Following the release of his debut album, 2010’s Way Out Here, Josh Thompson kicked into a whirlwind pace that would challenge the hardiest of souls. He began selling out clubs as a headliner, demonstrating an early connection with Middle America. And he mixed those high-energy gigs between dates as an opening act for Brad Paisley, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church and Hank Williams Jr.

Thompson’s music embraces the contradictions that everyday Americans live with – the opening line of “Way Out Here” unapologetically links violent guns and non-violent Jesus – but paradox is an undeniable fact of life.

"The thing that drew me to country music – guys like Merle Haggard, in particular – was how vulnerable he was, how vulnerable he sounded and how vulnerable his lyrics were and how it matched the music," Thompson says. "You believed what he sang because he sang it with conviction. He sounded like he lived it, because he did."

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