‘The High‘ is an honest song that comes from having lived through the reality. Josh Merritt’s childhood was scarred by his mother’s and stepfather’s methamphetamine addiction. Not only as users – they fell into manufacturing and distribution. After several bleak years, Merritt and his brothers were taken away to be raised by their grandparents on a farm in the unincorporated community of Reynolds Station. So when Josh Merritt sings “hang the ‘phone up on your closest of kin / don’t give three damns if you see them again” he knows what he’s talking about.
‘The High’ leads out Josh Merritt’s new album ‘Reynolds Station‘. It’s a concept album that deals with rural drug addiction – so obviously it is autobiographical in places. Josh has said of the album “I’m not necessarily trying to impart any big lesson here, I’m just trying to tell people about what I’ve experienced, to share this album with people who have gone through the same thing so maybe they’ll be able to relate and find a connection to their own experience.”
‘Reynolds Station’ is Merritt’s first studio album, although he previously recorded a 2016 concert album ‘Live at Songhouse.’ Josh Merritt acknowledges that his years on the Southern music scene have their positives and negatives, but he highlights the positives: “Most of the people I knew and hung out with growing up were raised in families where drugs were the predominant factor. I did my share of experimenting along the way, but I was always looking for a way to escape that predicament. I’ve been sober for a year and a half now, so I wanted to bring light to this situation, and maybe give others some hope that things can turn out ok.”
Photo: Jacob Sommerville