Josh Grider won a contest to get this Live At Billy Bob's Texas recording. I'm not saying this as a bad thing. In the first ever LABBT Recording Contest, a deserving veteran of the Texas music scene received more votes, and a much deserved spot on the coveted Billy Bob's stage. And Grider delivered a really solid live performance that he, Billy Bob's, and the thousands of fans that voted for him can be proud of.

Those who know Josh Grider's music can listen to the LABBT recording and clearly see that this CD/DVD exposes his country side. Featuring several of his most popular songs, like "Here With Me", "Crazy Like You", and the live standard, "Dollar Tree", Grider brings all these songs onto the stage with a polished finish that rivals the studio versions. There's just enough crowd noise and "live sound" to make you realize you're listening to a concert. With the exception, of course, of the bonus studio cut of "Slow", a smooth, country love song that belongs on the radio.

What I'm saying is, the Billy Bob's CD/DVD is evidence that Josh Grider has a lot of talent, and doesn't need to rely on studio magic to make his songs sound great. His vocal deliver has a natural smoothness, not unlike Jason Boland, and the players that Josh takes with him on stage are "studio quality".

This wouldn't be a complete review without airing a grievance. I'm a little disappointed that Grider's song "Rock And Roll Tonight" isn't on this recording. Just sayin'.

The big Josh Grider fans already have this CD/DVD. They were probably at the show, and own everything else Josh has ever released. But this LABBT release is a great one for new fans who aren't familiar with his body of work to pick up and listen to. It's a quality recording that exposes Grider for the talented artist that he is, and can cause new fans to go back and revisit the old catalog.

It's important to not that Josh isn't a 17 year old talent contest winner who was polished up and thrown on the legendary Billy Bob's stage and told what to do. He's a damn good songwriter, a solid performer, and continues to grow and evolve as an artist. I've known Josh to be an excellent singer/songwriter with "outside the box" songs that found their way onto Texas music charts, despite the fact that they weren't necessarily the usual country, red dirt, Americana or southern rock that normally covers the charts from top to bottom. He's already in Nashville working on the next album, and I can't wait to see what direction the music and songs take Grider.

Here's a look at Josh Grider performing "Slow", from his Live At Billy Bob's Texas CD/DVD