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Josiah and the Bonnevilles finds his stride

Paradise Rock Club, Boston, March 26, 2024

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

Life hasn't exactly been all that easy for former American Idol contestant Josiah Leming. That was a long time ago for the person behind the non-existent band Josiah and the Bonnevilles, who was in town for a sold-out show as part of The Endurance Tour.

So were three record label deals that went nowhere not to mention substance abuse and mental health issues for Leming, an indie folk, singer/songwriter.

But thankfully life has changed quite a lot for Josiah because he was one upbeat, appreciative, utterly humble performer on his first headlining tour during this solo acoustic performance (he did play one song on keyboards). While the Bonnevilles did at one time exist as his backing band, Leming seems to be doing quite fine on his own.

Leming must have said at least three times how he was "never going to forget" the nigh with a big, wide grin. Not to mention making hand gestures, tapping his heart with his hand in appreciation of the support from the crowd numerous times.

Josiah could have come across to some as being super hokey and an "aw-shucks" kind of person, but that would be cutting him short. Way short.

The Tennessee native was able to weave his life story into song, often giving the songs context. Perhaps none stood out more for story and song than "Six Dollar Check." He related how he would still receive royalty checks from Warner, his former label. It's a humorous song with a bit of bite to it and a smile-inducing talking blues delivery.

He goes back to his roots with "Another Day at the Factory," a song about his stepfather, who he clearly loves, and how they both worked at the same blue collar job at the furniture factory.

The night was filled with true-to-life stories and songs, including about his late mother, who he adored.

For a change of pace, Leming did a solid three-song cover of Taylor Swift's "Anti Hero," Tyler Childer's unrecorded "Jersey Giant" (interestingly, this was the second night in a row that an artist covered the song. Sam Barber did on Monday night) and Justin Bieber's "Ghost."

About the only negative was that after every song, Leming retreated back a few steps to tune his guitar. While that could have been a concert killer, the crowd was patient with and supportive of Leming. He even jokingly acknowledged his issues at not being adept at tuning, saying eventually fans will say, "Oh my gosh. He's so fast."

After all, how you could give a guy grief on his birthday, no less? No wonder he was in a jovial mood.

A lot of artists say that life's lemons make for good songs. Leming certainly has done that. It may have taken a really long time get there, but with such a likable persona, which seemed entirely legit, and songs that struck a chord, Leming finally may have hit his stride. There's a reason that this is The Endurance Tour.

Josiah and the Bonnevilles Setlist Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA, USA 2024, The Endurance Tour

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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