Josh Pierce Group
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Josh Pierce Group

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The best kept secret in music


"Music Spotlight: Josh Pierce"

Only 25 years old, Memphis born singer/songwriter Josh Pierce is already expressing his tremendous musical talent around Augusta. His songs are easy to relate to and a perfect match for his smooth voice. Rasied on blues music, he acknowledges Stevie Ray Vaughn, Nirvana, and Eric Clapton as some who influenced him greatly.
Having already sung in various groups since he was 14, Pierce is currently with "The Josh Pierce Group". They recently played one of Pierce's favorite venues, Eddie's Attic in Atlanta.
Pierce's expressive lyrics are obviously straight from the heart. He writes about what he's experienced in his life, and he says he'll keep writing "as long as...I can pull something out of myself.....and affect myself."
One of Pierce's best songs is "When I'm Gone", a song he considers most autobiographical. Written soon after he moved to Augusta, it's about leaving many close friends and memories behind. "I remember we were unpacking," Pierce reminisces, "getting everthing straight,...[and I] just broke down." Anyone who has ever had to leave someone behind can relate to the sense of loneliness Pierce's rich voice conveys.
Another touching song is "Disease". It describes the limits and troubles mentally disabled people face, due to a chemical imbalance they do not deserve.
It's hard to dislike the sweet singer who seems to get along with everyone. His music is ideal when you want to relax, and it's centered on topics that everyone can relate to. He enjoys his music and hopes to rech everyone he can.
He advises new bands to "be willing to network" and always take constructive criticism - "there's always room for improvement."
Listen to Josh Pierce at his website and watch him perform at Border's on October 18th at 8 p.m., or at metro coffeehouse on October 21st. - Greenbrier Dispatches' Jasmine Mastrolia

"The Soul of Josh Pierce"

THE SOUL OF JOSH PIERCE!!-Stoney 11/01/03
Raised around the Memphis area, singer-songwriter JOSH PIERCE grew up on southern blues and jazz. Soaking in the sounds of the area before continuing his search in Louisiana, Josh's musical journey has brought him to the Augusta music scene. Since his arrival, Josh has been winning over lokal music fans and musicians with his soulful voice, catchy songs and genuine personality. We now introduce, JOSH PIERCE.
LL – You’re not only a new face on the Augusta music scene, but fairly new to the Augusta area period. Where were you before you came to Augusta?
JP –I was raised in and around the Memphis area……and afterward simply moved around in relation to my immediate family and school.
LL – So what was it that brought you to the Garden City?
JP –Sitting in my dorm room for two years at 2 or 3 in the morning not being able to put down my guitar… my friends just convinced me to head to the area. I didn’t think that I was ready for Atlanta so I began here. Thankfully too, because there’s some amazing things I’ve learned here.
LL – So what is your musical experience prior to relocating here?
JP –I began performing seriously when I was 12. Up until then I just wanted to do stupid shit during family reunions….like transforming into the Hulk when I was 8 during thanksgiving dinner. It was crazy, I ripped my shirt… mother killed me.
LL – Now you have a style that is a cross between rock, pop and blues with a very soulful voice. What influences and experiences have you ingested over the years to create your writing/performing style?
JP – Let me paint you a picture……I’m ten years old. My father, uncle, and I are making a trip to the liquor store and my folks are cranking Eric Clapton, BB King, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Bonnie Rait, Stevie Ray Vaughn, John Lee Hooker, Buddy Guy……just speeding and singing our lungs out. Well I think you get the picture. When I was fifteen I got into the Seattle scene just like all my friends were, but it definitely goes back to the blues……Memphis man!!!
LL- So now that you’ve had a chance to soak up some of the music scene here, what are your thoughts and opinions on our little scene?
JP –Good training ground. I definitely learned more here than anywhere else. Everybody enjoys doing what they do and they work hard at it.
LL – What particular artists/people, if any, have made an impression on you, good and/or bad?.
JP – I am The Big Mighty’s biggest fan……what I don’t understand is that some of Augusta’s venue’s will allow any unpolished, obnoxious noise into their place. But everybody’s got an opinion.
LL – So far what are your favorite/least favorite places to play in town?
JP - Easy question man, easy question……Somewhere in Augusta, good people but they don’t need to have live music, nobody there gives a shit.
LL – Any particular gig stand out over the rest so far?
JP - I had the pleasure of playing the Metro Coffeehouse not a week ago…..and it was an excellent experience…..everybody there is so friendly and cool…..and they feed you goldfish when you’re drunk…..that’s important(laugh).
LL – Getting back to the music, I understand you are working on a cd. Any specifics you can tell us about that?
JP – I sat down and tried to think of which musicians I would want to assist me…..and the lineup is great. Jason Scarborough from Redbelly on percussion, Johnny Watkins from The Big Mighty, and Tristin who I recently met at The Soul Bar…….excellent guitarist.
LL – So what are you plans to promote this upcoming release?
JP –Honestly, I’m hoping for a year tour…….but we’ll see. But fortunately the Cd release party is already booked at The Metro Coffeehouse February 13th……Friday the 13th!!!
LL - What type of song topics will listeners find on the cd?
JP – Stories of clowns and heartbreak, redemption and drunkeDness….and a rew serious tunes as well.
LL – Earlier in the year you won some competitions at Eddie’s Attic in Atlanta. Will you be venturing anymore outside of Augusta and if so, where?
JP – Well a good friend of mine pointed out to me that Augusta is centrally located. Atlanta, Athens, Columbia, Savannah are all nearby and I plan to hit all of these places as much as possible which will give me more time to live… that I can write.
LL-What is the first thing you want people to think when they hear your music?
JP –Honest………..and thankful for the opportunity.
LL- You’ve also been getting your music onto the web. How has that experience been?
JP – It’s strange to see my ugly mug with a .com behind it…..but what is stranger is the awesome support I’m received from people I don’t even know because of it.
LL – Do you find the web to be a useful tool for promoting an artist?
JP – Absolutely, nothing beats being able to grab a cup of coffee and get in front of the computer and search for the artist instead of never being able to see them unless they’re playing a show.
LL – Have you ever found any new artists that you really like using the internet?
JP –Matthew Kahler………he’s a badass, and Shawn Mullins. Nothing else comes to mind just yet……I’ll get back to you on that.
LL – So what does Josh Pierce do when he’s not writing or performing?
JP – He makes sure he spends time with family and friends……Josh Pierce likes to go to the movies by himself and take walk on the riverwalk…..He likes to have that “thinking time” but Josh is really addicted to having too much fun with his friends because it’s not that often that he can be a spectator nowadays. (laughs).
LL – Before I let you go, what can one expect at a live Josh Pierce show?
JP – An excited guy that is always trying to please…….if necessary I’ll get a five year old kid to sing for me instead or make a phone call to a friend while I’m onstage,……whatever keeps everyone laughing and listening……
LL – Cool! Thanks for kickin it with us!
JP – NO thank you………can I buy a candy bar now?? I really need some sugar……

