Born in Baltimore, and raised in the Maryland suburbs, Josh Ward Taylor was brought up on the music from his parent’s generation. Early experiences of music from Dylan to Springsteen peaked Josh’s interest in the guitar at a young age. Since 2006, Josh Taylor has independently produced five albums. His most recent album, Carolina Trees (2012), had two tracks hand-scouted by Big House Publishing. Dubbed, “a songwriter’s songwriter” by Ishrat Ansari, owner of the legendary Greenwich Village music hot spot, Caffe Vivaldi, Josh Ward Taylor has a style that draws from traditional folk to modern blues elements. He continues to frequent the New York City music scene and has years of new music to come on the horizon.
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Chris Remmers: Why don’t you start off by telling me and the fans at home a little about where you are from. What attracted you to the music scene?
Josh Ward: I am originally from Maryland where I was born and raised. I think I may have been 22 years old when I moved to Georgia and played some music down there for a little while. I believe I was there for a year and a half or so. Then I decided to move up here to New York City where I have lived for the past ten years’ now. I started playing in the club and café circuit here so that’s pretty much a short synapses.
© Andrés Nieto Porras
CR: So, it seems like you’ve found a place to call home here in New York. After playing almost a decade worth of shows are there any that have stuck out to you along the way?
JW: Yeah, I would say there is a lot of places in New York I love to play. One place that stands out to me is the Rockwood Music Hall on the Lower East Side. It is a really cool venue there are three stages. One was an acoustic stage, it’s kind of a small room where you can get up close and personal with the crowd. Then they have a larger room with a balcony for bigger band stuff, and there’s an amazing room in the basement that’s called Stage 3. The whole venue is amazing. You can go in there any time of day and just see amazing talents. It’s just a different way to experience music than most venues.
CR: I have actually been there myself. It’s defiantly an incredible place to hang out and watch talented musicians up on stage, while at the same time being so close and interactive with the crowd. Has there ever been any shows you have played where the night life of the city was not on par with a shows energized atmosphere?
JW: Yeah, I love playing Rockwood Music Hall, because it’s sort of a scene in itself. The cool thing about that place is you play a gig and then there’s this back room which is more a bar where everyone goes to hang out after the shows. It’s just an awesome atmosphere. They have this large projector and you can see the set order for everyone that’s going to be up in the other rooms. People don’t leave after the show, it’s kind of a play and hang atmosphere.
CR: Yeah, I experience that there. So, in your opinion, how do you feel music and travel really fit best in your life?
JW: I always find, on a personal level for me, it affects my writing more than anything else. Whenever you travel to a new place that change of scenery is ripe for creativity and inspiration. Sometimes it’s tough when you’re not out on the road or traveling to pick up that guitar and get inspiration from being in the same room. Sometimes it’s just not the same. Whenever I’ve been on a trip somewhere I’m normally like, “Oh god, someone get me a guitar!” That’s when all these emotions and memories trigger my inspiration.
CR: So, it’s safe to say a good amount of your inspiration comes from traveling, and just looking out the window seeing different cultures and different scenery?
JW: Oh yeah, definitely. Whenever you’re on a train car or anything, there’s just something about moving from one place to the next when your thoughts are more fluid then when you’re sitting still or in the same place. It forces you to enjoy the process of traveling no matter how you’re getting there.
CR: Of course! Now, when you’re getting to a destination for the first time, what are some of the things you look to do first? Are you a hotel hanger or do you like to go out and explore the area you’re staying in?
JW: Of course it’s always nice to have a hotel even if it’s to just drop off all your things. Then, yeah, I like to just go explore. Actually some of my favorite travel experiences has been just random exploration of the different places I have been in. So, off the beaten path is really the most exciting way to explore a new place.
© SF Brit
CR: Just getting lost in a destination. So, to wrap this up, where is your next big trip and what is it for?
JW: I have been mulling this around in my head. My last big trip was last august in Israel. We rented a car and drove from the northernmost tip to the southernmost point. I really want to do something abroad. One place I always thought about was to visit Bora Bora. Anytime I’ve seen friends go there it looks like you’re on another planet, but that would be more of a relaxing trip. I’ve also thought about Switzerland as well, even though they are on the opposite side of the spectrum. So, I guess we’ll see what’s in store for the upcoming year.
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