Don’t expect country singer Josh Thompson to defy the most popular Wisconsin stereotypes.
His thoughts on cheese: “I am a very big fan of cheese curds.”
And beer? Thompson prefers “anything free and cold.”
The Cedarburg, Wisc., native will open for Jamey Johnson Friday at the Columbus Civic Center.
He’s known for his smash hit “Beer On The Table,” a tune that tells the story of a simple man working a hard job so he can, among other things, put beer on the table.
The song helped fans see Thompson as a representative for working-class America. That image reflects reality, the musician says.
He grew up with a blue-collar background that included pouring concrete with his father since young adulthood.
Amid the onset of fame, Thompson has retained some the simplicity that dominated the earlier parts of his life.
“I’ve never really been an Internet junkie,” he said in a recent phone interview.
He uses social networking site Twitter, but primarily because he can access it through his phone. And while high-tech, his official artist Web site doesn’t fall under the “holier than thou” category.
Exhibit A: The “Whack-A-Beer” game that lets users whack virtual cans of beer.
(Thompson didn’t design the game, but he does enjoy how it’s accompanied by a digital bobblehead version of himself.)
Even though Thompson is an emerging artist, his no-frills approach contributes to a return to “old-school” country. Johnson is also part of that musical movement.
Thompson praises artists who are bringing country music back to its traditional roots.
“I’m absolutely thrilled with where it’s headed,” Thompson said of the genre. “It’s good to see country fans yearn for that.”
Thompson’s Columbia Nashville debut will be released Feb. 23. Fans can pre-order the disc through Thompson’s Web site and receive a signed album booklet.
The musician doesn’t have too much anxiety about the album release.
“I try not to worry about it,” he said.
For now, his sights are set on Friday’s concert — a show he promises will entertain and energize his fans.
“You can expect it to be up-tempo and fast-paced,” Thompson said.