Gene Watson's Peers within the country music industry believe in the sheer talent of this unassuming man from east Texas, so much so that Gene is regarded by many of them as 'the singer's singer' - and rightly so!
All of Gene Watson's Peers, who were contacted by The Gene Watson Fan Site, during 2007, were most gracious with their time and words.
It is here, within this special part of The Gene Watson Fan Site, that you have an opportunity to read a quote from Josh Shilling, which he submitted to this site on Wednesday 21 February 2007.
Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say 'thank you' to Josh Shilling who has made a special contribution to a unique part of this online 'celebration of a Lone Star Hero'.
This quote was submitted on Wednesday 21 February 2007.
'I was first exposed to Gene's music by my family as a child.
Even then, I was mesmerised by the way he delivered and still does deliver a song.
I started playing in bands and covering songs by Gene in my early teens and, over the years, I have worked with numerous groups of musicians that looked up to Gene's work.
I can remember playing 'Farewell Party' behind Billy 'Crash' Craddock, and listening to him say every night, 'there are only a few real singers left in country music, and this song is by one of them'. He loved Gene's voice as much as anyone.
I've worked with Gene several times since, most recently at The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.
It is not surprising to me that I still get the same feeling that I got the first time I heard his voice.
I know that so many others agree with me when I say, Gene Watson is, and always will be, an icon of country music'.
Thank you, Josh Shilling, for your support of Gene Watson.
About Josh Shilling...
Josh Shilling is a native of Martinsville, Virginia where he was born on Tuesday 5 July 1983. When he was seven years old, Josh Shilling began playing the piano.
Josh Shilling started listening to 1950's style honky-tonk piano and realised at this young age that he had a keen ear and was able to easily play most songs within only minutes of practicing.
By the time he was ten years old, Josh Shilling began competing and winning in state-wide talent shows.
Shortly thereafter, Josh Shilling was influenced by a jazz/rock fusion style of playing and began performing as a professional pianist at the age of thirteen, sharing the stage with local variety bands in Martinsville.
Throughout high school, Josh Shilling honed his craft in bars and at local events including everything from weddings to high school events.
Josh Shilling spent most of his extra time working at writing new material and becoming fluent in nearly every style of music.
Josh Shilling's hard work paid off; he was called upon to work on select projects by various studios.
When he was awarded the First Annual Musicians Scholarship Fund, Josh Shilling used the money to record some of his original material.
In June 2001, Josh Shilling graduated from high school a year early in order to pursue playing full time.
Josh Shilling was hired to play with The Kings, a successful regional band from Roanoke, Virginia, when he was eighteen years old.
Josh Shilling began performing in large hotels and at corporate events on the east coast of the United States.
Josh Shilling added rhythm & blues to his ever growing repertoire of playing styles.
During his time with The Kings, Josh Shilling became known for his soulful vocals, influenced by artists such as Otis Ray Redding Junior (Tuesday 9 September 1941 - Sunday 10 December 1967) and Michael McDonald.
Shortly after starting with The Kings, Josh Shilling began playing showcases with national recording artist Cimmaron. Josh Shilling developed a classic country style of playing piano and his peers saw him as seasoned beyond his years.
Working with Cimmaron, Josh Shilling shared the stage with multiple national acts which eventually resulted in a job touring with Billy 'Crash' Craddock. While working with Billy 'Crash' Craddock, Josh Shilling was able to travel to Fan Fair in Nashville and performed in theatres and civic centres from Maine to Mississippi.
In Autumn 2005, Josh Shilling was involved with the Detroit-based group, Balancing Act.
During the Summer of 2006, Josh Shilling toured with The Embers, a band based out of Raleigh, North Carolina.
Starting in January 2007, Josh Shilling became the lead singer of the acoustic group Mountain Heart, as well as providing harmony vocals, and playing acoustic guitar, keyboards, piano and Hammond B3 organ.
Mountain Heart recorded Josh Shilling's 'Road That Never Ends' (co-written with Jim VanCleve) and included the track on 'Road That Never Ends: The Live Album' (Rural Rhythm Records, 2007); the album was recorded 'live' at The Ark in Ann Arbor, Missouri.
Mountain Heart recorded Josh Shilling's 'While the Getting's Good' (co-written with Jim VanCleve) and included the track on 'Road That Never Ends: The Live Album' (Rural Rhythm Records, 2007); the album was recorded 'live' at The Ark in Ann Arbor, Missouri.
Mountain Heart recorded Josh Shilling's 'Who's the Fool Now' and included the track on 'Road That Never Ends: The Live Album' (Rural Rhythm Records, 2007); the album was recorded 'live' at The Ark in Ann Arbor, Missouri.
Mountain Heart recorded Josh Shilling's 'It Works Both Ways' and included the track on 'Road That Never Ends: The Live Album' (Rural Rhythm Records, 2007); the album was recorded 'live' at The Ark in Ann Arbor, Missouri.
Gene Watson and Josh Shilling backstage at The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville on Friday 16 February 2007
On Tuesday 12 October 2012, Mountain Heart saw the release of 'That Just Happened' (MH Music Group, 2012), which included the following tracks:
'That Just Happened' (written by Josh Shilling and Jim VanCleve)
'Little Sadie' (Public Domain)
'Even if it Breaks My Heart' (written by Maribeth Derry and Tommy Lee James)
'Same Old Heartache' (written by Josh Shilling and Jon Weisberger)
'Just Get Up & Go' (written by Josh Shilling and Jon Weisberger)
'The Ride' (written by Garry Lee Genry and J.B. Detterline Junior)
'Whipping Post' (written by Gregg Allman)
Josh Shilling has opened shows for, or played with, a variety of country music artists, including Billy 'Crash' Craddock, Trace Atkins, Jack Greene (Tuesday 7 January 1930 - Thursday 15 March 2013), Jeannie Seely, Trick Pony, Gene Watson, Mel McDaniel (Sunday 6 September 1942 - Thursday 31 March 2011), Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, Shenandoah and Tommy Overstreet (Friday 10 September 1937 - Monday 2 November 2015).
Diamond Rio recorded Josh Shilling's 'I Made It' (co-written with Jimmy Olander and Michael Dulaney) and included the track on 'I Made It' (Rio Hit Records, 2015).
• Visit Josh Shilling's Official Site at joshshilling.com