A small-town boy who discovered music when his dream of a career in sports faded out, Josh Phillips is a country singer and songwriter whose work blends a honky tonk spirit with rock & roll swagger. Hailing from Sanford, North Carolina, Phillips grew up in a working-class household and had a talent for baseball. He was being scouted by the Atlanta Braves organization while he was in high school, but during college Phillips suffered a knee injury that ruled out a career in the big leagues. He fell into a deep depression, but music became a lifeline for him, and in 2012 he learned to play guitar. Phillips quickly discovered he had a natural talent for writing songs, and he started playing out as often as possible. It wasn’t long before Phillips was touring regularly, playing club dates and festivals as well as opening for such stars as Cole Swindell, Tyler Farr, Chris Janson, and Sam Hunt. In 2015, Phillips moved from North Carolina to Nashville, Tennessee in hopes of advancing his career; the same year, he independently released a digital single, “What the Buzz Is All About,” as his following grew. In 2017, Phillips’ hard work and steady touring began to pay off; in June of that year, he signed a publishing deal with Warner/Chappell Music in association with Write or Die Music, as his original songs were recorded by Luke Combs (“Can I Get an Outlaw”) and Warren Stone (“Up in Smoke”). Three months later, in September 2017, Big Machine Records announced they had finalized a record deal with Phillips, and by the end of that month they released his five-song Lee County EP: The Acoustic Sessions.