“Coming back home and having family and friends come out, and just being amongst Michiganders, is always a great thing for me,” Josh Gracin proclaims as he talks with Linda Lee, on-air personality at CBS Detroit station WYCD. He was back in Detroit to headline the Friday night showcase at the 30th anniversary WYCD Downtown Hoedown, and he took time out to talk backstage.

Though Josh plays sold out crowds wherever he goes, the Westland Michigan native says that being home is just a “different vibe, different feel and different energy.”

Definitely a different energy, as ‘Josh the prankster’ talks about a prank gone wrong (at least for the other guy) when the police showed up at his bus this past Thursday. His merchandise manager ended up in handcuffs, but what happened next is what sealed the deal. All we can tell you is that it had to do with Gracin, the back of the police cruiser, and a lot of skin showing. Listen to the full audio interview on WYCD to hear the whole story in all its, um, glory.

The moral is, as Josh tells it, “you can’t outdo a prankster.”

Josh Gracin backstage at Downtown Hoedown

Josh Gracin backstage at Downtown Hoedown (Kurt Wolff/CBS Local)

If you keep up with @joshgracin on Twitter, you most likely have noticed that he tweets a lot of song lyrics to his followers. Though it can be a double-edged sword, Josh explains why he does it, and of course it makes perfect sense.

“I noticed after being on American Idol, it’s a different dynamic for me. Artists that go through that, people go out and buy their albums and what not, and that’s the extent of it.” Josh believes that taking ownership is what keeps artists from “falling by the wayside” as many have done throughout the course of history.

By personally connecting with his fans through Twitter and Facebook, Josh feels that sense of ownership, although he admits that “I say things I shouldn’t sometimes.” The plus side is that by doing so, he gets a lot of feedback on people who are listening to and love his music.

Josh Gracin’s latest album, Redemption is available now, and unlike his first two albums, Josh wrote or co-wrote 15 of the tracks, which shows his ability to write material that comes from real life experiences.

The hard part is when a situation arises like the one that did this past week. Josh had exchanged tweets with a young lady, Bailey Eaddy, whom he describes as a “larger than life” character and “wise beyond her (15) years.” Tragically, however, she was killed last weekend in a car crash in South Carolina. “She touched a lot of people of all social backgrounds, didn’t matter, she was a friend to you,” says Josh.

Obviously moved by the young Bailey, Josh began writing a song for her family, in an effort to “help them heal.” There is a link to the video in his tweet.

Josh and his crew wearing blue in honor of Bailey’s memory. See The Tweet.

The 30th anniversary WYCD Downtown Hoedown took place this weekend (June 8-10) in downtown Detroit.

Nanci Haskin/99.5 WYCD

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