If you don’t know the name Joshua Ray Walker yet, you’re about to be hearing a lot about him. Since first gaining notoriety in country music circles with his 2018 debut, Wish You Were Here, the Dallas singer-songwriter has won fans all around the world and earned high praise from some of music’s most renowned publications. Walker’s just-released sophomore album, Glad You Made It, has garnered even more acclaim and finds the up-and-coming country talent on the cusp of even bigger and better things. He’s come quite a way since he was a kid teaching himself to play a guitar he got at a garage sale.

Not long after the release of Glad You Made It, Walker spoke with My First Band host Tyler Maas about the process of making the new record, the decision to put out a record during a pandemic, and the positive response it’s received so far. Over the course of the conversation, Walker also talked about his time in emo bands during his teens, couchsurfing and living off Walmart taquitos in his twenties, important life advice he got from his grandfather, and how agreeing to host a folk night unknowingly reset his artistic trajectory. Along the way, he discussed his new High, Wide & Handsome clothing line and Maas made a few questionable puns.

My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and wherever else you get podcasts. Music used in this show comes courtesy of Devils Teeth (“The Junction Street Eight Tigers”) and Joshua Ray Walker (“Voices”).