Josh Joplin

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Josh Joplin
Born United States
Genres Alternative rock, folk
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, producer
Associated acts Josh Joplin Band
Josh Joplin Group
Website Official website

Josh Joplin is an American singer-songwriter.


Joplin was born in Washington, D.C., but grew up in the Conestoga Valley area of Pennsylvania until age 12, when his family relocated to Columbia, Maryland.

Joplin began guitar lessons with his math teacher, who promised a to give him the crucial credit he needed to pass the seventh grade if he could learn to play a song proficiently by the end of the year. His interest in guitar and music, especially folk music, outgrew his initial need for a passing grade. He spent the next couple of years traveling around the country, busking, taking odd jobs, and working in restaurants. It was while he was living in Denver for a short stint that he was given his first opportunity to perform in front of an attentive audience, opening for singer-songwriter Bill Staines at the Swallow Hill Folk Music Center.

In 1995, wanting to play with other people, Joplin was introduced to Geoff Melkonian, who played bass and viola, and Jason Buecker, who played drums. After playing a few shows together as Josh’s backing band, the three decided to continue to play together simply under the name Josh Joplin Band. They released an album later that year called Projector Head. The notes section on the back of the lyrics booklet inside the Projector Head CD says "recorded August '95 at Furies Studio Atlanta GA". The three toured tirelessly throughout the southern and northeastern U.S. In 1997, they released Boxing Nostalgic and later that same year added Allen Broyles to their lineup on organ and piano. Broyles appears on two tracks of Boxing Nostalgic.

In 1998, Shawn Mullins signed the quartet to his own SMG Label. He produced Useful Music and performed on many of the songs. Shortly after its release, Jason Buecker was replaced on drums by Ani Cordero, then Eric Taylor. Deb Davis was added on lead guitar and the band made a slight name change: Josh Joplin Group.

In 2000, Useful Music was picked up by Artemis Records. It was repackaged and re-released in 2001. Many songs were totally re-recorded. Producer Peter Collins created a remix to a ballad called I’ve Changed for radio, which ended up as an alternate version on the album, but the bulk of the transformation came from former member of the Talking Heads and producer Jerry Harrison, who re-recorded Matter, I’ve Changed, and an additional track called Camera One, which went on to become the first No. 1 hit on adult album alternative radio by an independent record label ever. The band made its television debut that year, appearing on the Late Show with David Letterman first, followed by Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn.

Joplin moved to New York City in 1998 but continued to tour and played with Josh Joplin Group. The band followed the success of "Useful Music" with "The Future That Was", recorded at Adam Schlesinger and James Iha’s studio Stratosphere and was produced by Rob Gal. Though it received much more critical acclaim, it had very little commercial success. Josh Joplin Group disbanded in December 2003.

In 2004, after being inspired by his then-neighbor Dan Zanes, Joplin began recording a solo record with the friends he grew up with as well as the math teacher who originally taught him guitar. On August 23, 2005, he released "Jaywalker" on Eleven Thirty Records.

In 2008, Joplin formed a new band with Garrison Starr called Among The Oak & Ash. Their self-titled debut album was released on June 16, 2009 on Verve Records.


Studio albums[edit]

External links[edit]