Exclusive: Josh Thompson Follows “Any Ol’ Barstool” Success With ‘Change: The Lost Record’

Josh Thompson moved to Nashville in 2005 with dreams of becoming a chart-topping recording artist. With the singer-songwriter’s recent celebration at the top of the country charts as a songwriter on Jason Aldean’s 19th career No. 1 “Any Ol’ Barstool,” Thompson is celebrating the long-awaited release of his latest album, Change: The Lost Record, on April 21.

Thompson, who released his major label debut Way Out Here in 2010 on Columbia Nashville, says “Any Ol’ Barstool” was among a list of potential song titles that the Big Machine Music writer had stored away for a while, before he stepped into THiS Music’s Nashville’s writing room with the company’s writer Deric Ruttan.

The track details the small, telltale signs of someone in denial over the lasting effects of a bad breakup.

“Country music has always been about small towns, where everybody talks and there are a lot of rumors,” Thompson says. “It’s kind of a tough song, in a ‘What he says isn’t really what he means’ sort of way.”

After the writing session, the song’s road to radio had only begun. “I just forgot about it for a while after we wrote it,” recalls Thompson. “We didn’t even demo it for a couple of months, at least.”

Thompson played “Any Ol’ Barstool” for Aldean’s producer Michael Knox, who also produced Thompson’s Way Out Here. Aldean recorded “Any Ol’ Barstool” six months after Thompson played the track for Knox.

“Even then, you’re not real sure it’s on the album until it’s in Walmart,” Thompson said. “We really hadn’t heard that it would be a single at all, until it was.”

Thompson’s fondness for intriguing song titles helped land his work as the title track for both Tim McGraw’s Damn Country Music album and Rascal Flatts’ Back To Us album.

“I do much better when I have either a concept or a title that is not your run of the mill title,” Thompson says, “but something that jumps off the page.”

Change: The Lost Record is a fitting album title for Thompson’s latest project, given that the tracks were originally recorded as the follow-up album to Way Out Here. However, following a series of label shifts, the project was never released. Thompson was intentional about keeping the album as it was originally recorded, and not adding new material to the already completed project.

“If I added anything new, it wouldn’t fit,” he says. “It bridges a gap and I didn’t want to change that aspect of it. The record I would cut today is completely different than a record I would have cut in 2011, so I just wanted that to remain how it was.”

Thompson, the son of a Wisconsin concrete worker, pays homage to his father in “Daddy Had A Beer,” a track from the new album.

But the song isn’t your typical tale of a family torn apart by an alcoholic father, as evidenced by the lyrics: He liked to sip ‘em slow, make ‘em last/One too many was one he never had.

“The idea was based on a picture my mom had, of me and my mom, dad, and my sister,” Thompson says of “Daddy Had A Beer.” “I was a baby, and my sister had a Raggedy Ann doll, and my dad had a Miller High Life. Most of the storyline is about somebody that has a beer in their hand all the time, but we were able to turn it around in the chorus. It surprised me that we were able to work that kink out, because I wanted to make sure nobody was led on by that.”

Elsewhere on the album, Thompson’s keen observations shine on tracks like “Change,” “Something’s Gonna Get Us All,” and “Over Me.”

“I’m very relieved to have it out,” Thompson says. “I’ve wanted to just release it so I can concentrate to making some new music. It’s kind of been a whirlwind of ‘Now it’s coming out, and then it’s not.’ It’ll be great to have some more music in the show,” says Thompson, who has already incorporated some new material into his set list.

With Change finally out, Thompson already has his sights set on his next release. “I’ve been writing a lot and mentally putting a record together. I love the process and giving fans something new.”

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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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