Joshua Fletcher
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Joshua Fletcher

Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Folk Americana

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Joshua Fletcher’s music grabs you in the gut and right as it is about to let go… It sways above you like a child on a swing under that tall willow tree. Free.

Music is an ever changing moment that we can all relate to especially through the eyes of such a songwriter that delivers these emotions for us.

Joshua Fletcher has been making music for a long time. It’s a long story, really. One that he doesn’t have time to type at the moment. So we caught up with him for a few questions….

What you need to know right now is that his new album, “Ready, Aim” was produced by Alex Dezen of the Damnwells and will be out February 11th, 2014 on, ‘In Music We Trust Records.’

1. Home is where your story begins, please tell us yours.

I was born in Macon, Georgia but raised just outside Atlanta in a town called Fayetteville. It was mentioned in “Gone with the Wind,” but that’s about the most interesting thing about it.

2. How do you define your musical style?

We’ll call it “indie-americana,” although when this new record arrives I’m going to have to figure out a new genre-nonspecific term to confuse people who ask me this question.

Joshua Fletcher 3

Photo Credit: Colleen O’Brien

3. Do you consider yourself first a singer or a song writer?

Definitely a songwriter.

4. When writing songs which comes first the lyrics or the melody?

Everyone’s favorite songwriting question. For me, it’s usually one piece that the songs can build around. It’s either a single lyric, a piece of the melody, or a guitar part. Sometimes it’s a song title, but that method usually results in a great song title with a not-great song attached to it.

5. Which lyrics are closest to your heart and please tell us the story behind them.

“We are the roses and the thorns

The nights and the mornings

We’re the eye, and we’re the storm

And we keep rolling.”

- Eye and the Storm

This is a song I actually wrote for my cousin’s wedding, which I struggled with for several reasons. For one, I had never been commissioned to write a song before, and beyond that I had certainly never been counted on to provide something new and meaningful for anyone’s wedding. After a few failed drafts I had basically given up when these words popped up in my head. To me, love is an all encompassing thing, and to find a person who can be with you through the storms as well as the calms is a difficult but incredibly important part of life. It came at a crossroads in my life when I didn’t know what in the world I was looking for, but for some reason I was called upon to pen something for a very important moment in someone else’s life. I think in order to do that well, you have to step outside yourself – which I think can become a catalyst for healing.

6. Your dream marquee would read:

“SOLD OUT.”

7. If you could do a duet with anyone who would it be?

I think the answer to that question is Jenny Lewis, even though the answer to that question is probably Kelly Clarkson.

8. What do you remember most about your first kiss?

Not much. I remember the who, when and where (mid slow-dance at a middle school dance), but I don’t remember the song that was playing. For effect, we’ll say it was K-Ci and JoJo’s “All My Life.”



9. Joshua is hosting a dinner party. What is on the menu?

Name 4 people on the guest list that would make it a truly memorable evening.

I’ve been getting pretty into cooking lately, so this is a difficult question because I have NO IDEA how to actually build a good menu. I’ve been wanting to try my hand at roasting a duck, so I’ll use this fictional dinner party as an excuse. I’d probably have some grilled asparagus and some sort of root vegetable. You have to have a salad at these things, and mine usually contain spinach, mushrooms, cucumbers, tomatoes and maybe some kind of toasted nut. I made some Sriracha-bacon deviled eggs from a recipe in Garden & Gun a while back, so I think I’d start with those.

As for the guest list, I think you try to stimulate good conversation with these types of things, so I’d try and invite some folks from different walks of life that I think are doing great things.

1. Tyler Lyle – singer/songwriter/philosopher/all around good dude who has been featured on THIS VERY SITE HERE

2. Sean Jones/Rorey Jones – actually two people, but I’m an artist so I’m supposed to make my own rules. Sean is an incredible visual artist and designer, Rorey works for Spotify in Sweden. Both are dear friends from long, long ago.

3. Tyler Battles – another dear friend from way too long ago as well as a lover of literature and songs, an author in his own right, and one of the most knowledgeable folks I know on a variety of topics (including, but not limited to: skateboarding, rap/hip hop, southern literature, menswear, etc)

4. Alex Dezen – currently one half of the Damnwells, one of my favorite songwriters of all time, producer of my upcoming record, and - Fresh Independence


I hear a lot of music, both major label-albums and releases a struggling band burned on their iMac. Most of it is OK. Some of it is decidedly not OK. Every once in a while, though, I get really lucky and hear something that I think is fantastic. This list is those albums from this year. One of the bands has been on my radar for over 10 years, and one of the bands has been together for 10 years and yet I only heard them this year. One of the albums isn’t even an album—it’s an EP—and one of them didn’t come out in 2011.

