MCA Recording Artist Josh Kelley makes his Grand Ole Opry debut.
Photo: Joel Dennis
Josh Kelley will release a three-song EP, TOMORROW, November 30, that includes his current single, “Georgia Clay,” as well as “A Real Good Try” and “Ain’t Letting Go.”
Josh’s album, Georgia Clay, is set for a spring 2011 release, so MCA is releasing the EP now to meet the demands from the industry and his fans to hear the new music that he’s spent the last two years creating. A tremendous buzz about this project has been building as Josh continues to tour with Miranda Lambert. He made his Grand Ole Opry debut earlier this month.
“I am super excited about these songs,” Josh says. “These are the perfect three songs for a three-song EP to give people a little taste of what’s to come. “Everybody that knows me has said it’s by far the best album I’ve ever made. Everything I’ve learned over the last seven years has led up to this point.”
He singlehandedly wrote “A Real Good Try,” which contains a poignant message to his loved ones. “‘A Real Good Try’ is about letting my family and my friends and my wife know, “‘Bear with me. I have a goal in mind here.’ It’s going to take a lot of work. It’s about never giving up.”
He co-wrote “Georgia Clay” and “Ain’t Letting Go” with his brother Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum. “Georgia Clay” was created when Josh was at Charles’ house with his producer, Clint Lagerberg, and they began reminiscing about high school.
“I asked Charles whatever happened to that old truck Dad used to let us drive,” Josh says. “He said it was in a junkyard somewhere. I said, ‘Man, if there’s still some Georgia clay underneath it, if that Georgia clay could speak what would it say?’ It would have seen our childhood and seen Charles and I experiencing our first everythings.”
Josh and Charles wrote “Ain’t Letting Go” with Patrick Davis. “It’s about this guy who isn’t desperate, but he knows he has made a lot of mistakes,” Josh says. “He’s having a hard time trying to let her go, so he wants to give her a hard time as well. The whole song is basically a phone conversation that he’s having with her answering machine. He’s going, ‘I want you back. I ain’t going to let you go.’”
He’s unveiled several of the new songs while touring with Miranda Lambert and Eric Church. “They have been really nice about taking me under their wings and showing me a lot of the ropes about the business,” he says. “I’ve also learned a lot from watching their songs.”
“I also learned how to party. After every show we have been getting together and writing songs and drinking. We’ve got about 20 half-finished songs and 20 fully finished bottles of whiskey. One day maybe we can flip that around.”
Josh performed “Georgia Clay” and “Naleigh Moon” during his Grand Ole Opry debut on the stage of the historic Ryman Auditorium on November 12. “That was amazing,” he says. “The Opry debut was the most nervous I’ve been in front of a crowd in a long time, and I’ve been playing for some really big crowds here with Miranda. I think it was the history that made me so nervous.”
“I wanted to be at my best that day. I quickly shrugged off the nerves after the first few lines of ‘Georgia Clay.’ From there on out, it felt unbelievable to be on that stage. It felt like a dream.”
Pretty soon, he’ll be able to perform on the Josh Kelley stage because the Evans Town Center Park in his hometown of Augusta, GA, has just announced that they will be naming their new stage in his honor. “That is phenomenal to have that kind of hometown pride,” he says. “It’s a massive honor that I don’t think I could have ever thought would happen. The fact that my hometown embraces what I am doing is humbling.”