There’s not a lot of room for pretentiousness in Lee County, North Carolina. In an area where brick manufacturing, cotton and tobacco reign supreme, there’s a feeling of “What you see is what you get.” That mentality extends to the mindset of Josh Phillips – a personality trait that caught the attention of independent powerhouse, Big Machine Records and is reflected on his debut EP, LEE COUNTY EP (THE ACOUSTIC SESSIONS).
“I grew up in a really small town where we didn’t have everything, but we had everything we needed,” says Josh.
His dad’s affinity for old school Rock and Country – from AC/DC, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers to Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings and Hank Williams Jr. – kickstarted Josh’s love of music during his formative years. Unknowingly, that would later shape his sound as a singer/songwriter.
Following years of singing in the church youth choir every Sunday and guitar lessons beginning at age five, his mom reluctantly allowed him to stop taking lessons. “It sounds crazy now, but I just didn’t want to play. At the time, I was more worried about baseball than anything else.”
A standout on his high school’s baseball team, Josh went on to play in college with hopes of following his grandfather’s path to play professionally. Yet, a meniscus injury would end his athletic pursuits. “I think God works in mysterious ways because having that taken from me was pretty bad, but then it turned into music and finding a new love in something that I loved even more than I could’ve ever loved baseball.”