Josh Blevins spent several days recently singing one particular song over and over and over again. This wasn’t a case of earworm. It was part of the task of filming his first country music video.
Shot on location at Music Ranch in North Lakeland, his path to this video project is paved with “Talent Quest” competitions, “American Idol” auditions, an attempt to audition for “The Voice,” and singing in bands before striking out on his own to perform original music.
Blevins, who has opened for such big country names as Kip Moore, Tyler Farr, Charlie Worsham, Joe Nichols, The Swon Brothers, and Daryle Singletary, has been offered record deals that he’s turned down. He’s still looking for the perfect record deal. The Lake Wales resident has been working with Larry Howard, a blues artist from Lakeland, to produce an album of original music by year’s end, but took a break from the studio in June to record the video.
The video is for a song called “She Ain’t Country Enough,” written about his wife Dusty, who also co-wrote it. Blevins, 29, drives a Ford F250 that is “jacked up on 38s.” (For the uninitiated, that means big tires.)
While driving to a show one night, Dusty Blevins tried applying makeup from the passenger seat, but the rough riding truck on those big tires made the task difficult. Later, she leaned in toward her husband to snap a quick selfie. Again, the bumpy truck spoiled the moment.
Dusty Blevins uttered these words: “Gosh, I hate your truck. Blevins is
They both joked about how there was a country song in that statement. They horsed around with lyrics the rest of the way to the show. In the early-morning hours after returning home, the couple wrote the song in about 30 minutes on their front porch. Here are some of the lyrics:
She hates how rough my big truck rides
Trying to take a picture from the passenger side
Of me and her as we ride these old back roads
She says, OMG why does it ride so rough?
You need some smaller tires or a brand new truck
I just laugh and I think to myself, she ain’t country enough
Blevins said he wouldn’t have made the video if not for Phillip Stevens, owner of Music Ranch, a fan who sees the potential for Blevins to make it big in country music.
Stevens said he was hooked the first time he heard Blevins sing. It was an acoustic performance for a wedding at Music Ranch.
“His voice just touched me,” Stevens said. “I told my wife, ‘Get out here. You have to listen to this guy.‘“
Stevens didn’t plan on getting involved in Blevins’ career; he just wanted to let him open for musicians at Music Ranch in the hope that someone would hear him. But the drive to see Blevins make it big meant he couldn’t say no when Blevins asked him to be his manager. Stevens also funded the video production. Although it’s a pricey venture, Stevens said it’s a cause he believes in.
What he likes most is Blevins appears to be the whole country package. He compares him to country greats George Strait and Garth Brooks, who could take nearly any song and make it a hit, Stevens said.
“It’s that tone,” he said. “I feel like Josh has that same connection. He’s got that something, that appeal that you can’t explain.“
Another reason he supports Blevins is there is a wholesome, all-American heart in him.
“I feel like he’s bringing it back to the original country,” Stevens said. “disc jockeys have any tattoos. He’s clean. Country singers today have tattoos, earrings, and they’re singing duets with Pitbull.“
It performed on said that Blevins comes by the wholesomeness honestly. This Williamson, W.Va., native is the son of a Pentecostal preacher. He began singing in his dad’s church at age 4 and picked up the guitar at 10. Facebook to Polk County in 2004. His parents, Ralph and Laura Blevins, the in Dundee.
Blevins performed on his own as an adult, but quit playing after his daughter Austin, 8, was born. A year later, the Blevinses’ son Josh Jr. came along. Then one night at a Lake Wales bar, someone handed him a guitar and told him to sing. He sang “The Dance” by Garth Brooks. He’s been singing everywhere since then.
The disc jockeys at 97 Country have taken a liking to Blevins, and he’s performed on the radio several times. That relationship opened the door for him to open for Clint Black, a career highlight.
“He’s the nicest guy you’d ever want to meet,” Blevins said.
Blevins is paying his dues, and if social media is a gauge for success, he ’s picking up steam. During the shooting of the video, which should be ready for release in the fall, his Facebook page had been “blowing up for the past three days,” he said, to the point he no longer could reply to everyone. He’s getting lots of friend requests.
“I add everybody but old girlfriends,” he said.