"Why don't we all just get together, let the music play, and let go of the pain", sings Joshua Van Ness in the song "Get Together", from his forthcoming album, DNA. The words are simple, yet they say a lot about the times we live in and a lot about Joshua. The lyrics are suggestive of the universal and undisputed power of music... a force that has played a crucial role in Joshua's life. Van Ness, the son of biracial parents, remembers how music was always present, even at an early stage in his life. "My mother had records by the Beatles, Neil Young and Linda Ronstat", explains Joshua "...my father had albums by the Persuasions, Parliament & The Temptations. I think that explains a lot about the type of music I make". Joshua's own brand of "soul rock" continued to take shape as he became exposed to alternative rock of the mid 90's and soulful singers like Chris Robinson, Prince & Seal. He has since drawn upon those influences (as well as the records he heard growing up) while maintaining a sound that is as fresh and current as it is diverse. JVN's experience is rich for someone who has not yet turned 30: as a teenager, he began performing in the band VAN NESS (with his brother John), released his first solo EP in 2001, toured the country as the drummer of THE CRAYONS in 2003, and later that year he formed and fronted SOULS' RELEASE. He has racked up 6 Asbury Music Awards nominations. Joshua has also shared bills with national headliners such as Richie Havens, Dug Pinnik & Jerry Gaskill (King's X), Will Hoge, Dan Baird (Georgia Satellites) and others. 2008 will see the release of Joshua's first full length solo album, entitled DNA. "This is the album I have always wanted to make", says Joshua. "The lyrical content is heavy at times, but it is only because I have come through some hard times that I have been able to write about them... and it's not all about me. This album is a lot more socially conscious than anything I have ever done". DNA will prove to be the most diverse material Joshua Van Ness has ever worked on. The songs nimbly jump from blues influenced rock to soulful R&B, and then to a jazz influenced ballad in a manner that sounds surprisingly natural. Joshua typically performs a solo act... a man with a strong, raspy voice and understated guitar playing. This allows the songs to go straight from his heart to the imagination of the listener. His shows are startling intimate, which is probably why many connect to his music. "The connection is what it's all about for me. I make music because I have been moved by so many songs. All I want is to share that same feeling with anyone who is open minded enough to let the songs move them".
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