Josh Joplin was born in Washington DC and will die in New York City. Between these two events Josh will have dropped out of school at the age of 15; by16 he will have traveled back and forth across the US and Canada several dozen times in a bright orange 1976 VW Campervan. Somewhere in that time, while only knowing a handful of chords for guitar, and having a knack for remembering only the simplest Appalachian murder ballad, he guilelessly declares himself a folk singer and changes his name to Joplin.
By18, Josh will have boldly moved to New York only to discover that his plan of making a living from playing shows at Gerdes Folk City is fatally flawed, as it had closed years earlier. Months later he will have meekly retreated to Denver, where he will be evicted from his first apartment, seek shelter in the basement of a friends house, and eventually leave after only getting one gig which was at the Swallow Hill Folk Music Center, fetching drinks for the infamously heavy drinking, Dave Van Ronk.
Inspired by Kevn Kinny’s Album, MacDougal Blues Joplin still only 19, will have moved yet again, this time to Atlanta, where he learned much to his surprise that Mr. Kinny was not in fact a fellow folksinger, but the founder of the legendary southern rock trio, Drivin’ and Cryin’. Despite that small set back, he stays, and spends the next year or so writing songs and playing Trackside Tavern in Decatur, GA, as the opener for local musical luminaries, Shawn Mullins, Kristin Hall, and eventually Indigo Girls. It was later discovered that he was underage and had to find other places to play.
Over the next decade, Josh will have started a band with Geoff Melkonian and Allen Broyles called the Josh Joplin Band (later Group); tour relentlessly throughout the south; release three independent records, one of which is Useful Music, produced by Shawn Mullins for his SMG label in early 1999 and is eventually picked up by Danny Goldberg and Daniel Glass at Artemis Records. Through Goldberg and Glass, Joplin will have been given the chance to work with former Talking Head and long time hero, Jerry Harrison to produce Camera One, which was added to the record by Artemis for the re-release of Useful Music in 2000. It would go on to eventually become a hit at Triple A radio and be used in several television shows, including the hit show Scrubs.
Artemis released his next record, The Future That Was in 2002 and Yeproc imprint Eleven Thirty Records released his follow-up solo effort, Jaywalker in 2005. Over the years, Josh Joplin will have had the tremendous opportunity to play on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, and The Late-Late Show among his many TV appearances.
Beyond his extensive touring in America, Joplin will have toured Europe and Australia several times having performed with Neil Finn, Travis, The Ole 97’s, Matthew Sweet, and Billy Bragg.
In 1998, Josh Joplin at the age of 26 will have moved back to New York City, originally living in Brooklyn but eventually settling in Manhattan where he will stay for the rest of his life.
Josh Joplin lives with his wife and daughter.