For Texas country singer-songwriter Josh Ward, radio has been as hot as a Texas July and that’s the kind of weather he likes.
“Change My Mind,” the latest single from his 2015 album “Hold Me Together,” recently hit No. 1 on the Texas Regional Radio Chart, giving Ward an enviable hot streak of eight consecutive No. 1 hits on Texas country radio.
Three of those hits come from Ward’s album “Promises” and the balance from “Hold Me Together.” Ward, who performs Saturday night at the Melody Ranch, says that album has been a game-changer for him. “’Hold Me Together’ has been an absolute blessing to me. I can’t say enough about it. It’s catapulted my career to the next level,” he said in a recent phone interview.
The Montgomery, Texas, native only started performing country music in 2003, when he was a high school rodeo rider who’d spend his free time at rodeos performing for people in the parking lot. His traditionalist sound and stone country voice collected fans and got him started as a country performer. Ward started recording in 2007 and put together his current band in 2014.
Ward, 37, credits some of his albums’ success to producer Greg Hunt and the production crew at Rosewood Studios in Tyler. Ward’s style is natural and unaffected.
“I can’t help it. I open my mouth and country comes out,” he said.
Part of Hunt’s success has been knowing when to push Ward and when to pull back.
In addition to the doors opening because of his radio success, Ward is finding fellow Texan Cody Johnson helping with others by having Ward and his band open some of his shows, such as Johnson’s Waco concert in April. One of Ward’s No. 1 radio hits was Johnson’s song “Broken Heart” and fans for both performers are finding a common ground.
“It’s opened us up to a different set of audiences,” Ward said.
Ward and his band will join Johnson in August for a series of dates in California, including shows at famed rock clubs The Troubadour in Hollywood and The Fairmont in San Francisco. His country sound notwithstanding, the rocking side of Ward is excited about visiting those clubs.
“I’ve been out to the West Coast before, but never for music,” Ward said. “I’m an ’80s heavy metal kinda guy . . . It’s cool to be playing the places where they played. It’s going to be like Motley Crue hitting town.”
“Hold Me Together” has one more planned radio release before the next album drops sometime in early 2018.
Ward’s quick to point out, however, that he and his band are more than capable of turning fans on with their live show.
“If I can get in front of a crowd, I’ll show what I can do. The show’s going to be played like you’re turning on the record,” he said. “I don’t plan on taking my foot off the gas pedal anytime soon.”