Where are you from? Fargo, North Dakota, but currently based in Madison, Wisconsin. Though, I haven't spent more than a week there in the past year.
Who's in the band? When touring, it's typically just a solo show. However, I do hook up with other musicians occasionally in different regions if possible. Sometimes just a fiddler or additional guitar player, and at times an entire band. When I'm back home I have a five-piece band. Guitar, bass, drums, keys, and me on guitar as well.
How did you get started? I began performing with my father at the age of five in retirement homes, churches, and clubs. We played old time country and country gospel tunes... Johnny Cash, Staple Singers, The Carter Family. We released our first CD when I was aged nine and a second when I was 11. I picked up the guitar at ten and then began performing in coffee shops and then with bands when I was around 18.
How do you describe your music? I suppose Americana would best define my music though I hate to pigeonhole myself. I think the original intent of the Americana label was to say an influence of country, folk, rock'n'roll, and blues - that just becomes a bit long- winded. I'm not sure of a better definition so Americana will work just fine.
What does music mean to you? Oh my, that's a tough one. Not to sound corny, but I've heard music described as a universal language. Language barriers be damned, music always gets through.
Who has influenced you? Stephen Stills, Mark Knopfler, Kelly Joe Phelps, Eric Clapton, John Martyn, Waylon Jennings, James Taylor. The list could go on and on... I grew up with my parents playing everything from Merle Haggard to Neil Young, Led Zeppelin to Cat Stevens, and then later on Randy Travis, Don Williams, George Straight, Reba McEntire and Garth Brooks. In my teens I started listening to Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson. Not only did I listen to all of these people all the time, I learned as much of their material I possibly could.
Who are you listening to at the moment? The new Jason Isbell record, Southeastern.
It's amazing. John Fullbright, From The Ground Up, Mark Knopfler, Privateering, David Gray, Neko Case.
Where do you get your inspiration from? People, the news. I think there is inspiration everywhere. You can find it every day, in any place you take the time to look.
Tell us something about yourself the readers might be surprised to hear... At the moment I've been on tour for 15 months. Before coming to Europe at the beginning of September, I toured 38 states and drove 27,000 miles in a 1991 Toyota Previa. I was also in Europe for nine weeks prior to that. In the past 15 months I've played somewhere in the ballpark of 300 shows.
Josh Harty plays The GuitarBar in Sherwood Rise on Thursday, November 7. Admission is Pounds 4. More info: www.guitarbar.co.uk
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