Former tour manager turned musician, Desure blends the genres of country, folk, indie and rock, and has released his latest track, “West Wind (Stay Here Awhile),” pulled from his upcoming self-titled debut EP, out on May 3. The EP debuts just in time for his performance at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. Click here to listen to the single. Desure shares in a general press release that it “is a song I wrote for my wife. It’s about our honest journey together. If I’m ever down she picks me up and vice versa. This song talks a lot about that give and take of a relationship.”
His previous single, “Los Angeles,” features a slide guitar with sunny disposition that frankly shares “Los Angeles, you’re killing me. Lord, I can’t live on two hours sleep. With a daily dose put up to my nose to the women we talk to after shows, it’s a simple reminder of what’s to come when I won’t – but wind up drunk.”
Josh Desure previously began his career in the music business tour managing for country-rock trio, Midland, out on the road with them during their tour for their debut album, On the Rocks. He opened for the band at the last minute, and decided to give his musicthe pursuit shortly after.
With his music career jump-starting pretty swiftly, due to critic praise by Rolling Stone, with sync in Netflix’s “The Ranch,” and sold-out tours supporting his friends Midland, we had a nice chat with Desure about his touring managing days with Midland, his current tour with them and upcoming shows with fan-favorite, Dwight Yoakam, performing and some of his fun music favorites.
I love the fact that you were the tour manager for Midland and then you decided to take up singing at a chance moment so…would you ever go back to doing that, or are you content with doing what you’re doing now; writing and performing your music?
Desure: No, I don’t think I could go back. It was sort of just like, I wanted to immerse myself in the music industry, and just get as close as possible to just be able to tour, and just get the feel of what it’s like to be with a band that’s doing so well, and so rapidly, and I knew that they were getting really quick recognition and we’ve been friends for 15 years or something now, all the Midland guys, so we go way back. So being on the road with them is…they’re my brothers, so we all just mess with each other…it’s lots of fun and it’s about time, so when Cam called me up and he said, “You should move to my ranch in Texas and you should tour man with us,” and I was like, “Yep,” and in five minutes I think I packed all my stuff and [laughs] got there…And it was cool, I was living in Texas for a bit and I needed to get out of L.A., and that’s when I wrote the song, “Los Angeles”…
It was a pretty crazy time, and I felt just kind of reckless, and just partied, like nonstop, and I just wanted to get out of L.A. also, so this was just a perfect opportunity that came up and so I never dreamed of doing anything like that, but the opportunity came, and I’ve always just jumped at stuff like that, so yeah, I took it.
But while we were on the road, we played in Bakersfield at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace…and, while we were there, they didn’t have an opener and I think it was Mark who mentioned it and asked, “Do you want to just play some songs to open?” And I was like, “Yeah!” Any opportunity that I had to play…because I’ve been writing songs since I was 13, 14, and so I of course I jumped at that opportunity as well, and I got up there, and they were like, I remember that guy and it was just like a family kind of thing, and he was like, “It just brought me back to the music, and it’s amazing!” And from then and on that day, I’m like, “You need to be playing,” like not really tour managing. But I did, I tour managed for a while after that…but mostly just played.
You’re also opening on some tour dates for Dwight Yoakam, who’s great and exciting in concert. I’m excited for you! Are you nervous, excited or both?
Desure: Yeah, I’m excited. We had a few dates while I was tour managing [for Midland]. We were out there for about a week, so it was really cool to get to know his team, and making friends with a few of the guys and it was cool. When this opportunity came up I, I was really excited and I was surprised, and I mean it’s really early still in my career as far as taking this a bit more seriously and putting out my music. I’ve kind of been holding on to these songs for a while…some songs…and I’ve just recently started putting them down, so getting this kind of opportunity, I was just blown away, and I’m really just excited. I don’t know about nervous…I will be, I think, once it’s happening. It’s a different kind of nerves. But I get really excited. I love playing, I love touring; it’s the best feeling in the world.
You’re currently on tour with Midland, for their Electric Rodeo tour, in the U.K. and the U.S., and you’re coming to Georgia Theater in Athens, Georgia, which is a very historical place musically. Have you ever been to the Georgia Theater before?
I’ve never been to Georgia Theater, but the last time that we played in Georgia, that was one of the best receptions I’ve ever had at a show, and it was the most fun…it was definitely one of the most fun shows I’ve ever played in my life. So, I absolutely love Georgia. I’m really, really excited for those shows [on tour].
Who was your first concert, and who has been your favorite one, thus far?
My brothers brought me up on a lot of music…stuff like…a huge, huge, influence of mine is just what my brothers have shown me through the years…and they were into like, punk and hardcore, and stuff like that, like super crazy rock and roll stuff, and a lot of our friends where we grew up were up-and-coming in punk bands, and they would take me…sometimes I would convince them to take me…and God, I remember being like, I don’t know, like eight years old or so, or maybe younger, and…yeah, just going to those shows, and that was where I fell in love with music…being with people stage-diving, and people jumping on top of each other just to get some words into the microphone, and that much passion about something was super inspiring.
A lot of that kind of stuff, and a lot of…there were these crazy bands. I just remember being so blown away by the shows…
I have a friend out here, he goes by “Gold Star,” and his name is Marlon and, I just saw him open up in a church for Mazzy Star, and it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. It was just…the sound, and it just resonates in there…it was just really inspiring, it was beautiful, it was one of those moments that you’re like,”This is why people make music,” and it’s really special. He definitely is a huge inspiration as well. He’s a good friend of mine and I’ve been in love with his music for a while.
Which top five artists would you not want to live without?
Ever…man that’s a tough one. I mean, I’ll say…I got some obvious ones, I guess. I’d say Neil Young…Bob Dylan…Bob Seger…Towns Van Zandt and David Bowie.
Desure opens for Midland on their Electric Rodeo Tour this evening at The Georgia Theatre in Athens, Georgia. This event is sold out. For more tour dates, click here.