Bringing a decade of playful, political, and philosophical songwriting to a young and energetic crowd, Joshua James Hunt and his newly formed trio performed their debut show last month at Larimer Lounge in Denver, CO. They incorporated songs from his latest two albums Just Let Go and Open The Door as a preview of the show they plan to take on the road. Backed by bassist Cody Duran and Kyle Gentile, it was the first time anyone has heard Joshua’s new music live with a full band, and it was received with fists raised, heads bobbing, and voices yelling.
Joshua’s musical style draws much of its inspiration from mainstream rock acts including Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Muse, and Lenny Kravitz, but he also confesses an appreciation for classical and traditional ethnic music, along with deep house, rap, reggae, and pop. You can hear those influences coming through in the reggae verses of Summertime Song, the rap breakdown in War Is Not The Answer, and in the precise, minimalist aesthetic of his recordings.
Joshua made it clear in his latest album Open The Door that he’s not afraid to take on sensitive if not outright controversial subjects in his lyrics. Check The Breaker and Ceasefire address suicide and domestic violence, while you’re A Citizen lays waste to western culture with a vengeance that will challenge even the most independent thinkers. War Is Not The Answer features a bridge in which Joshua leads the crowd in a pledge refusing to fund or participate in war.
But while we all enjoy chanting against war and having our cultural facade crushed before our eyes, Joshua shows us the silver lining with songs about life, love, and adventure. Many of these songs are found on the earlier of his two recent albums, Just Let Go. Inspired by romances with girls in Georgia and Southern California, songs like Cheyenne, Tell Me Girl, Last Night, and I Can’t Wait To See You reveal an optimistic, romantic, and playfully mischievous side of him that will leave you pleasantly surprised and perhaps subtly intrigued… Who are these girls?
Music captivated Joshua at age 11 when, out of many cousins, he was chosen to inherit his Papa Homer’s acoustic guitar and label maker. He took a few lessons, played in bands, wrote dozens of songs, and even recorded a few albums, but it wasn’t until his soul died with the engagement of an unrequited love interest that music became his primary focus. His arrival in Boulder in the midst of a cross-country open mic tour turned out to be providential, and the following year and a half produced two albums, a single, two music videos, and a new trio.
Joshua is currently pursuing opportunities to share his music and message with audiences around the country and, if he gets his way, the world. All four of his albums are available on his website as free mp3 downloads, and you can find him on Instagram, YouTube, SoundCloud, and Twitter.