Small Venue Heroes: The Josephines

To date, the biggest band to come out of the city of Bowling Green, Kentucky is almost certainly eclectic art rockers Cage The Elephant. But it’s also home to The Josephines, who describe themselves as a rowdy quintet of down-home rockers, and whose music howls and roars and whispers its way round heady combinations of bluegrass, hard-bitten country rock, Gothic folk, heavy metal, psychedelia and good old-fashioned barnstormers. (Yep, it really is that varied!)

Sometimes their music has got deeply rural roots, like Appalachian Mountain Blues, sometimes the Josephines take a spin around the rough side of Nashville like in Broadway, sometimes they’ll take a snapshot of the emotional desperation felt by a drug addict in love and give it a pounding rock’n’roll power like on ‘Set Me on Fire’, sometimes they whip up a riproaring blast of rage against towns falling apart as jobs disappear down the trashcan like ‘Coal Mine Gone’. And that’s not to mention the black humour and rootsy feel of ‘Fireball’ and the hapless narrator’s love for his anarchic, uncompromising and downright scary partner. It’s all a well-crafted, punchily paced combination of sounds and words, considerably helped by lead singer Brad Tabor having a voice that is memorably gritty and piercing, kind of like a marginally (but only marginally) more melodic Tom Waits. Plus a band that for all it often sounds like they’re having the time of their lives, also know how to play with the best of them.

About Alasdair Fotheringham 55 Articles
Alasdair Fotheringham is a freelance journalist based in Spain, where he has lived since 1992, writing mainly on current affairs and sport.

2 Comments

  1. When their CD, “Cocaine And Cowboys” came out,…. I played it over and over for 6 times through,…. I just couldn’t believe how great an album it was!

  2. Awesome revue!! As a dedicated Josephine’s fan imo these fellas are just getting started!! If you haven’t seen or heard them yet go get yaself some tickets,you won’t be disappointed!! To Hell with the Josephine’s!!

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