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Josh Thompson returns to the Dusty Armadillo in Portage County on April 26

By Kelly Maile | Record-Courier Published: April 11, 2013 11:06 AM
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Show Dog-Universal recording artist Josh Thompson will give a rowdy performance at the Dusty Armadillo, 3147 S.R. 44 in Rootstown, on April 26.

Thompson grew up in Wisconsin in a family that worked in the construction industry.

"We all did concrete," Thompson said. "I grew up doing that. That was my job in high school and that's what I did in Tennessee."

Thompson moved to Tennessee eight years ago with hopes to some how start a career in music.

"In 2009, I realized this was something that I wanted to do," Thompson said. "I was 21 when I started to play the guitar and learned how to write music, so I was a little later than most people, but it's been nonstop ever since."

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Following the release of his debut album, 2010's "Way Out Here," Thompson kicked into a whirlwind pace, selling out clubs, opening for artists Brad Paisley, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Dierks Bentley and Hank Williams Jr. and writing for noted Nashville songwriters like Monty Holmes, Ash Underwood and George Ducas.

"I've always been a strong songwriter," Thompson said. "It kind of comes at you either way. Either you've got an idea or a melody or you have absolutely nothing and it pops out of nowhere. It's just one of those things, if you're lucky enough to have a great idea to sit down with, that's kind of where it starts."

Thompson's musical influences include George Jones, Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard.

"I first heard Merle in my teens," Thompson said. "I heard him on the radio. My parents listened to country and oldies, but it was like the modern station. When I heard Merle, he just really piqued my interest so I just started digging an buying records and it all stemmed from there."

Although his strong point is songwriting, Thompson said he is a country artist.

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"The thing I love about country music is it is what it is," Thompson said. "It's real life. It's simple and honest and I like to think of it as a party."

Thompson is close to completing his second record.

"It will be released on Show Dog-Universal," Thompson said. "We're going to be putting out a single some time this summer and hopefully a record will follow. It's not quite done yet. It still needs some finishing touches."

Thompson launched his 2013 tour in February.

"It's been busy," Thompson said. "It's the time of year where not a lot of people are out. It's definitely not touring season, but we're out there four to five days a week. It's been great."

Thompson's favorite part of touring is sightseeing.

"I just like different places," Thompson said. "It's a really great way to see America. You go from big city to these small towns and little fairs and festivals to places you never thought you would see. I love meeting people along the way, too."

Thompson said his live show is just as rowdy as his music.

"We like to keep the drinks in the air so to speak," Thompson said. "We keep it rockin' and keep the music going. You never hear any down time. We like people to stay upbeat. You won't find anyone sleeping, either."

Carie Young, marketing coordinator at the Dusty Armadillo, said this is the third time Thompson will play the Dusty.

"There's always a phenomenal crowd when he comes," Young said. "That's why we keep them coming back. They are rowdy, they are loud and we love it."

Young said she expects the show to sell out before the show date, so purchase your tickets early.

Thompson will take the stage at 10 p.m. April 26 at the Dusty Armadillo. Doors will open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15. Ages 18 and over are welcome.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 330-325-0647 or visit dustya.com.


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