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Josh Thompson is ready to party in DeKalb

Josh Thompson will headline the Corn Fest stage on Sept. 1.
Josh Thompson will headline the Corn Fest stage on Sept. 1.
DeKalb Corn Classic steps off Saturday

Josh Thompson may be a late bloomer, but he's ready to party at Corn Fest.

The country music singer/songwriter is scheduled to play the main stage from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1.

"Be ready to party. You won't find anybody sleeping at one of our shows," Thompson said in a recent phone interview.

"We like to keep the music moving and the tempo grooving. It's a roller coaster ride," he said.

Although he called from New York City, the Cedarburg, Wis. native said he gets to play a lot of venues close to home. "I see my family now more than when I moved to Nashville," he said.

Doing a lot of solo shows currently, Thompson said he will start a 54-date tour in November with Justin Moore and Randy Houser. "It's called the 'Off the Beaten Path' tour and we are playing a lot of places that are just that – off the beaten path," Thompson said.

Not a bad gig for a guy who didn't even pick up a guitar until he was 21.

"I really just wanted to learn to play to sing around campfires. I started learning, then I wrote a song and it got into my blood a little bit," he said. "I was writing and writing and started playing around the area and finally decided it was time to move to Nashville (in 2005).

"Yeah, I'm a very late bloomer, always have been," he said with a chuckle.

At 35, he already has written music with some well-known songwriters.

"I hear melodies in my head and I stockpile them. I always have an ear open for a great line, a great idea, a great concept."

With song titles like "Beer on the Table," "Cold Beer with your Name on It," "Way Out Here" and "Blame it on Waylone," it's clear that his music reflects his blue-collar roots. In fact, he said if he wasn't working in the entertainment industry, he probably would still be pouring concrete with his dad.

"This work is just as draining, but in a different way. There's a lot of travel and not much sleep some days," Thompson said.

He has spent those hours traveling with some of the biggest names in country music – Hank Williams Jr., Brad Paisley, Gary Allan, Dierks Bentley and Eric Church, to name just a few.

"I try to pull a little bit from everybody. I've been fortunate enough to get hooked up with a lot of people I really look up to. It's great to get out there and rub elbows with them."

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