Joshua Popejoy never fails to capture the attention of an audience, whether he is playing solo, in an acoustic trio, or with his five-piece band. His music balances the difference between indie and mainstream, singer-songwriter and pop radio, to create a propulsive brand of melodic acoustic rock that has named him one of the "Best Local Songwriters in Philadelphia" by CBS.
Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Joshua grew up in a musical family. He began to learn how to play piano at a young age, and by high school he knew that he was supposed to make his living playing music. However, it wasn't the piano or the guitar that captured the bulk of his attention - it was the trombone, which became the concentration of his music performance degree in college.
Inspired by radio hits of Dave Matthews Band and Matchbox 20, as well as classic songs by Dylan, Young, and Cash, Joshua began playing guitar in college.
Equipped with his bachelor's degree and a burgeoning catalog of songs, Joshua made the move to Philadelphia in 2004, where he began to build his reputation as a confident, compelling performer. He combines the poise of his classical playing with the charm of a rock front-man to create a charasmatic on-stage persona. Calm and in-control on softer songs, on huge crescendos like typical set-closer "Surrendering" he seems as though he might shake loose from the stage.
With the addition of Cellist, Andrea Weber, began expanding his band. Andrea's widely varying style is perfectly in tune with Joshua's eclectic approach to guitar arrangements. In some instances she holds the low-end space of a rich, bowed bass, while in other places she is a lead guitarist, shredding through a killer solo. "I didn't want a cellist that just played long and pretty - I wanted one who could play lead lines and improvise. Andrea exceeded my every expectation."
In solo and duo situations, Joshua employs an innovative pedal board that combines distortion, wah pedals, and octave shifters with the ability to record loops - enabling him to craft a full band arrangement with just his guitar in less than a minute. A gimmick for other musicians, Joshua uses loops as an opportunity to explore the spaces in his songs, layering bass lines, percussive rhythms, guitar solos, and atmospheric sounds reminiscent of U2's Edge.
Joshua's music shatters the bland singer-songwriter mold. He's unafraid to inject an infectious pop hook or an infinitely repeatable chorus - as on "Just One Thing," the irresistible single from his EP. The pop in Joshua's music shines through due to the power of his soaring vocals and a signature guitar style that combines aerobic riffs and unusual chord voicings with ringing open strings.
It's the balance - between classical and modern, solo and band, rock and pop - that makes Joshua Popejoy Philadelphia's most radio-ready independent artist.
Played to Full Houses at: Tin Angel, Triumph Brewery, Milkboy Coffee, The Grape Room, The Manhattan Room, and many more
In-Studio Eagle's CBS Pregame Performance (2008)
Bethlehem's MusikFest - Main St Stage (2009)
LAUNCH Music Conference (2010)
In-Store GAP Performance (2010)
Named a "Best Local Songwriter in Philadelphia" by CBS (2010)
In-Store Best Buy Performance (2011)
Radio Play on 93.7 WSTW Hometown Heroes
Alternate for The Philadelphia Songwriter's Project songwriting competition (2011)
Bethlehem's MusikFest - Leiderplatz Stage (2011)
Downstairs (main stage) @ World Cafe Live (2012)
Joshua Popejoy - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Andrea Weber - Cello
Jeff Metcalf - Drums
John Glaubitz - Electric Guitar
Gene Orlando - Bass
Runway Lights (2008)
2. Just One Thing (streaming)
4. Till Then I'll Wait (streaming)
5. Unlike Me
6. I Find Myself at Ease
After The Ash (2010)
1. As I Stand
3. Paper Thin
4. Strip Yourself
5. Perfect Distraction
6. Tell Me Now
7. It's Your Silence (That is Killing Me)
8. After the Ash
Single - Till Then I'll Wait (Turtle Mix) (2011)
CBS - Best Local Songwriters
[+ Show ]
"Joshua Popejoy is a rare local artist whose songs translate from intimate coffee shop all the way t..."Joshua Popejoy is a rare local artist whose songs translate from intimate coffee shop all the way to main stage rock. His solo acoustic tunes fit in a playlist alongside Jason Mraz or Joshua Radin, but his muscular live band’s cello and saxophone add a Dave Matthews Band flavor to the same songs. While his aerobic guitar playing certainly draws from Dave, on the whole Joshua’s songs are more about catchy choruses than endless jams. Add to that his sometimes searing vocals and the closest comparison is probably Brandon Flowers of the Killers."
CBS - Joshua Popejoy Live at the Grape Room
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"With his classically trained poise and an edgy rock style, Joshua Popejoy is definitely one of the ..."With his classically trained poise and an edgy rock style, Joshua Popejoy is definitely one of the city’s most admirable local artists. He brings a style to the industry that is easily respected and that is conveyed through songs like “Just One Thing” and “Unlike Me”."
Philly Music Monday
[+ Show ]
"his music gets to a place that a jam mentality usually doesn’t touch. It’s personal. It can be succ..."his music gets to a place that a jam mentality usually doesn’t touch. It’s personal. It can be succinct. It’s cutting – sometimes scathing."
Summer Mixer Event Recap
[+ Show ]
Joshua Popejoy took the stage with a ritual pouring of a glass of Maker's Mark, leading into an on-t...Joshua Popejoy took the stage with a ritual pouring of a glass of Maker's Mark, leading into an on-the-spot commercial before segueing into the first song in his set of acoustic rock. His vocals evoke thoughts of David Gray or Dave Matthews, but his at-times virtuosic guitar-playing is all his own. Josh combines limber fretwork with droning open strings for a fully rounded sound, here augmented by drummer Jeff Metcalf.
Jeff's drumming brought a previously unheard level of sheer rock to Josh's deft guitar arrangements. His opening tunes exploded with energy, especially "Fake" - see-sawing from rock to nimble hoe-down.
Josh came equipped with his looping station and he used it expertly throughout his set to transform himself into a virtual ensemble. On “Just One Thing” this was in full effect, with Josh looping rhythm guitar, bass, and a series of lead guitar solos over a steady beat from Jeff.
Josh also possesses a terrific barometer for choosing covers an audience will recognize and enjoy. His set included a blistering refrain of Counting Crows' "Murder of One" on his own "Surrendering," as well as spot-on covers of Dave Matthews Band’s “#41” and Radiohead's "Karma Police."
Josh's set ended with a drained glass of Makers and a crowd of new fans eager to check out his recently released EP Runway Lights.
Joshua's setlists are populated by a mix of over 30 original songs, and augmented by a regular influx of pop and modern rock covers by Dave Matthews Band, Radiohead, The Killers, and even Britney Spears.
Sets are anchored by some of the songs from Joshua's 2008 EP *Runway Lights*, including single "Just One Thing," "Till Then I'll Wait," and scorching closer "Surrendering" with an extended refrain from the Counting Crows' "Murder of One."
Shows range in length from 45 minutes to three hours, regardless of band configuration. Joshua is also appropriate for in-the-round style sets with other acoustic songwriters.
Solsbury Hill (Peter Gabriel)
Trace the Lines
Just One Thing
#41 (Dave Matthews)
What's Keeping You Awake?
Till Then I'll Wait
...Baby One More Time (Britney Spears)
Fake Plastic Trees (Radiohead)
When You Were Young (The Killers)
Surrendering > A Murder of One (Counting Crows)
There are no upcoming dates at this time.