How many artists can claim that their musical career was kickstarted by two surgeries?
Josh Ross can actually say that.
While attending Western University on a football scholarship, Josh sustained enough bangs and crunches to land him in the OR. That tossed his dream of playing in the CFL out the window and while recovering, he found himself immersed deeper and deeper into music, including a lot of Steve Earle. His initial foray was the band “Silver Lining”, which he formed with another Western U football player. Apparently, there wasn’t enough silver from that lining to keep his fridge full, so Ross took a job in construction management while plotting his path as a solo artist.
Ross refined some solo skills by entering music competitions (including the Magna Hoedown in Aurora, Ontario, and the Boots and Hearts Emerging Artists Showcase). Thanks to some help from Aaron Goodvin, Josh began making trips to Nashville and moved there in 2019 – just as a tornado hit Music City. His creativity jacked up a notch by the Nashville vibe, he released his first single, “If You Were a Song”, followed by the EP “Do What You Love” in 2020.
Ross released “First Taste of Gone” in February 2022, followed by finishing in the top eight in SiriusXM’s “Top of the Country”. Soon came a recording and management deal with The Core Entertainment and Universal Music. Universal threw its promo power into “First Taste of Gone”, which propelled it to Top Five in the Canada Country chart, and Bam! – he was nominated for the Canadian Country Music Awards’ Rising Star category. July 2022 saw the soft release of “On a Different Night”, which slow-burned its way up the charts in September / October. As of the writing of this article, Josh Ross is the only country artist to occupy two positions on Billboard’s Emerging Canadian Artists chart, holding down #13 with “On a Different Night”, and “First Taste of Gone” at #23.
As for his CFL dreams, Josh actually played in the Grey Cup game this year – well, sort of. He, along with Tyler Hubbard and Jordan Davis, burned up the halftime show for the 109th Grey Cup in Regina, SK.
January of 2023 will see Josh on several US dates, followed by PEI’s Cavendish Beach Music Festival (July), Ontario’s Boots and Hearts Festival (August), and the Country Thunder festivals in Craven, SK (July), Camrose, AB (August) and Calgary, AB (August).
There’s a weird old show biz pre-gig good luck wish: “Break a leg.” With a hit career started by football injuries, Josh Ross seems to have converted that into a game winner.
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// by Matt Ersnaught //