They’re all good, strong collections of songs, though, and they deserve to be heard. So, without further ado, here’s the list.

1. Joshua Fletcher | His & Hers EP (Great Southern Recordings)

I was hesitant at first about including this EP on my list because I had wanted to stick with albums full of goodness. However, after another listen to this five-song EP from Georgia native Joshua Fletcher, I knew I couldn’t leave it off. It is not only one of the best collections of songs I’ve heard this year, but is also one of the best collections of songs that I’ve heard in general. The first time I listened to it, the lead track “These Old Bones” made me cry, which is no small feat. The song—and the EP as a whole—is achingly beautiful and musically complex, and contains lyrics that manage to be both intelligent and witty without being overbearing. I’d almost classify it as folk but it’s darker than that. There’s a melancholy there that seeps into the songs, tingeing them with a delicious edge that seems to be lacking in much of the singer/songwriter genre. Fletcher has a new album tentatively planned for 2012, and if it’s anything like this EP, I can assure you I’ll be listening to it on heavy rotation.

2. Laura Jansen | Bells (Decca)

I get asked quite often who my favorite band is, and I generally refuse to pick one. However, I generally will concede that I tend to like men with guitars and women with pianos. This is true in the case of Laura Jansen. She and her piano skills have achieved more fame outside of the United States than in, but the woman deserves any amount of attention she gets after releasing her debut album Bells this year. It is, at turns, heartbreaking, hilarious, and downright mischievous. From her beautiful cover of Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody” (which she claims to have taken all of the rock out of), to trying to rebuild your life after a brutal breakup in “Single Girls,” to embracing the world as it is in the delightfully naughty “Wicked World,” she covers all the bases, and covers them well. She’s a talented songwriter who manages to impart both innocence and savvy into her songs, lending themselves to an album that might take you through a gamut of emotions—but you’ll enjoy the ride.

3. Blitzen Trapper | American Goldwing (Sub Pop)

Blitzen Trapper is the band on this list that has the longest uninterrupted existence, having formed in Portland, Ore., in 2000. The band, to me, has always sounded like the outdoors. The first album of theirs I owned was 2008’s Furr, which has some pretty vivid nature imagery in the lyrics, but it’s more than that. American Goldwing, Blitzen Trapper’s sixth album, has some of that same imagery, but there’s a captivating roughness there, as well, that lets the listener travel whatever roads lead singer and songwriter Eric Earley wants them to travel. That said, this album is more layered than previous efforts. Earley’s voice is growing and a few of the songs—notably, the track “Astronaut”—have an expansiveness to them that the band attempted on the last album, Destroyer of the Void, but get closer to the mark here. It’s not all glowing grandeur, however. Blitzen Trapper is a rock band, and they prove that on songs like the irresistible “Might Find it Cheap” and my favorite, “Love the Way You Walk Away.” Overall, as much as Furr and the other albums will always have a special place in my heart, American Goldwing is the best album Blitzen Trapper has put out to date—and I can only imagine they’ll just keep getting better.

4. Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers | Gift Horse (Vanguard)

Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers put out their sixth studio album, Gift Horse, this fall. They’ve had time since forming eight years ago to get used to each other and develop a rapport that is reflected in the album. From the opening track and first single, “Gravity,” to the closer, “Noelle, Noelle,” about Kellogg’s third daughter, the album hits on themes familiar to the band’s fans: family and heart and working your butt off to be where you know you’re supposed to be. There’s a respect for the past and hope for future in this album, wrapped up in a package of catchy hooks that manage to not come across as formulaic. When Kellogg sings on “Gravity” that he’s got soul—and that he’s a fighter—you can’t help but agree with both sentiments, as the album is aggressively optimistic. While I love their earlier releases, I can tell Gift Horse will be the one I - Playback: St. Louis


I used to spend substantial amounts of time making fun of my brother for liking country music. Too much time.

“Why does this guy think I want to hear about his pickup truck and how he felt while brushing his teeth? I’d rather listen to this other guy sing about watching Night Court!”

(sound of muffled, powerful punch)

A guy with influences such as mine has no room to talk about insightful and/or introspective lyrics. So I guess it was truly the music that turned me off (this includes vocal performance). I would have traded in slide guitar for zany electronics any day of the week. I am from Texas and you better believe I wanted to be that kid. I succeeded, and look at me now! But I’m leaving that douche behind for good. I like country music. Heck, I love country music. I did some checking, and apparently cowboys wear really tight pants, too. Must be a sign.

