Josh Farrow
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Josh Farrow

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | INDIE

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Americana Blues




"Single Premiere"

Singer-songwriter Josh Farrow didn’t flee his home state of Illinois to find Nashville — the Music City found him. After initially heading down to the South to pursue his future wife, the rising troubadour became immersed in all that Tennessee metropolis had to offer in terms of soul, folk, and blues. Nashville took him in as one of its own, and he was happy to become a part of the city’s long, rich musical tapestry.

Farrow pulled from Nashville’s sound for his forthcoming debut album, Trouble Walks With Me; he also had the help of some of the city’s local legends. Case in point: The McCrary Sisters, a gospel quartet that’s worked with the likes of Bob Dylan and Buddy Miller.

They lend their velvet backup vocals to LP highlight “I’ll Be Your Fool”, which sees Farrow able and willing to do whatever to please his loved one — even if that means getting a dose of heartache. Jaunty piano and whirring organ accompany him and the Sisters, a grooving arrangement that manages to evoke the present-day and blues forefathers of the past.

In a statement to Consequence of Sound, Farrow details how “I’ll Be Your Fool” came together:

“’I’ll Be Your Fool’ was written with my producer Dexter Green as a result of a long span of time where both of us were infatuated with the albums of Dr. John, Allen Toussaint and other New Orleans legends. We decided to try writing some songs that didn’t need any guitars on the tracks, that could be carried by the piano and organ alone, and the first one that came from the writing process was ‘I’ll Be Your Fool’. We wanted it to groove and we knew we needed some powerhouse backup singers on the song, and I was honored that The McCrary sisters were kind enough to come in and sing on the track. We didn’t write the song with a catchy single in mind, instead we ended up creating a track we both fell in love with and it became one of my favorites on the record.”

Trouble Walks With Me arrives on October 28th. Along with the Sisters, Ruby Amanfu, Elizabeth Cook, Chris Donohue and Brian Owings also appear as featured guests. - Consequence Of Sound

"Album Review"

Holy mackerel! I search hard for music like this and I all too seldom find it and yet there it was in my mailbox. Josh Farrow. Trouble Walks With Me. Nice cover, I thought, but the purple-hazed look in this guy's eyes had me wondering. Maybe too hip. Maybe not. Christ, I need a vacation. Who makes judgments like that? I'm turning into Dave Marsh, for chrissakes!

Surprise, surprise! The one-sheet (that sheet of paper which gives you the lowdown on the artist) was actually one sheet! Lately the PR firms have expanded their thinking making them two, three, or more sheets of promotional detritus. Truth be told I seldom read them anymore, fearful of the information bringing on real prejudice (think, “who are they trying to kid?” or “I could write sixteen paragraphs on what happened to this artist from Poughkeepsie” while paying no attention to the music). It is a tough world out there when it comes to promotion and it is not a job I would want. So when I slipped the disc into the player, I set myself in neutral mode and hoped for the best.

And I got it. Josh Farrow reaches back to the early days of the singer/songwriter, or at least the days they started recognizing them as such. I hear songs as songs written for a moment in time and presented with no pretension to anything else. One rocks, one rides a groove, one reaches to the depths. One after another, the songs of Trouble Walks With Me make their statements, much as did Elton John and James Taylor and Long John Baldry and so many others who became known for their abilities shaping music to the culture or even shaping a bit of culture itself. You won't find anything heavy here unless you deem the structure of a really really good song heavy. You won't be digging deep into any genres either, though there are influences. Chances are, you won't even notice anything but the music and how easily it washes over you. This guy is good. This guy knows how to write. And his voice is as pleasant as they come. Here is a live version of "Before You Leave," one track from the album. Imagine it with a soft, smooth country-ish background and a female background vocal smooth as a baby's skin and you're close to the studio version. The lady's name is Melissa Mathes, by the way, and the song is a heartbreaker.

Farrow is hardly all ballads and smooth rock. He strikes a groove on some songs and rocks a bit on a couple of others. Whatever he does, though, he does well enough that he might well be one of those artists headlining festivals he has only been visiting up to now. In case you haven't noticed, I seldom write about artists who have a real following. I have a feeling that this may be my only chance to write about Farrow.

And this is a track on the album which evidently was also on an earlier EP, though it may be a different version.

