Joshua Hedley swung for the fences with this new single. This is the third single from Neon Blue and each has shown us a different facet of the album. In the title track, we get some pure early-90s heartbroken honky tonk. Then, “Broke Again” showed us a wilder side of Neon Blue with its big guitars and stuttering chorus. Now, Hedley is slowing things down and tipping his hat to a legend with his rendition of Roger Miller’s “River In the Rain.”
Hedley is a different breed of country singer. Since his early teenage years, he has been eating, sleeping, and breathing country music. In a recent interview with Outsider, he revealed that being a country musician is the only job he’s ever held. He spent most of that career playing classic country covers in smoky barrooms. In fact, Hedley possesses a repertoire of classic country songs that is so vast that it earned him the nickname Mr. Jukebox. So, it should come as no surprise that he chose to dip into that well for his new single.
Joshua Hedley on His New Single
When talking about the new single, Joshua Hedley said that he always likes to add a cover to his records. “Just as sort of a homage to where I came from – playing cover songs in honky tonks.” Then, he went on to talk about what made him choose this song for Neon Blue. “ ’River in the Rain’ is one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite writers, Roger Miller,” he said.
However, there was more than the fact that it is a great song. Hedley explained the significance behind this pick. “I chose this one because I wanted to showcase the oft-overlooked serious side of Roger Miller,” he said. “Roger was a once in a lifetime genius and he’s often associated with humorous material, but he also applied that wit to serious subject matter with the same masterful technique. I think River In The Rain showcases that brilliantly.”
A Traditional Country Singer, No Matter the Era
This new single, like most of his catalog, highlights the love that Joshua Hedley has for traditional country music. His debut record, Mr. Jukebox was an exploration of the countrypolitan sound of the 60s, His upcoming album, Neon Blue explores the sounds of the late 80s and early 90s. No matter how different they sound, one thing ties them together: tradition.
In his interview with Outsider, Joshua Hedley talked about the important role that tradition plays in his music. “I’m always going to go with tradition. That’s me,” he said. “It may not always sound the same. I made a 90s country record and 60s country record and the next record I do probably won’t sound like either of those. But the one constant is that it’s always going to nod to tradition. I’m always going to bow to tradition. That’s the reverence that I have for country music.”
Neon Blue hits shelves and streaming services on April 22nd. You can preorder your copy now.