This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Utah County-based band Joshua Creek channels nostalgia in its seventh album release, "Pieces of Time." The quartet has been making music since 2005, but collectively, the band members have more than a century's worth of musical experience. Joshua Creek has built a fan base around the desire to tell stories through music. Once signed to the LDS Church-owned Covenant Communications label, the band found a home in Christian music.
"Our niche is storytelling, faith and family," said bassist Quint Randle. "We refer to ourselves as blue-collar religious. It's implicit [in our music], but it's not overt."
Joshua Creek has built a solid fan base in the South, where fans are often surprised to learn that the band is from Utah.
"We have a couple songs that have charted on Christian country charts in the past and so we get emails from people requesting karaoke tracks so that they can sing our songs in church," said Randle.
Though Joshua Creek has harnessed religious themes in the past, "Pieces of Time" represents a transition into writing songs with fewer religious references and more focus on the concept of time. The album comprising five tracks and karaoke downloads for those Southern fans takes listeners on a trip down memory lane.
Along with celebrating the new album release, Joshua Creek played a pair of sold-out shows in Midvale last weekend as part of its eighth annual Christmas concert series. Two more Christmas shows in Lehi on Thursday and Friday have also sold out, with the band looking into larger venues in 2017.
As members of Joshua Creek prepare to celebrate the holidays with family and fans, Randle talked to The Tribune about the art of storytelling, making it as a musician and what a Joshua Creek Christmas is like.
We're influenced by a lot of different things, but the core of what we do is reflection on life. We try to be really good storytellers. A lot of our songs are scene-oriented. We try to write in scenes as opposed to verses and choruses and try to be very descriptive that way. This type of music, you generally focus on a lyric as opposed to a riff. It starts with the lyrics because it is so lyrically and storytelling-oriented. Then we find the music and the melody that matches the lyric. We really believe that if you tinker around with something long enough, you find the melody that it was meant for.
"Pieces of Time"
We look back more than we look in the future most of the time. That's why we called [the album] "Pieces of Time": [The songs] are all moments in time. One of the main characteristics of narrative is passage of time. I would say that looking back and reflection is a thematic element beyond family, that a lot of our stuff relates to.
Music for the holidays
We like doing smaller shows because we feel more comfortable when we are just sitting and telling stories. We like writing Christmas [songs] and do have a Christmas album. Our original stuff is pretty good and we combine that with our take on classics and then combine that with a smaller, intimate evening. We like doing soundscapes that we put together with pieces of old movies and this and that. Every year we build a couple new soundscapes that are just audio and sound effects that are telling stories of Santa or Christmases past. We are basically saying, "Welcome to our living room and welcome to our way of celebrating the holidays and Christmas." It is our way of engaging in the holiday spirit as we write and work on songs that are holy to us.
We're older in the sense that we're not trying to make it in the music business. You're successful in the music business if you make music and then you make some money on it and you can do stuff with that. Different people do that in different ways. As long as we can make albums, make some money, reach people, then we are successful. We now have a model that we can do that until we are 70 years old if we want to. We've been around the music business in a bunch of different ways and this is our way of finding a different outlet and enjoying ourselves. The rest is magical. What matters is communicating with people and connecting with them.
A Joshua Creek Christmas
When • Thursday and Friday, Dec. 22-23, 7 p.m.
Where • Glenn Smith Theatre (Lehi Arts Council), 685 N. Center St., Lehi
Tickets • Sold out
Free download • Sign up for the band's mailing list and receive 10 MP3s for free downloads at http://www.joshuacreekmusic.com.