Listen to him play for a half minute, and you’ll know 32-year-old guitarist Josh Blackburn is not a novice. Listen to him for an hour, and you’ll wonder why he’s doing solo gigs, playing cover songs at the Baker Street Pub, instead of touring the country with a band.
His opening set last night, September 30, at the Baker Street Pub in the Denver Tech Center, showed just how much of a range this guy has. Armed with only an electric guitar, a few effects, a loop pedal, and a surprisingly rich gravelly voice, he played everything from alternative to classic rock to Stevie Ray Vaughn–and Stevie Wonder. (Try to imagine “Superstition” played only on an electric guitar!) Yet he made it all sound believeable, as though there were a full band present.
Several times through the set, Josh wowed the crowd with powerful lead guitar solos, which he played over multiple guitar loops created on the spot. He took numerous requests from the crowd, and turned down a few. “No, no M.C. Hammer,” he said at one point, grinning. “I can’t touch that.”
The audience loved it.
No, Josh Blackburn isn’t a novice. He isn’t even a newcomer–he’s been playing in and around Denver for four years, and before that he played in bands and recorded with industry professionals. He isn’t really starting up; he’s starting over, with a new crowd, making new fans. The good thing (for us) is that Josh is playing fairly steadily these days, so there are a lot of opportunities to catch his act around town. He’s a regular this fall at all the area Baker Street Pub locations (he’s at the Boulder location on 28th Street all this weekend), and numerous other places in the area. Check his MySpace page for his current schedule, then do yourself a favor and go see him play.
Josh Blackburn might not be new to this scene, but he is definitely one to watch.
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