Josh Woodward will never be a rock star. His songs stubbornly ignore the latest trend of the week, he uses the Internet to reach the world instead of a musty tour van, and most oddly, he gives away all of his music for free. Josh's decision to ignore money has paid off well; he's used file sharing to build a viral network of fans.
Josh's music is loosely based around the "acoustic rock" genre, but is too eclectic for any two-word genre names. One constant is an energetic and passionate delivery; he sings each word like it might be his last. Lyrics are the heart of each song, with vivid stories, clever wordplay and a dark sense of humor.
His third CD, 2006's "Only Whispering", explores the boundaries of what acoustic music can be. From frantic rockers to dark fingerpicking, there's an uncommon musical depth that runs across the entire recording. He's also released two previous CDs: 2004's "Here Today", and 2005's "Crawford Street" All CDs feature full band arrangements fully performed and produced by Josh himself. In true anti-rockstar fasion, all are sold for ten dollars each, just enough to cover costs.
The Internet is the core of Josh's music. From his website, JoshWoodward.com, he freely offers over 80 full-length MP3s of his music. The gamble has paid off - each year, there are over 15,000 MP3 downloads from his site alone. Dozens of podcasts play Josh's music each month from countries as varied as Canada, South Africa, Australia, The Netherlands, Sweden, Japan, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, as well as Adam Curry's "Podshow", broadcast nationally on Sirius Satellite Radio. He was also a featured artist for Clear Channel New! in Winter 2006, which included extensive online promotion and national radio airplay.
From early on, Josh realized that it's far easier to reach the world online rather than on tour. Still, live performance is a passion for Josh, and he's built up a large and loyal following in and around his hometown of Findlay, Ohio. He's known for an extremely dynamic live show, ranging from intimate storytelling to unhinged rock.
The major record labels cry that file sharing will kill music as we know it. We can only hope that they're right, so that the road can be paved for a new generation of anti-rockstars who are only in it for the love of music.