- Stoney Cannon from Lokal Loudness

"Slices of the South"

Sometimes magic happens only when you quit trying.
Such was the case for Josh Pierce, frontman for the Augusta band the Josh Pierce Group. He had all but resigned himself to life as a solo act when a favor granted found him in a room with the musicians who would become the heartbeat of the group.
"The solo thing came along when I didn't have any other options," he said. "I was in town, looking for shows to play and looking for people to play with. I must have put up a million flyers with no takers."
Content to bide his time on the coffeehouse circuit, Mr. Pierce met Travis Petrea and Brian Allen, Augusta music veterans, after he agreed to lay down some guitar tracks on a solo project by Augusta musician John "Stoney" Cannon.
"I didn't even know them," he said. "I really didn't know anything about the local scene. But then one time, during some recording downtime, I started playing one of my songs, and Brian encouraged me to keep going. That's sort of how it started."
Filling out the ranks with violinist Henry Wynn Jr., the Josh Pierce Group has quickly become a favorite on the local bar scene. The band's sound, which incorporates elements of soul, rock and folk, is a loose, funky slicing up of Southern musical culture that is both original and accessible. Mr. Allen said the secret is in Mr. Pierce's innate understanding of how a song should be put together.
"The songs are so good," he said. "It's just solid, solid songwriting. The hooks are there, the melodies are there-it's just easy on the ears."
Still, Mr. Pierce acknowledges he has worries. He said he constantly feels the need to ensure that the other members of the band are still having fun. There also is the matter of the name, which was a knee-jerk decision made on stage one night.
"The explanation Travis gave, some time later, was that you don't want to have to start over. There are people out there who know me, know me as a solo act, so that recognition helps. In the end, though, the name doesn't really matter. Not as much as the experience." - Augusta Chronicle/ Writer: Steven Uhles: 706 823 3626

"Songwriter Finds Niche In Augusta"

This is our joke song,” Josh Pierce says, referring to “Bozo the Clown,” the song currently playing back through the studio monitors six feet in front of him.

Pierce and his band — drummer Brian Allen, bassist Travis Petrea and violinist/utility man Henry Wynn — are tightening the bolts of what will be their first record, capping off a week of patience-trying, exhaustingly long recording nights. They’re aiming at one week to get the album done, start to finish, and are just about on schedule, but hustle is quickly becoming the key word. I was expecting to walk into the mouth of awkwardness, the band in the middle of an escalating argument, possibly even fisticuffs.