Joshua Fletcher And The Six-Shot Romance do it all right. Sweeping, lovelorn ballads (“Lonesome River”) mingle with southern rock foot-tappers (“Love Is A Loaded Weapon (Bring Your Own Chainsaw)”). Songs like “Pretty Monsters” and “Carolina Sunrise” may begin with airy despair, but poppy choruses and Fletcher's capable (and somewhat muffled) voice shine lights of hope throughout. Fletcher even calls on his inner Ryan Adams for “Machines,” an acoustic and sweetly narrated piece. With lyrics like, “We were meant to soar / One day we’ll fly,” the song is not as sad as it seems. Fletcher’s ability to construct fluid songs that embody tradition, while somehow wrangling in a self-professed hater of all things “classic” is quite remarkable.

“Feels Like Yesterday” does what its title claims. Simpler times, untouched landscapes and rural get-togethers come to life with bare, upbeat instrumentation and a refined drawl. Almost makes me feel like camping, or at least getting a bit of fresh air. Fletcher and his band work magnificently together and each song finds praiseworthy merits of its own. A Gentleman Doesn’t Kiss And Tell shouldn’t be missed by anyone with a love for acoustic guitar or honest songwriting. And if you’ve ever put a piece of wheat in your mouth, you have no choice but to give Joshua And The Six-Shot Romance a fair chance.
- AbsolutePunk.com


A couple weeks ago I jumped in the car and headed down south for a vacation and to check out the music scene in a couple cities along the way. I have to say that I was really impressed with the music happenings in Atlanta. What comes to mind to most when talking about music down in the ATL is hip hop. Well the city hasn’t limited itself to one genre of music any longer. There is an expanding indie scene and many outlets for musicians to get their music heard, one of them being Unplugged at the Park.

Piedmont Park is beautiful on it’s own. Located in midtown overlooking the downtown Atlanta skyline. The park is a buzz with many people, often with frisbees and dogs. It’s a very relaxing, peaceful, and fun environment. On the corner of the park sits a bar and restaurant called, Park Tavern. There’s plenty of seating and a small brewery inside the restaurant. Outside they have a large tent with a stage and many tables for seating. The menu features a variety of sushi and claims to have the best burgers in midtown. Every Sunday Park Tavern hosts a free concert with national touring acts and local bands. The event is in it’s 9th consecutive season and is sponsored by Miller, Bacardi and 99X. It’s a beyond brilliant idea and I have to wonder why every major city isn’t doing something similar. Chicago offers free concerts at Millennium Park but it largely features classical musicians. I think it would be a great idea for mid-size cities to embrace the Park Music series to support singer-songwriters.



The event runs through to the beginning of October. The calendar of artists is worth checking out, I am familiar with quite a few bands on the roster this year. I happened to catch Joshua Fletcher & the Six Shot Romance and was very pleased to discover this band. I knew upon arrival that I would like their music. One of the members was running through the parking lot while slipping a pair of toms shoes on his feet. A couple members had longer hair and the lead singer was super clean cut. They are an eclectic group that sparked my curiosity about how they all could have came together. Each of them were so unique and I think thats part of the reason I feel like this band is so special. I want to see them again because it wasn’t an easy task to take in all that they have to offer. The drummer was super cool and smooth, someone I would have loved to just sit in on a jam session with. Joshua Fletcher had skinny jeans on that were rolled and combined with cowboy boots. He played his guitar and harmonica with so much emotion, and pretty flawlessly I might add. The bass player was quirky and seemed content in his own world, but still connected. I couldn’t help but appreciate their style. I did a quick listen of their ep after the show and it doesn’t quite do the band justice. The beauty of their sound is perfectly captured through their live performance, with each instrument blending and layering extremely naturally.

Honestly, one of the best events I’ve been to in awhile. Great food and music while being in a beautiful park, it’s the perfect combination. You can’t go wrong, there is something to offer everyone. I recommend that if you are in the Atlanta area check it out at least once. And if you know of any events going on in your city similar to Unplugged at the Park, comment or tweet me the info (@MusicITZLife). - StyleBust.com


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Joshua Fletcher first made his mark on the Atlanta music scene when he was just 15 years old, and has only been picking up speed in the decade since. He’s played his country-inspired rock fare from his debut album A Gentleman Doesn’t Kiss and Tell and follow-up His and Hers EP all across America, sharing stages and marquees with Butch Walker, The Damnwells, Charlie Mars, Nicole Atkins, Ponderosa, and Mark Olson of the Jayhawks. Fletcher’s forthcoming album, “Ready, Aim,” which was produced by The Damnwells’ Alex Dezen, is a big step forward in the songwriter’s career. The album takes an already promising singer/songwriter and pairs him with a seasoned veteran with a strong knack for creating the perfect song.

The combination has already caught the ear of famed songwriter/producer/performer and local Atlanta superhero Butch Walker, who picked Joshua Fletcher to open for him on a recent sold out hometown show.

Tour dates are in the works for the end of 2013 and throughout 2014. Be on the lookout for Fletcher when he comes to your town

Band Members