Way Out Here (Columbia Nashville)
Jul. 6, 2010
Cedarburg native Josh Thompson is one of the first Wisconsinites since the ’80s to crack commercial country radio’s top 20. The hit to take him there, "Beer On the Table," benefits from amiable hooks and sly machismo. His sincere delivery sells songs (all of which he at least co-wrote) that trot out the virtually guaranteed hit-making tropes of his genre. He sings of his small-town reputation and just how country he is, while giving shout-outs to his Lord and an ex-flame. As with much music stemming from the Nash/Vegas twang factory, there's somewhat of a formula to Way Out Here, but Thompson's personality rises above it. It should be fun, maybe even revelatory, to hear how he matures.