Joshua Ray Walker had us at “howdy.” Dallas’ own future country icon has kept us watching his unavoidable ascent since he first caught our ear with his signature honky-rock guitar in his band Ottoman Turks.
As a soloist, Walker’s voice was especially a gift in pandemic times that could only be best expressed by a yodeling country pain. The musician has been playing since he was 13, and his original releases were worth the endless wait. Walker's debut album Wish You Were Here was the winner of the Dallas Observer Music Award for Best Album (among other wins) in 2019, and his 2020 follow-up, Glad You Made It, was celebrated with a drive-thru release and worldwide press.
Well, slap our asses and call us Nostradamus because the rest of the world will finally see what we’ve been harping about for years when Walker makes his late-night debut next week.
On Tuesday, Walker announced that on Jan. 11 he will be appearing on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, which is filmed in New York City.
“I am elated to make my late-night television debut on The Tonight Show next week, and I’m extremely proud to represent my home town of Dallas, Texas,” Ray told us via text, adding that he’ll be performing one song, though he can’t say which. The guest of the night, he says, will be Marvel star Benedict Cumberbatch.
The singer last released the album See You Next Time, one of the best of 2021, in October through Dallas label State Fair Records. It included the fiddle-laden hometown ode “Dallas Lights” and soft-stringed ballads such as “Cowboy.”
Fallon is a stepping stone for North Texas artists. Before becoming a Grammy winner, Leon Bridges performed on the show in 2015. We're just saying the obvious.