Be kind. Buy this album. I don't think Farrow would last five minutes slinging hash or carrying hod. But when he picks up a guitar and starts to sing..... - No Depression

"Feature Print Story"

On a crisp November day in Chicago eight years ago, Josh Farrow packed up everything he owned, stuffed it into a backpack, picked up his guitar case, and bought a one-way ticket to Nashville.
But the singer-songwriter didn’t come to Tennessee to chase music.
“I was broke,” says the 29-year-old, whose dark, curly hair hovers just above his shoulders while he sits back relaxed on the couch in his Riverside Village home, Paul Simon’s Graceland humming quietly on the stereo. “I didn’t really move here to play music. I moved here because I met a girl. I was chasing her.”
Years later, music would enable the songwriter to share the stage with celebrated artists like Leon Russell, Butch Walker, and Shawn Colvin. Music would also provide him an opportunity to perform high up in the hills of Wilkesboro, N.C., at MerleFest and feel the sea breeze while playing the main stage of Hangout Festival on the beaches of Gulf Shores, Ala. In 2014, his music found an even wider reach when his song “Before You Leave” was featured on the television series Nashville.
But according to Farrow, all of that was just a “happy accident.” In 2008, his eyes weren’t set on playing main stages with prolific artists or getting airplay on television dramas. Instead, they were set on a peppy brunette from White House, Tenn., named Brittney.
“We met on Cinco de Mayo,” Brittney, now Farrow’s wife, recalls. “I went to Daytona with some friends ... and we were just trying to find some cute boys and there was no one. Then he walked by, and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, he is so cute, I need to talk to him.’ ”
With the help of a drink or two, she broke the ice and the two hit it off. But there was a problem: Farrow and his traveling companion would be heading back to Illinois the next day.
Of course, for every problem, there’s a solution. “We got them so drunk that they couldn’t drive back the next day, but I cried to him that night because I knew I was never going to see him again,” Brittney says. “But the next day I got a text from him, and ever since then it was constant communication. We would talk on the phone every day for hours.”
Their long-distance love bloomed through phone calls lasting well into the night and multiple eight-hour trips up and down Interstate 65 to see each other.
Farrow knew he had to be with her, and that was that. “I flew here with a guitar and my clothes and just moved in with her and figured it out,” he says. “That’s all I had. I didn’t have anything else. No money, no car, no job. It was crazy.”
As far as what was next for Farrow once he arrived in Music City, he only knew one thing was certain. “I knew that I didn’t want a job,” he says with a laugh. “But I didn’t ever think that I would move to Nashville to become a full-time musician. I just didn’t have it in my mind.” Living in Murfreesboro while Brittney finished up school at Middle Tennessee State University, the couple kept finding themselves drawn to East Nashville. They would head to the East Side for shows at The 5 Spot and drinks at 3 Crow. For the Farrows, the neighborhood’s spirit of collaboration, creativity, and community were magnetic.
After Brittney graduated, the two found a three-bedroom rental off Gallatin Avenue on Mansfield Street.
“It was awesome,” Farrow says. “We had a great time on Mansfield. Allen Thompson, Patrick Sweany, guys from Apache Relay all lived on the same street. There were a whole bunch of artists on that block. Even though I had a bullet hole in my wall, nobody wanted to leave.”
Not long after the couple settled into their new home, Farrow started picking up shifts at Five Points Pizza, which is where he can still be found on just about any given night throughout the week. He’s the guy behind the bar, slinging prosciutto and basil slices, pouring Czann’s Blondes while wearing an Alkaline Trio or The Lawrence Arms T-shirt — an ode to the punk music he grew up on.
His debut album, Trouble Walks With Me, is the epitome of that evolution. It’s the culmination of four years’ worth of work meticulously poured into 10 tracks. When an artist puts four years of work into an album it becomes a journey — one you catch a glimpse of in Farrow’s eyes when he talks about
the record.
“It kind of all came from very dark, Southern gothic imagery and religious undertones that all stem from figuring out what I’m doing, and not being comfortable with everything that’s going on in the world,” Farrow says. “It’s realizing how hard this is, and feeling like I’m not good enough.”
The dark and at times haunting sound of the album was born in producer Dexter Green’s basement studio in Inglewood. Green’s impressive production work includes recordings by Derek Hoke, Elizabeth Cook, and Collective Soul, among others. Despite the complexities of recording an album independently over the course of four years, the relationship between Green and Farrow began on a simple note.
