What happens when you combine the powerful songwriting & stage presence of Rock ’N’ Roll legends Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Tom Petty & Bob Dylan? You get Josh Taerk (pronounced Turk).
In spite of Josh’s young age, he is already able to look back on a lot of success. The international release of his debut album ‘Josh’, tours through Canada, the US and the UK, building a worldwide fan base, impressing industry peers such as Rock-‘n’-Roll-Hall-of-Famers John Oates and Max Weinberg; as well as being named one of the Top 5 Live Acts of 2015 by Classic Rock Magazine.
Back in 2010, Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was playing local venues in his hometown of Toronto when Max Weinberg - drummer for Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band – saw him play. Max was thoroughly impressed with Josh’s stage presence, powerful voice and songwriting ability. Max invited Josh to open for him at his sold out show in South Orange New Jersey in 2010, as well as play with him onstage to pay tribute to the late Clarence Clemons at Summerfest 2011.
In 2011, Josh was selected to play the 7908 John Oates Aspen Songwriters Festival, where he met another great mentor and now friend John Oates who would later introduce him to his current producer Teddy Morgan (songwriter and band member of Kevin Costner and Modern West). A year later Josh got to play at the prestigious Canada’s Walk of Fame Festival and came over to the UK for his first tour opening for The Soldiers, a band consisting of serving British soldiers that have sold over a million albums. After finishing his support slot in April 2013, Josh had built up a loyal fan base in the UK and went on a 65 date tour through England and Scotland. Many of the shows were on University Campuses, where students could especially relate to Josh’s lyrics and music.
2013 was also the year that Josh released his debut album ‘Josh’. Music blog Renowned For Sound said it showed a “maturity beyond his years in his vocal ability and song writing… all signs to a bright future ahead.”
In the summer of 2014, Josh was ready to get back into the studio to work on his second album. “I wanted the feel of the record, the tempo, the rhythm, the starts and stops in each song to feel more alive, I wanted the record to sound more like a band record,” Josh said on ideas behind the new album.
He wanted to make an evocative album in tune with 70s and 80s rock music, and the artists, that inspired him to play and write music - Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Neil Young – whose influences are implicative of a vision of producing an album in a studio with a band and playing those songs live. He approached mentor John Oates about possible producers and was soon introduced to Teddy Morgan.
Josh and Teddy’s first discussion about the record is described as “a meeting of the minds,” and their mutual choice of studio was the Creative Workshop in Nashville, Tennessee, which hasn’t been renovated since 1976 and features a 24 Track Analog Recording Desk, which Josh and Teddy used to record Josh’s new album.
Josh and Teddy soon found musical support from Park Chisolm, fellow songwriter and band member of Kevin Costner & Modern West, as well as drummer Richard Medek. When they first played a session together Josh felt “as if every molecule in the room aligned”, the musical chemistry was undeniable. The four of them then headed to Indie Week Canada, participated in the band competition and reached the Semi-Finals of the entire festival.
Upon returning from a triumphant week at Indie Week Canada, Josh and Teddy went back into studio and were joined by their friend John Oates, who recorded backing vocals for two of the tracks, ‘Wise Man’ and the title track of the album ‘Here’s To Change’, a song Josh wrote with another music legend and friend Nick Van Eede of Cutting Crew.
They began to invite more friends to play on a selection of songs including Luke Bulla, who plays violin and tours with Lyle Lovett, John Coleman who is musical director for Trace Adkins and plays organ, piano as well as Wurlitzer on Josh’s record. Jason Mowery who added violins and viola and has played with greats such as Shania Twain, Keith Urban and John Fogerty also joined the mix.
Josh’s ambition for this album was to write unique songs that spoke of real life experiences, he wanted “all the stories to come together into one overarching narrative.” ‘Here’s To Change’ marks a huge development in the creative process for Josh, taking a more traditional Rock ’n’ Roll approach and adding his own modern twists – the outcome is an album he is enormously proud of and that has gained him a lot of attention.
Since the release of “Here’s To Change,” the lead single and title track of the album has been play-listed on 40 radio stations across the UK. The album was also praised as one of the Top 25 albums of 2015 by renowned rock ‘n’ roll writer Jason Ritchie (Classic Rock Magazine, Get Ready To ROCK!).
With the mounting success of his album in the UK Josh and his band now turn their attentions to North America. On their 2016 tour of the U.S & Canada, Josh and his band have already opened for famed blues guitarist Robin Trower (Procol Harum), Kevin Costner & Modern West, Jon McLaughlin, Austin Jones amongst others and played shows in Indianapolis, IN, Columbus, Akron and Cleveland OH, Jackson MS, Birmingham AL, Paducah and Louisville KY, Atlanta and Macon GA, Huntsville AL, Franklin TN, Midland TX, Salt Lake City UT, Denver CO; and even headlined a show in Taerk’s hometown of Toronto.
His Latest single “Anywhere Love Took Us” has been put into rotation on commercial radio in The US and debuted at number 104 on the Hot AC Indie Bands Charts. “Anywhere Love Took us” also took the number 10 spot on the UPROXX playlist, “All The Best Country Songs From 2016 You Should Know” and was also featured in Outkick The Coverage’s Ultimate Tailgating Playlist, curated by Clay Travis.
"Pairing storytelling lyrics with saccharine melodies, Taerk has made a name for himself well beyond "Anywhere Love Took Us." Josh Taerk has already proven that he's got musical chops" - The Boot, 2016
Successes aside, Josh stays connected to his musical roots and his passion for telling stories while constantly pushing himself and his writing to new creative heights. He also remains very dedicated to his fans as he continues to gain new ones all over the world.