Roughstock Album Review
by on June 30, 2016 in Uncategorized

Another strong collection of songs has found its way out of the fountain pen that belongs to singer/songwriter Josh Kelley. See what we think of the new Sugar Hill Records project here!

Josh Kelley has been recording records for the past decade or so and has always had more of a singer/songwriter vibe, even when he was considered a pop singer in his earliest records or a country singer on his last project, 2011’s Georgia Clay. For New Lane Road, Josh Kelley has found not only a perfect recording home but a great showcase of who he is: a rootsy, soulful singer/songwriter. He self-penned four of New Lane Road’s dozen tracks but his other songs feature collaborations with award-winning songwriters like Alan Chang, Kyle Jacobs, Rachel Thibodeau, Sean McConnell, Clint Lagerberg, Danny Wilde and his brother, Charles Kelley and they’re all strong.

“Call It What It Is” has a thread of Bruce Hornsby’s jovial folk/pop tunes while “It’s Your Move” is a stunning love song that could do well on multiple radio formats. Honestly, that’s a statement that could be said about the entire New Lane RoadCase in point is “The Best Of Me,” a song originally recorded (in a different take) for the 2012 film Act of Valor. Here the song has more of a traditional country/pop sheen than outright power ballad but the lyrics are still as powerful now as they were four years ago. If there’s a better patriotic song than the title track “New Lane Road,” I have yet to hear it. This is a song that’s perfect for country radio and hopefully it’ll get a shot (if only for yearly patriotic playlists). The distinctive Randy Kohrs adds some haunting Dobro to “One Foot In The Grave” (I can’t wait to hear a Bluegrass band do this one) while “Cowboy Love Song” feels like a hymn inspired by Josh’s love for his wife Katherine Heigl (or his daughters).

New Lane Road is a record released by the perfect recording home for Josh Kelley, roots/indie powerhouse Sugar Hill Records. He has been on labels larger (Hollywood, MCA Nashville) and smaller (His own) but Josh Kelley is right at home with a label that lets an artist be who they are, in this case, a stellar singer/songwriter at the top of his game.

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