Todd Snider

Todd Snider

Josh Morningstar

Wed, August 1, 2018

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Hargray Capitol Theatre

Macon, GA

$15.00 - $25.00

This event is 18 and over

Todd Snider
Todd Snider
todd snider

by todd snider

i started making up songs in 1986.

i made an album in 1994.

i also started a tour in 1994

and that tour is, in a way, still going.

i never made a record so good

that i could just sit home

or did a show so bad

that i had to.

and man, i’ve done some shit shows,

shit albums too.

some of them are pretty good though,

but you know,

it’s been a while.

i really need to put out a good album soon

or i'm finished.

sometimes these days i sing with a band.

i think we made a good album.

david schools of widespread panic is our leader.

i make up our lyrics....we’re a jam band.

our songs only go on about an hour or so but they’re still pretty long.

cool people jam with us all the time and we have like a million shirts and shit.

i personally think we’re the seventh best band in the whole jam thing.

on this tour i am coming to town with nothing but my guitar and stories

like the old days.

you know...

pick a little

talk a little

pick a little

talk a little

cheap cheap cheap

talk a lot

pick a little more.

and not to brag,

but i also wrote a book that everybody loves

so i am an author now.

plus i play everywhere,

pretty much all the time

everybody shows up

and they pretty much always love it.
Josh Morningstar
Josh Morningstar
It's a cold Febraury morning in small town Indiana, the kind of cold that makes your bones ache and wakes you up as soon as the piercing winter air touches your skin. "Is there anywhere to get a cup of coffee and some food? I haven't eaten in, like, three days" the tired, raspy voice on the other end of the phone asks me. I give the address of my favorite greasy spoon, and the voice says "I'll meet you there in 30 minutes" before abruptly hanging up.

The voice on the line belongs to folk-country songwriter Josh Morningstar, a Maryland native in town for a show Saturday night at The Book Cellar Listening Room in the basement of Viewpoint Books here in Columbus. When he walks into the restaurant, it's obvious he's not from "'round these parts;" tattooed, tall and skinny, Stetson cocked to the side, Morningstar stands out in a diner full of farmers, construction workers, and the elderly, here for their 9am "lunch." "I've always been different," he says.

"Different" may be the best way to describe Morningstar, deemed one of "10 Artists To Keep Your Eye On" by the website His songs of a life lived hard (a recovering heroin addict with over 5 years clean, Morningstar has done no less than six different stints in jail), go deeper than the standard "whiskey/women/good times" of most "outlaw country" artists these days. At the same time, his sound has a bit more "twang" than most folk music fans are accustomed to. He's a road dog-on the road more than 200 days a year, Morningstar provides for his family (wife Tessia and four children) by logging mile after mile, going from honky tonks to listening rooms to house concerts, playing his songs-as he puts it-"for anyone that'll listen anywhere they'll listen." His dedication has been paying off-fast rising country artist Cody Jinks has recorded a Morningstar composition-a song called "Must Be The Whiskey"-for his new record "Lifers" due out in June, and Morningstar just completed a tour with fellow folk musician Colter Wall, an artist produced by Nashville's newest "go-to" guy, Dave Cobb.

Morningstar has also earned the respect of the old guard, counting many of his heroes among his admirers and friends. He's buddies with folk legend Todd Snider, an artist Morningstar is often compared to thanks to his humorous, observational storytelling-Morningstar describes his own live show as "half song, half stand up." His mentor, Billy Don Burns, has written songs for Willie Nelson, Johnny Paycheck, Sammy Kershaw, and others. He's also versatile-when I sit down with Josh, he tells me he's nervous about an upcoming cowriting session with hit songwriter Kendall Marvel-Marvel, a native of Southern Illinois, has written number one songs for Jake Owen and others, as well as over sixty cowrites with some guy named Stapleton. As in, Chris Stapleton. "I've never really done the cowrite thing," Morningstar says, in between sips of black coffee. "To have one of your first be with a guy that's written all these huge songs is a little intimidating." When I ask how the cowriting session came about, I'm not surprised with Morningstar's answer: "we played a show together and kinda vibed on each other's stuff, so we decided we'd give it a go." With Josh Morningstar, everything somehow comes back to the live show.

It's this live show-full of pain, laughter, reality, good times and bad-that has earned him opening spots for a veritable "who's who" of country and folk music these days: besides the afforementioned Jinks, Wall, and Marvel, Morningstar has shared stages with Jamey Johnson, Shooter Jennings (Morningstar has toured with Waylon Jennings' youngest son "more times than I can count" he says), "Ramblin'" Jack Elliott, Country Music Hall of Famer Bobby Bare, Travis Tritt, Jason Isbell, Radney Foster, Tyler Childers, Travis Meadows, and many others. He'll be part of this years Tumbleweed Festival in Kansas City, and has taken part in the Muddy Roots (Tennessee), Moonrunners (Chicago), and Boondocks (Maryland) festivals in the past. "The festivals are cool," he says. "I get to see a bunch of my friends, hang out, and listen to good music. Hard to beat that."

When our food comes, I immediately dig into my western omelette, while Morningstar barely touches his pancake-and-egg plate, choosing instead to stare off into the distance, as if he can see something I can't. "Hey man, I'm sorry" he says as he stands up. "I just got an idea for a song; I'm gonna have to cut this short." And with that, he puts a $50 bill on the table, stands up and shakes my hand, then disappears out the door, into the frigid Indiana morning, off to chase another song. Morningstar is always moving-one could debate if this movement is because he always seems to be running, maybe TO something, maybe FROM something. As I finish my meal, I'm left to think about this person I spent a short 20 minutes or so with, but yet somehow I feel I've known forever. How can I feel this way? Suddenly, it hits me. His songs. He's a person that lays it all out, in rhyme form, for us all. Yes, there's been trouble in his past. Yes, there's more than likely some more trouble in his future-trouble just seems to follow guys like him, regardless of whether its self-inflicted or by happenstance. But, somehow, he's able to take all that trouble, all that pain, and turn it into something beautiful. This is an artist that gives everything to his art-Van Gogh cut off his ear for his muse; Morningstar cuts out pieces of himself, examines it through the eyes of a humorist with a sense of Shakespearean tragedy, and gives it to the world in three-and-a-half minute sonnets that can make you cry tears of laughter and anguish at the same time. Go see Josh Morningstar-I guarantee that by the end of the show, you'll know him. And then, as fast as he came into your life, he'll be gone again; off to chase another mile, another crowd, another song.

Beth Summers
The Republic
Columbus, IN
Venue Information:
Hargray Capitol Theatre
382 Second Street
Macon, GA, 31201