The Back Story Joshua Bingaman grew up in Edmond, Oklahoma, the youngest son of a young couple who were the head of a fast-growing, home-based Christian ministry. Always a music fan, Joshua's interest in writing and performing grew over the years but turned serious in high school while he recovered from a car accident that he was lucky to survive. Assuming his songs at that time were too dark to be appreciated, Joshua was surprised to be asked to play for a local church youth group, to much acclaim. At the suggestion of a musician friend/record producer, Joshua formed a band, Handbook Sanity that went on to open some West Coast dates for bands on the Seattle label Tooth & Nail. However, after that tour ended, Handbook Sanity fell apart, so Joshua moved to L.A. to jump-start a solo musical career. He was 17 years old. Not surprisingly, Joshua's L.A. experience met all the criteria of a well-worn music industry cliché. Mentored by his friend/producer, Joshua acquired a stage name (Jarmon, his middle name), got a job in a 'hip' Hollywood coffee shop (the Bourgeois Pig), recorded some songs and then hustled for playing (if not paying) gigs around town. To his surprise, he quickly got what he came for: an offer from a respected label to produce not only a solo CD, but also videos, tours and even a poetry gig. Not bad for a then-barely 19-year-old from the sticks. What was bad was his life in L.A. So without consciously meaning to, Joshua successfully sabotaged his carefully-planned music career before it even started. He soon found himself back in Oklahoma trying to pull things back together. Although frustrating, Joshua's forced homecoming ultimately proved productive. And although his Jarmon record was not released, he wrote, recorded and released two CDs while in Oklahoma (Passing Pleasures and a split with Justin Rice) that partially chronicle the many maddening experiences up to that time. More importantly, Joshua met Sarah, the woman to whom he is now married. Joshua and Sarah then moved to San Francisco where he started a business with his brother. After two years in the Bay Area, Joshua has put California behind him, probably for good. He and Sarah recently moved to Austin, Texas, where they are pursuing separate but parallel educational degrees. In the meantime, Joshua is again making music, mining the myriad facets of life for his songs. The result of his efforts is what should now be playing on your stereo. Like their creator, the 12 songs on Belongings are pure and honest, raw and knowing, open and unfettered. And all from a guy who's jam-packed more in his 24 years than most people twice his age. No wonder he has so much to say... ****.
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