Singer and songwriter Joshua Hedley flexes his mastery of the mid-’60’s Nashville Sound with his new video for “Mr. Jukebox.” It’s the title track off his Third Man Records debut, which arrives on April 20.
The song tells the story of Hedley’s career. The Florida-born fiddle-playing prodigy turned Nashville scene fixture has consistently played in bars since childhood. While transitioning from a side man to a band leader, Hedley developed a reputation at Robert’s Western World as “Mr. Jukebox.” Years of playing honky tonks turned him into a versatile performer, able to cover seemingly any old country song.
Hedley tips his hat to country music from 50-plus years ago in many ways. Tributes to his heroes range from suits that’d make Porter Wagoner envious to a vocal delivery as smooth as Eddie Arnold’s. Considering all of that, it’s likely no accident that Hedley shares his nickname with an old Ernest Tubb song.
His song’s final verse sneaks in a nod to “There Stands the Glass” by Webb Pierce. Such references further establish Hedley as an expert on drinking songs, educated while entertaining crowds night in and night out.
With an influential label in his corner and a growing body of impressive original compositions, Hedley might just make a Jack Greene-like jump from revered side man to star front man in due time.