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Gorilla. Arch 54/56 Whitworth Street West, M1 6 Manchester, United Kingdom
Though he’s been a recording artist for over two decades now, and has been writing songs for thirty years, Josh T. Pearson hasn’t racked up much of a discography thus far, at least in terms of the number of albums he’s released. But then, those two albums – 2001’s The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads, by his group Lift To Experience, and his 2011 solo debut Last Of The Country Gentlemen – contained more substance and inspiration than most artists’ entire careers. The former was a cosmic, apocalyptic allegorical fantasy that saw Pearson try to come to terms with his faith and his intense upbringing; the latter was an agonizing, powerfully confessional account of the collapse of his marriage. You can’t rush material like that.
Lately, however, the dapper Texan gentleman has been motivated by a desire to share more Josh T. Pearson music with the world, before it’s too late. “My whole point of not putting out records was to not have to be told what to do. I’ve always intentionally limited myself. I didn’t want to be a part of the establishment. I was just trying to survive, do art, live life,” he explains. “In the last years I learned to dance, take drugs, make love… choose life. I got rid of the beard, cut my hair and started wearing colour. I burned down all my idols and realized in the process that I needed to burn down my reputation as fast as I could too. I felt constricted by the old stuff and I didn’t like being in a cage. It wasn’t letting me move on.”
“I was at the US Embassy in London when the shit went down with the presidential election in 2016,” he remembers. “It was unsettling; I’ve never seen the country so divided. A responsibility seemed to shift within me – like, where are the people really stepping up to spread joy?”
“I had artistically exhausted the depths in my explorations of despair and
had moved to a position in my life where I just wanted to make people happy and spread peace.”
It is in such a spirit that Mr. Josh T. Pearson presents you, the listener, with this waxing of his fine new songs. The Straight Hits! began as a mere creative exercise and swiftly transcended that modest intention. This is his joy. Let him spread it to you.
“I’d been reading The Conference of the Birds by Attar of Nishapur, this epic poem from the 14th Century, and it just cracked it open for me. It was August 2016 and I’d just managed to finish a batch of tunes I’d been working on for ten years [the unrecorded Bird Songs album]. I spent another month on those tunes, and this flood of long-form songs just poured out of me. By the end of it, I was in such a process that I decided to begin this writing exercise to write a bunch of songs, super-quick, within certain specific parameters.”