“It was all about pizza,” Green says and laughs. “My buddy Patrick Keeler from The Raconteurs and I would go down to get a slice at Five Points, and I just always liked (Farrow’s) vibe. He came over initially, and we put together a little 45 with ‘Worryin’ Kind’ and ‘Devil Don’t You Fool Me,’ and that’s where it all really started.”
Not only did Green and Farrow hit it off from the beginning, but the two also became neighbors, which made impromptu writing and recording sessions convenient —
and abundant.
“He lived on Rosebank and Solon, and I bought the house a few doors down,” Farrow says. “Depending on what time of day it was, I would walk over there with either coffee or whiskey in a cup and go record.”
It didn’t matter what day of the week it was or what hour of the night; whenever one of them got an idea, Farrow would stroll down the street and get together with Green and write. The sound and the journey were beginning to take shape.
“We just started writing together and sort of pieced together the record doing it that way,” Green says. “We probably composed it over nine months. It was cool because we were able to explore a new direction for him.”
At the time, it was still the early stages of developing a sound for Trouble Walks With Me, which was an exercise that also allowed Farrow to develop his sound. Two years into the writing and recording process, both Green and Farrow looked south for inspiration and began drawing influences from the sounds of New Orleans — specifically the music of Allen Toussaint. Toussaint’s work inspired Farrow to ditch the electric guitar on some of the album’s tracks and hone in on keys and vocals instead.
The end result can immediately be felt on the album’s opening track, “I’ll Be Your Fool.” Poppy keys accompanied by a grooving bass line and snug drumbeat chug their way throughout the track without so much as a hint of guitar to hold the song’s hand.
“Electric guitar is a funny thing. I’m way into vocals, and a lot of people tend to insert guitar because that’s what you’re supposed to do. But electric guitar can really compete with the vocals if you’re not careful,” Green says.
Tossing out the guitar on some of the tracks didn’t come without certain challenges, however. “We went through a lot of issues of making the keys sound right, because if we weren’t going to have any guitar in those songs then the keys had to sound right,” Farrow says.
As it turns out, the right sound came with help from The McCrary Sisters and an organ player from Memphis named Ralph Lofton, who blended their own soulful flavors into the album. These were the last ingredients Farrow says he needed to create the sound he was seeking.
“After we brought The McCrary Sisters in, it really changed the vibe of some of the songs to become the gospel-ly, New Orleans sound we were looking for, and what pieced it all together was finding Ralph Lofton,” Farrow says. “He’s just a badass organ player from Memphis. He was exactly what we needed.”
Once Lofton laid down his Hammond B3 organ, and The McCrary Sisters showered background vocals on tracks like “I’ll Be Your Fool” and “Wash Me In The Well,” the album’s sound tightened up, Green says. “I like to let the song tell me what to do and some of those songs needed The McCrary Sisters,” he explains. “And Ralph Lofton, he’s the glue, man.”
After four years, everything finally seemed to stick while wrapping up those last two tracks. But for Farrow, the hard work of getting those tracks into people’s ears is only just beginning. With an album release date set for Oct. 28, Farrow has been busy being a one-man band when it comes to marketing his new record.
From the album’s art direction, to his website design, to flyers hanging around town promoting his shows at The Basement East and The 5 Spot, Farrow has funded and created every detail of his music and work independently. He’s put in long hours both in the studio and behind a computer screen — and damn near wore holes in his shoes working behind the bar at Five Points Pizza — to make it all happen.
“Every little skill that you need to have in the music industry, I’ve had to figure it out all while writing an album and working full-time,” he says.
But the work is starting to pay off. Farrow was tapped for a performance at Lightning 100’s Live on The Green. He also has interviews lined up, radio airplay on Lighting 100, and a pair of singles ready to be released. In addition, he was a finalist in the folk category for The John Lennon Songwriting Contest.
It’s been a quite a journey since Farrow showed up in Nashville eight years ago with nothing except a backpack and a guitar, and he seems to be poised on the brink of a
new one.
“I think that Josh’s music has that cinematic tone,” Green says. “To sit back and hear that album come to fruition was a real joy. I think he’s onto something.” - East Nashvillian Magazine

