CIMS Indie Fresh
With the release of his highly anticipated debut album Mr. Jukebox via Third Man Records, Joshua Hedley will embrace the role he was born to play: this generation’s classic country champion.
An accomplished fiddle player, Hedley felt inexplicably drawn toward the instrument as a child. He got his hands on his own fiddle at age 8, and by 12, he was playing with middle-aged pickers at the VFW. At 19, he moved from his native Florida to Nashville, where he became an in-demand sideman at Robert’s Western World and other bars, and ultimately, a well-respected frontman. Armed with an easy croon and prodigious fiddle playing, he became known as the Mayor of Lower Broad. He hit the road to perform with artists including Jonny Fritz, Justin Townes Earle, and more, while the 2015 documentary Heartworn Highways Revisited featured Hedley prominently.
When asked to describe the title track from his new record, Kyle Thomas—aka King Tuff—takes a deep breath. “It’s a song about hitting rock bottom,” he says. “I didn’t even know what I wanted to do anymore, but I still had this urge—this feeling—like there was this possibility of something else I could be doing… and then I just followed that possibility. To me, that’s what songwriting, and art in general, is about. You’re chasing something, there is something out there calling to you and you’re trying to get at it. ‘The Other’ is basically where songs come from, it’s the hidden world, it’s the mystery. It’s the invisible hand that guides you whenever you make something. It’s the thing I had to rediscover—the sort of voice I had to follow—to bring me back to making music again in a way that felt true and good.”