Josiah Early Is Ready to Ramble on “Lordy, When I Die”


There’s something for everyone in “Lordy, When I Die,” the kind of song you’d hear in a folk festival finale. But actually it’s a new song by Josiah Early, an actor and musician who hails from Linville, Virginia, in the Shenandoah Valley. The subject matter is relatable to anyone with a spirit of wanderlust: go out and see the world before it’s too late.

“‘Lordy, When I Die’ was a weird one because it starts off as a folk tune, then you kind of move into bluegrass, and then you start into rock ‘n’ roll, and then by the end you’re kind of in gospel,” says Early, who might be recognizable from his role on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire.

“It’s all one big climb up a hill, and then you finally get to the glory,” adds keyboard player Doran Danoff. “At that point we take away all the instruments and it’s just the vocals. There’s something really powerful, almost church-like, about that moment.”

Early will perform at Rockwood Music Hall in New York City on Feb. 4 with more tour dates to be announced soon. MerleFest, are you listening? Telluride, are you tuned in? Hardly Strictly, can you dig it?

As for the rest of us, take a look at Josiah Early’s “Lordy, When I Die.”