which is pure cryin’ in your beer music.
Josh has been around the Red Dirt scene for a while and has earned the right to do whatever the hell he wants with his music and he does a fine job of it on this album. JG3 is amazing live but this offering is almost as fun as a live show. There is energy here that isn’t found in a lot of studio releases. I can see why Texas Red Dirt Roads described it as the group playing like a child plays with a new toy. It’s definitely a must have for Red Dirt fans.