Strangely enough, there sat Josh, maybe slightly focused on the playback of a certain recording, but otherwise completely content with the present state. It was as light a mood as you’ll see when a band is “on the clock” in a recording studio, and Pierce rarely broke from a hospitable grin the entire night.

Shortly after I arrived, Wynn and Allen returned to the studio. They’ve been back only a few minutes when Pierce begins itching for another vocal take on a recently recorded song.

“I think I can do it just a bit better,” he says.

Just as if he’s still chatting in the control room and without hesitation or preparation, Pierce perfectly refines the vocal element in question with a perfect take in the adjacent vocal closet. That’s when it hits me: This band is taking it far too easy in here to produce results this good. Maybe I missed it, but aren’t these guys supposed to be fighting over some trivial detail by now?

I’d learn, as the evening passed, that Pierce is having too much fun enjoying his current disposition to let the pressures of lofty goals get to him. He’s obviously never been happier playing music as with the group that now flanks him, and the positive feedback he’s continually getting is just gravy.

Pierce is a real troubadour’s troubadour. He’s played in bands too numerous to list without a ledger, and he’s moved throughout the Southeast too many times to chart without an atlas on hand. It was the compounding of these relocations that led Pierce to songwriting.

“Music keeps me sane,” says Pierce. “Because I moved around a lot, I didn’t have a lot of people to confide in, other than my mom, about this girl or this really bad situation or that really great situation.”

As he speaks, Pierce bellows out his words in a permeating, dynamic quasi-baritone, a voice that was part hereditary gift and part side effect of a private school upbringing. His father was a singer as well, and Pierce was in vocal training and choirs from age 10 until he graduated high school.

Pierce reneged on an agreement with his grandfather that stipulated he could use his electric guitar as long as he would learn to play it, but soon after, his grandfather passed away, and Pierce picked the instrument back up. He hasn’t put the axe down since, and after years of pinballing around various towns, he landed in Augusta.

Pierce met up with Allen and Petrea while working as a sideman on someone else’s album. When his creative restlessness eventually sent him searching for his own band mates, the choice was obvious, and Pierce’s ability to translate personal experiences into meaningful songs was automatic. It’s a skill that Pierce is still honing, and he certainly holds it in high regard.

“When I write something that gets an idea out of my head and makes people relate, it takes a long while to get to that point where you really express yourself that way,” says Pierce. “And I don’t want to lose that.”


Who: Josh Pierce Group, with Matthew Kahler
When: August 19, 9:30 p.m.
Where: Metro Coffeehouse

- Metro Spirit/ Andy Stokes / 706 738 1142


2001 - Josh Pierce "For The Good Sons"
Among other songs that have been back cataloged:
"I thought about you today"
2003 - Josh Pierce (Shameless Promotions limited release)
Solo versions of:
When I'm Gone
At Least I Can Dream
In The Breech
This Love
2004 Josh Pierce Group Selftitled EP:
In The Breech

"Disease" & "In The Breech" are being played on-air at 95rock in Augusta, GA during Homegrown Local Hour. You can visit 95rock at and click on the Homegrown link to find out how to request the Josh Pierce Group.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Songwriting in its purest form is the balance of telling a story without giving the audience anything superficial. Just as classical music in it’s honest approach with raw instrumentation and the delivery of substance to hungry ears can entice a listener to tears, so is the struggle of a good songwriter. Josh Pierce with all the winds of change that move him is a true student in this art. He was raised in the Memphis area and relied upon the fundamentals of blues and rock to teach him the sweet science that eludes so many, that delicate game of timing and talent.

He took a lot of direction from veterans of performance when moving to Shreveport, LA when he first began. “Opening yourself up to whatever you can learn is the most honest way to improve.” He says. Throughout several groups and partners in music Josh is ever evolving. Pouring his heart out onto paper, reflecting, and correcting as he grows, Josh is relentless in his need to find a place where his heart is heard.

After college and a small time with other groups, he began experimenting on the solo performance. Bridging that gap of a full rhythm section and the energy that comes from a large group of musicians into one wooden guitar and a voice. “Nothing is more challenging than bringing every scar and every smile into that live performance and infecting the people that support you with it.” He reflects.

As this journey continues his resolve is simply stronger than ever before. Living in the Augusta, GA area, he is poised to pave a road to Atlanta and build a place for his songwriting. We hope you’ll find Josh’s passion for perfection of his art that he weaves through his Tapestry of storytelling, to be as moving as the truth behind each note he delivers.