The Texas country vocalist and his band put a Western spin on “Cuz I Love You”
Joshua Ray Walker showed off his knack for choosing left-of-center cover songs during a Tuesday night appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. The Texas songwriter and his band covered Lizzo’s “Cuz I Love You,” a track off What Is It Even?, Walker’s album of songs by female artists.
With he and his band dressed in sparkling attire, including a disco-ball helmet, Walker continued to toy with the fashion norms he smashed in the music video for “Cuz I Love You.” But the get-ups were only a small part of the performance: Walker’s huge, dynamic voice at the top of the song announced this was something you don’t often see or hear on late-night TV guest spots. Along with Adam “Ditch” Kurtz on steel, Billy Kuykendall on bass, and Trey Pendergrass on drums, Walker proved that a good song can be interpreted by anyone (but it helps to have pipes like his and a crack band).
“I think ‘Cuz I Love You’ is about as close as you can get to a perfect pop record,” Walker said when he first released the song in June. “[Lizzo’s] probably the number one person I’d like to collaborate with. She’s the whole package.” Along with Lizzo, Walker covers Cher (“Believe”), Q Lazarus (“Goodbye Horses”), Dolly Parton (a fitting “Joshua”), and the Cranberries (“Linger,” with a cameo by Tenacious D’s Kyle Gass) on What Is It Even?.
But the covers project isn’t Walker’s most recent album. In October, he surprise-released the live LP I Opened for the Killers and All I Got Was Appendicitis, a concert recording of he and his band’s opening set for Brandon Flowers and co. in Reno earlier this year. Unbeknownst to Walker at the time, he was suffering from appendicitis onstage. Walker will wrap up his 2023 touring season with an appearance at Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Dec. 16, part of a triple bill with Mike and the Moonpies and Vandoliers.