It’s always good to hear new music from a (relatively) new singer, but when that new music is a song written by four respected Nashville songwriters – two veterans and two emerging stars – it’s certainly a newsworthy event. But here’s where it gets extra special for me. The creative team behind the song includes two long-time and much-loved friends of mine.

“World Gone Mad” is the new release from Black River Entertainment’s Josiah Siska. The song was produced by Black River’s Doug Johnson who co-wrote it with Dave Gibson, Walker Montgomery and Nick Sturms. Download/stream “World Gone Mad” here.

Doug Johnson

Hard to believe, but my friendship with both Doug and Dave goes back more than a quarter of a century!  Doug is probably best-known for the Randy Travis mega-hit, “Three Wooden Crosses” (co-written with Kim Williams) that became the CMA, ACM, CCMA and NSAI ‘Song of the Year,’ as well as Lee Brice’s “Love Like Crazy”, a Billboard Song of the Year. As a producer and A&R exec, he’s worked with a “who’s who” of country music talent from Clay Walker and Joe Diffie to Blake Shelton and Kelsea Ballerini.

Dave Gibson

Dave Gibson is another Music Row stalwart who has been a long-time friend of mine. His list (a long list) of writing credits includes songs for Confederate Railroad (“Daddy Never Was the Cadillac Kind”), Alabama (“Jukebox on My Mind”), Montgomery Gentry (“Lonely and Gone”) plus big cuts on Conway Twitty, Pam Tillis, Steve Wariner and more. Dave’s latest project is The Waterhole Bunch, a show that premiered on ROKU TV Worldwide in August that he describes as “puppets and humans making music and mayhem.”

Walker Montgomery

Joining Doug and Dave are two songwriting ‘stars on the rise’ Walker Montgomery and Nick Sturms. Kentucky-born Walker is the 20-year-old son of John Michael Montgomery (another great guy I have know for many a year) and has already embarked on his own recording career, including Simple Town, an EP produced by Colt Ford. 

Nick Sturms

Nick is on a rising trajectory too, having moved to Nashville from Texas in his teens to build a career as a singer and a songwriter. He has already performed in forty-eight of the fifty states.

With that kind of talent at the helm, “World Gone Mad” should be one heck of a song, and it is.  Here’s my personal take on the track.

“World Gone Mad” – Josiah Siska.

Reviewed by Preshias Harris

In a world that’s gone mad, it’s the little things in life that help to keep us sane. That’s the spirit behind “World Gone Mad” (Black River Entertainment), the new single from Josiah Siska.

It’s a warm, gentle ballad that starts out saying that it would be nice to have more money to buy a house and not worry about unpaid bills, but then Josiah tells the woman he loves:

For now it can wait, I’m content just to make it home to you

It’s enough that you know I’ve done all that I can do

I’ve got everything just knowing that you have a safe place to fall

In a world gone mad.

It’s a heartfelt sentiment that is timeless, but somehow seems particularly timely now in these troubled and uncertain days everywhere in the world. Josiah’s sure but gentle voice is perfectly suited to the lyrics that will touch the heart of the listener.  The song is a warm weave of hope and optimism that might remind you of John Denver’s vocal stylings.

“World Gone Mad” was written by award-winning hit-songwriter Doug Johnson, GRAMMY-Nominated songwriter Dave Gibson, Walker Montgomery and Nick Sturms, and produced by Doug Johnson and Sawyer Brown’s Mark Miller. It digitally available to stream and download here September 11, 2020.

Josiah was a popular contestant on the Farewell Season of American Idol, with his audition clip receiving over 6 million views on Facebook and YouTube, in addition to the millions of viewers who watched his performance live on TV. He recently signed a record and publishing deal with Black River Entertainment, and “World Gone Mad” is his debut single from the label.

Hailing from Gwinnette, Georgia, Josiah is a self-proclaimed “Rhinestone Redneck” whose voice blends the feel of classic country with the sound of today. He does full justice to the warm and comforting lyrics of “World Gone Mad”. Follow Josiah Siska on Facebook.

Preshias Harris  is a music journalist and music career development consultant with the emphasis on new and aspiring artists and songwriters. Her book, ‘The College of Songology 101: The Singer/Songwriter’s Need to Know Reference Handbook’ is available at   Follow her blog at

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