Grafton’s Josh Briggs: An Evolving Musician
Monday, August 19, 2013
Flat Stanley and Popgun Picnic achieved moderate success, but soon the members of Picnic went their separate ways, Briggs leaving the world of performing all together for a bit, putting his musical aspirations temporarily to rest. Still, as he began to pursue a separate career in the restaurant business, he began to teach himself guitar, with strong encouragement from his wife.
"I started booking gigs in local bars playing cover songs on my acoustic. I had so much fun, I just kept going..." says Briggs.
An Evolving Love of Music
Briggs' love of music has evolved. He now takes an interest in the more "poppy" side of rock, focused largely on lyrics and driven by vocals. A listen will bring to mind modern alternative acoustic rock and blues, or perhaps a mix of John Mayer, Ray LaMontagne, and Jason Mraz with a pinch of Bob Marley.
"I have found that I really like a song that you can sing along to by the time you reach the 2nd chorus. So, I try to write songs like this and I try to cover songs like this as well," he remarks.
His writing process reflects this. He often begins with a simple phrase that he thinks could be become a good lyric. The rest of the lyrics and the guitar parts soon follow.
Though his style has changed, his love of music is still as strong as ever.
"I've always loved music," says the performer.
"With guitar, there is always something new to learn. A new door to open... I spent most of my life playing in structured bands that were very serious about getting the song "right" and making it sound just like the record or making sure to not miss any notes. But now, I try to find ways to make each song my own and I have a great group of friends that I play with that each add their own unique flare to the songs."
And, of course, musicians have a universal desire to witness people enjoying their music first hand, apart from the innate joy of playing.
"I love entertaining people and watching them have fun while I play. It is an awesome feeling to see an entire room of people tapping their feet and bobbing their heads while the band is playing!" he exclaims.
Ultimately he wants people to have fun and when listening to the lyrics, take a positive message from them even when he tackles serious subject matter.
Playing with Others
He does not do it all alone. In a band aptly named Josh Briggs and Friends, he is joined by "Bongo" Mike Sheehan on drums and percussion, Scott Sheehan on bass, and Marcus Jablonski on lead guitar.
"All three of these guys are just fantastic people and we have such a great time playing together... I'm really lucky," says Josh.
And Briggs is a very busy man. He's a musician by night, but a small business owner by day. He recently opened a new business in Grafton called "Wicked Twisted Pretzels." And he also runs guitar lessons for adults.
"We get together in local restaurants grab a glass of wine or a cold beer and learn how to play music," he says of the lessons.
As far as his own music goes, Briggs released a CD last year, mastered by Foster at Red 13 Media, and you can hear much of his original music on Reverbnation and Facebook. The band is also currently working on a new project.
"Each member is developing their own parts," he says of this current project.
"The plan is to continue this until we have 12 songs worked out and then go into the studio and do a live recording. I loved recording my last CD, but when I play most of the instruments and run the recording myself I feel like there is something lacking. I want to capture the live energy."
No matter what comes out of this process, it will surely be something worth listening and singing along to.
Look for Josh Briggs and Friends at bars, clubs and restaurants on the local music circuit. For more information on Josh Briggs find him on Facebook.
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