If you want to know the difference between folk music and Americana, it’s pretty simple – while all folk music qualifies as Americana, not everything Americana is folk music. While you play with that Rubik’s Cube, consider Josh Lovelace, a prosaic provider of Americana whose children’s works often drifts into the realm of folk music. But not all the time.
Josh’s new CD, Growing Up, paints a charming portrait of life in the southeast region of the country. The 12 songs grew organically from conversations with his wife and two children, through the course of their day-to-day interactions. Communication and bonding are prevalent themes on tracks like “You’ve Got Me and I’ve Got You” and “Forever My Friend.” Frances England makes a welcome appearance on the bright and sprightly “Butterfly.” Josh makes his agenda clear when he sings “Upside Down”:
One thing makes us all the same
Everyone deserves to feel love everyday
We all have sickness, we have pain
Everybody needs a little shelter from the rain
We all want to be protected, understood, and feel accepted
Love is free so let’s give it away
And together we can turn the whole world upside down.
“Hey It’s a Good Day” has a Jack Johnson/John Mayer vibe with a dash of Michael Franti thrown in. “Goodbyes Are the Hardest Thing To Do” may be about when Josh goes on the road and has to leave his family to perform. Or it might be about dropping kids at school. “Even if we’re miles apart, you’ve got a place here in my heart,” is the refrain over a George Harrison guitar chord. Ultimately, it comes down to the album closer, “You Are Loved,” which assures the listener, “You are enough… and you are loved.” Who doesn’t want to that simple comfort at the end of the day?
There are performers who want to make “good time music” and others who want to get kids to think. As a member of NEEDTOBREATHE, which originally came from the Christian rock movement, you could expect Josh to do some preaching. When those lessons do come, they’re more from the Fred Rogers school of laid-back Presbyterian values. It’s a “love thy neighbor” inclusion vibe. No one can accuse Josh of “pulling a Mike Pence/Fake christian” act. As long as Josh Lovelace forges ahead and his music evolves, it will be a pleasure to listen to him grow up.
Here is the video for the song, “More Time With You”: