BT: Joshua, thanks for your time today. We're looking forward to having you back in Birmingham. Also, we're really enjoying Simple Times. I know you must be pleased with the album's immediate success.
JR: Thank you so much. I was with Columbia Records and I made this record with them. I turned it in the way I wanted it to turn out and they said, "We love it, but we want one big hit on it." I said "No" because I don't really want the Top-40 hit because there is so much pressure to follow it up. I prefer the organic and honest slow-build. I just feel like that's a better way to craft a career these days. So, I gave them their money back and put it out myself with this new indie label. When it went to number one on iTunes, it was definitely some sweet vindication. You've got to do it the way your heart tells you to do it. I've been watching this Tom Petty documentary - Runnin' Down A Dream - and there's so much to learn from Tom Petty. He always does it his way and it always works out for him.
BT: How did the material evolve for the new CD?
JR: Once the first record, We Were Here, came out, those were the first songs I'd ever written so these were the next songs. It was written over seven months when I was trying to stay off the road and just write. Now I'm going to be on the road forever (laughs).
BT: If you will, talk about technology in music. Some artists tell me that it's great to be instantly found on the Internet and iTunes, and others tell me it can be difficult to separate yourself given the clutter that technology creates. How do you view the balance?
JR: That's a good question - it's a double-edge sword. I started writing songs four and a half years ago - I started music real late. I don't think an artist like myself would've garnered this sort of success this quickly 10 or 15 years ago. But the fact that I could get a 'Myspace' page and put songs up there and have the songs spread around the world helped my exposure - it's a new era for sure. It hurts because record companies don't have the money to develop artists any more, but indies are popping up and the do-it-yourself method is so prevalent now. It's like a new frontier - you get out there and grab whatever you can. It's a really exciting time.
BT: Obviously, TV and film placements have been great for your career and your exposure. How do you explain the willingness of TV and film to break an artist like yourself when commercial radio is slower to do so?
JR: I don't know - I'm still trying to figure it out and so is my manager and so is my lawyer. For me, it's the new radio. I have two records out now and we've done over a hundred licenses for TV shows and film soundtracks. Every song has been licensed but not one radio station added me. But the radio play is starting to happen now and it's catching up.
Tickets to the 8 p.m. show are $20 - $25 day of the show -'a0 and can be purchased at www.workplay.com or by calling 380-4082.