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Joshua Hedley Announces Second Album, “Neon Blue”

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Joshua Hedley

Joshua Hedley will release his anticipated new album Neon Blue on April 22nd, 2022 via New West Records. The 12-song set was co-produced by Jordan Lehning (Rodney Crowell) & Skylar Wilson (Justin Townes Earle) and mixed by Kyle Lehning (George Strait, Randy Travis). 

Neon Blue is the follow up to his critically acclaimed 2018 debut Mr. Jukebox, which was released by Jack White’s Third Man Records. Hedley’s breakout debut showcased his deep knowledge of country music history, in particular the beery ballads of the 1950s and ‘60s. His mentors were George Jones, Ray Price, and Glen Campbell, but his most remarkable accomplishment was putting his own spin on their style. Neon Blue, on the other hand, examines a very different, often forsaken era: the early 1990s. 

“The last bastion of country music,” says Hedley, “was the early 1990s, roughly 1989 through 1996. You could turn on the radio and immediately know you’re hearing a country song. You could still hear steel guitar and fiddle. But there was a hard fork around 1996 or ‘97, when country veered off into pop territory. Neon Blue asks, What if that fork never happened? What if country kept on sounding like country?” 

Hedley says, “The sound is modern, but it’s still discernibly country.” After making Mr. Jukebox with a close group of friends, Hedley decided to record his follow-up with professional session players — a Nashville tradition. Lehning & Wilson corralled an all-star crew featuring some of the city’s best players, who made Hedley step up his game. “All the players on this record are the people who are playing on Top 40 hits. They’re the professionals playing two or three sessions a day, and it was crazy to see them work…I came in with skeletons and they put flesh on them. They made them into human beings,” Hedley shares. 

CMT premiered the video for the album’s title track, “Neon Blue.” Of the song, Hedley says “For whatever reason that title just popped into my head, and I was obsessed with it. You’ve got the neon lights of a honkytonk, but you’ve also got that sadness. We got the vibe for the album from ‘Neon Blue,’ and every other song was built around it.” See the “Neon Blue” video, directed by Travis Nicholson, below.

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