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Josh Thompson’s keeping it real

For Kenny Chesney, it’s tiki bars and free living; for Reba McEntire, it’s love; but for Josh Thompson, it’s beer drinking, working-class, backwoods country that makes him tick.

One of the great things about most country artists is that you tend to get what you see – singers living the very same lyrics they’re proud to write. Born and raised in Milwaukee, Thompson grew up pouring concrete for his father’s business. He learned the value of an honest dollar, and later become an all-state gymnast, and football and track player in high school. He developed a love of music through his parents, and bought his first guitar at age 21.

In 2005, Thompson moved to Nashville, landed a contract with Columbia Nashville and, on Feb. 23, will release his debut album.

“‘Way Out Here’ is full of honest country songs that are rooted in blue-collar lifestyle,” Thompson told CMP. “A while ago I stopped writing what I thought people wanted to hear, and the minute I stopped that, and thought about what made me happy, I started to see some success happen.”

Thompson wrote or co-wrote all of the songs on “Way Out Here.” The first single off the album, “Beer on the Table,” broke the Top 20 and peaked at No. 13 on Billboard’s Heartseekers chart.

“I think my main goal is to introduce myself to the country world and the audience and the fans, and give them a good basis of who I am and where I come from,” Thompson said. “You know, I feel like if it rings true to me, then that’s what I need to keep doing.”

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