Joshua Hedley Is Awful at ‘Normal’ Jobs in New Video, ‘Broke Again’ [Exclusive Premiere]
"I'm terrible at 'normal' jobs. I made Jack Greene wait an hour for a cheeseburger once because I don't know what I'm doing."
Joshua Hedley laughs as he thinks back on the years of trying to pay the bills with what he considers normal jobs. "I'm awful at all of it," he tells Taste of Country, "except music. It's the only thing I'm good at."
Hedley's experiences have become a reality for the world to witness in his latest music video for "Broke Again," the second single released from his upcoming sophomore LP, Neon Blue. The video is premiering exclusively with Taste of Country today, March 28.
"I have a lot of stupid ideas and one of them just happened to be shooting this music video completely in front of a green screen," Hedley says of "Broke Again." "But no matter how stupid, it was a lot of fun to make. It was a blast."
"Broke Again" was directed by Hedley's friend and frequent music video collaborator Travis Nicholson. As fans immerse themselves in Hedley's hilarious vision, it won't take them long to hear "Broke Again" and get a sense of the overall direction for Neon Blue.
While Hedley's debut, Mr. Jukebox, explored the sounds of true classic country music, Neon Blue is all about the '90s.
"That's what was on the radio when I was a kid," he explains. "The majority of my country music intake, at that point, was from the radio. Remember, this was before the internet. I was a radio kid listening to a lot of Mark Chesnutt and Daryle Singletary and Joe Diffie and folks like that."
Hedley admits he never even thought he'd hit a point on his journey as a musician where he had the chance to make one record, let alone two. Perhaps even more shocking to Hedley is the fact that with Neon Blue's release on April 22, he will have worked with two significant Nashville-based labels in the alternative country scene: First, Third Man Records and now, New West Records.
"Most labels aren't going to touch people like me," he says with no ounce of regret. "It's great that folks like us — Margo Price and Nikki Lane and so many others — folks who make off-the-beaten-path kind of music, that we have some places that are willing to take the chance even though we might not sell a hundred bajillion copies of an album."
Chatting with Hedley, it's clear he's never concerned himself with that kind of commercial notoriety or success and he remains grateful for people actually wanting to listen to the music he creates.
Though, he does admit that Mr. Jukebox wasn't exactly for other people.
"I made that one of myself," Hedley says. "But with Neon Blue, I wanted to make a record that other people would enjoy. It's hitting the nostalgia button for me, so I'm hoping it'll make a lot of people feel good. I want this to be a party record."
Whether it's cutting a record with the golden sounds of '90s country radio or shooting a music video completely in front of a green screen, Hedley wants to keep trying new things, even when it comes to the vinyl release of Neon Blue.
"We were talking about doing a Tennessee or Nashville exclusive vinyl variant, and I wanted to tip the cap to Robert's Western World," Hedley says. "Initially we thought about a red vinyl and calling it 'Robert's Red.'"
Eventually, though, Hedley and the label both suggested a slightly different color in tribute to everyone's favorite late-night sandwich from Robert's: Fried Bologna Pink.
Hedley is confident Neon Blue will have a little something for every listener. "Records are expensive to make," he says, "and I don’t have any money. So far, though, everybody seems to be enjoying Neon Blue, and I can't wait to get the whole album out."
Hedley pauses for a moment as he thinks about the release of his second LP as a country artist.
"There are a lot of folks just as good as me — a lot of people making great music — that don’t get to make records. I’m definitely very, very blessed and very, very happy."