"Video Premiere"

Over the last year, Josh Farrow has been building up to the release of his debut LP Trouble Walks With Me. There's a swell R&B-tinged single "Who's Gonna Love You When I'm Gone" (with backing vocals by Ruby Amanfu!) making the rounds on the radio right now, but the title track is something quite different. Farrow invited an outstanding string trio over to his back yard for a special acoustic performance of "Trouble Walks With Me," while local filmmaker Joshua Shoemaker's camera floated among them like a disembodied spirit. Today, we're very pleased to premiere the resulting clip.

“It’s a very dark song lyrically, and I really wanted to do a version of it with just the acoustic guitar and a string section," says Farrow. "Joshua Shoemaker took that dark tone of the song and put it to some really great and unique visuals. Joshua has this naturally different way of thinking when it comes to shooting and creativity, and he’s really into making 'anti-music videos,' or projects that don’t fit the same mold a lot of artists keep regurgitating when it comes to video content."

"Playing with a string section is somewhat of a new found love of mine, and I’ve been doing it for a little while now when I can. Larissa Maestro, Kristin Weber and Eleonore Denig came over to my backyard when it came time to shoot and started playing this beautiful arrangement for the song. It turned out beautiful, simple and haunting, and it’s a different take on a tune that I’ve been used to playing a certain way for a long time now."

Trouble Walks With Me is out Oct. 28, but you can catch Farrow in person this Friday, when he plays the 615 Stage at 5:30 p.m. as part of Live on the Green's season finale — read more about the fest from contributor Edd Hurt. - Nashville Scene

"Single Premiere"

Josh Farrow‘s “Who’s Gonna Love You When I’m Gone” carries itself with an aura of impermeable coolness, suave organ and killer bassline as smooth as silk. Its looseness belies the expert skill of the musicians behind it, a relaxed piece which achieves that laxness through a tight arrangement and a band which gels incredibly well. Farrow’s cocksure drawl is accentuated by the world-class vocals of Ruby Amanfu—if there’s anything wrong with this song, it’s that she’s relegated to backup vocals, but even those she kills. This one’s a good’un.

“I knew I wanted [the song] to swing and have a sort of ‘60s vibe to it, and after I described what I was hearing to bassist Chris Donohue and drummer Bryan Owings we recorded the bass and drums together in one take,” says Farrow. “The song just fell together in the most perfect way, with a looseness to the whole process that translated so well to the final track.”

Trouble Walks With Me is out October 28. - PopMatters

"Craig Havigurst's Music City Roots Review"

Now I’ve seen situations where young artists assemble big bands and come out a bit like a dude driving a car that’s too fast and complex for them. But Josh Farrow steered his six-piece like a grand prix pilot. This East Nashville cat offered a tribute to Levon Helm, and indeed the rest of his set suggested a deep passion for The Band and other rootsy, full-sounding bands of the 1970s. I think Farrow’s group really hit its stride on its second song, a shimmying go-go blues where Josh’s intriguing vocals opened up wide and powerful. In “Devil Don’t You Fool Me,” his superb new single, his voice began with almost feminine clarity and then cranked up to a roar, all while staying in perfect synch with the band’s creative stops and dynamics. Solid job all around. - Music City Roots


Still working on that hot first release.



Inspired as much by the New Orleans funk of Allen Touissant as the Chicago blues of his hometown, Josh Farrow puts a dark spin on American roots music with his full-length debut, Trouble Walks With Me, out October 28.

Written and recorded in Nashville, Trouble Walks With Me finds Farrow pulling triple-duty as lead singer, songwriter and ringleader. On his first full-length collection he ignores the rules of his new home — a Tennessee city ruled by cowboy-hatted country stars strumming acoustic guitars — and carves out his own sound, with the help of guests including Ruby Amafu, Elizabeth Cook, and the McCrary Sisters, to name a few.

"Before You Leave," a finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition, turns the traditional love song format on its head, while "Who's Gonna Love You When I'm Gone" — one of Trouble's two songs to be featured in the ABC TV show "Nashville" — offers groove and grit in equal doses. Also making an appearance on the album is Farrow's first single, "Devil Don't You Fool Me," which racked up more than 350,000 Spotify streams during its own release. Self-funded and independently released, Trouble Walks With Me finds Farrow — a festival favorite who has performed on the main stages at both Hangout and Merlefest — chasing down success on his own terms, bringing with him a sound that's smoky, soulful and signature.

Farrow — an Illinois-born kid who played punk rock music as a teenager – didn’t come to Nashville chasing a musical dream. Instead, he moved to Music City in his early 20s to chase after his future wife. He was soon immersed in Nashville’s Americana scene, an event seemingly willed by fate – he even met the project’s producer Dexter Green, at an East Nashville pizza shop. Over the course of a year, they pieced together the 10 songs that comprise Trouble Walks With Me, calling on local guests to lend their help in the recording studio.

The resulting album features swells of organ, bursts of piano, gospel overtones, layers of background harmonies and plenty of slow-boiling soul, creating a varied collection of blues songs and smooth ballads, but its story is bigger than the music itself - it's a portrait of a community working together, operating outside of the Nashville machine.    

Band Members