LAS CRUCES – Country singer Josh Grider, who grew up in Las Cruces, digitally released his latest album called “Long Way From Las Cruces” on November 12th, the title track that has served as his “musical biography” for the last 20 years.
“New Mexico raised me, Texas made me, Tennessee and I could never really understand / I’m far from Las Cruces and I’ve come too far to turn back now,” Grider sings in the chorus of the title track.
Grider, a Las Cruces High graduate, left his hometown for Texas at the age of 18 to pursue a music career. He found his niche in the Texas live music scene and has released several albums since 2005.
The ongoing theme of his latest album is gratitude and finding unexpected blessings – a product of the COVID-19 pandemic and time for reflection, Grider said. He also celebrated a milestone birthday in 2020.
“Forty is a big event, no matter what, and somehow you look back on those birthdays with zeros,” said the musician.
The album contains eight tracks, all of which were written or co-written by Grider. It was also produced by the singer. He said this was the first time he had “taken on the full production role” even though the project was a team effort.
He and the musicians he has been touring with for years recorded the album in Texas in January 2021 – the first album in a decade that he had not recorded in Nashville.
“There was still a lot of uncertainty about my career and how all this pandemic stuff was going to play out, so I just wanted to do something around me with people I really loved and trusted,” said Grider.
Aside from recording and touring his music, Grider enjoys working with younger artists and producing their records. He met Gunnar Latham, an aspiring 25-year-old musician, just before the pandemic broke out. The two started writing songs together, and Grider took on the role of mentor, which in his opinion is a lot easier than following his own advice.
“I am grateful that music is still my main income. It’s my life and my wife’s life, she’s a music teacher, ”he said. “Without the music I don’t know what we would do.”
Grider grew up in Las Cruces, listening to KGRT 103.9, and attending concerts coming through New Mexico State University’s Pan American Center, including George Strait, Alan Jackson, and Garth Brooks. At 18, he went to Baylor University in Waco, Texas.
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Today it is home to New Braunfels, Texas, a city between San Antonio and Austin.
“I’ve never sold out stadiums or anything, but I’ve managed to cultivate a fan base and put out records on a regular basis,” said Grider.
He performs live almost every weekend, he said. He also likes to bring his children home on Monday morning. Grider described tours as a “weekend warrior lifestyle”.
In July, Grider returned to Las Cruces to perform at the opening concert at Lyles Farms Outdoor Venue. He said he plans to play with country singer John Anderson on Straight Tequila Night on December 12th at The Liberty in Roswell.
His parents and grandmother still live in Las Cruces, so Grider is returning to his hometown for Thanksgiving this year – he’s looking forward to the enchiladas.
Grider’s record is available on Apple Music and Spotify. A vinyl record will be available sometime in the new year.
Check out his music and performance dates on his website www.joshgrider.com.
Leah Romero is the trend reporter for Las Cruces Sun-News and can be reached on Twitter at 575-418-3442, [email protected] or @rromero_leah.