The present and the past will overlap Saturday night when Texas country singer-songwriter Josh Grider and his band kick into “My First Band” during their show at The Backyard.
Present in that the song is the latest single from Grider’s album “Good People.” Past in that the subject of the song took place in Waco, where Grider was a Baylor University student in the late 1990s.
“(Waco’s) the place of my baptism in the Texas country music scene,” said Grider, 38, now an established performer in Texas country music and a family man based in New Braunfels.
The New Mexico native played in a five-piece band called Riverside that eventually split up as members went their different ways. Grider, his taste for writing and performing whetted by his experience, went into music after graduating in 2002. “My First Band” compares the experience to one’s first love: exciting and thrilling and bound to end in some way.
Grider performs with a tight four-piece band these days — two guitars, bass and drums — and is proud that he carries his weight on guitar. What fans will get is plenty of energy and plenty of hits.
“It’s a full-band honky-tonk, rock ‘n’ roll show,” he said. “I’ve been lucky in having songs played on Texas country radio. You won’t have to wait long before there’s a song you know.”
“My First Band” will wind up the singles from Grider’s last and seventh album “Good People,” released in 2018, and the singer-songwriter is contemplating releasing future songs in smaller EP batches.
Releasing songs in album-sized groups often means that good songs get lost in the shuffle. It also creates a challenge in determining which songs work well together and which do not.
A la carte approach
More than that, fans listen to music differently these days, thanks to streaming audio. Rather than being locked into an album’s songs and sequence, listeners simply pick the ones they like listening to.
“With playlists and Spotify, there’s much more an a la carte approach to music these days,” Grider said. “(For a writer) there’s less pressure to make all 10 songs work together.”
That said, Grider does have an album project ahead of him: one with his wife, Kristi, who released her first album earlier in the year and who has sung harmonies on past Grider songs.
Performing and recording together isn’t an issue as much as finding the right material and tone. “It’s really hard to write duets and keep them out of sappy land,” he said.
No problem with sappiness at Saturday’s show, however, particularly if his alma mater Baylor beats Texas in football Saturday afternoon at McLane Stadium.
“It’s the party set,” he explained.