A personal touch: Joshua Creek brings storytelling music to Midvale
Dec 01, 2016 03:21PM
By Travis Barton
Joshua Creek plays at the American Fork Symphony. The band will be playing on Dec. 16 and 17 at the Midvale Performing Arts Center. (Courtesy Joshua Creek)
By Travis Barton | [email protected]
Joshua Creek is bringing its Christmas music to Midvale for the holiday season. The band will be performing at 7 p.m. on Dec. 16 and 17 at the Midvale Performing Arts Center for its eighth annual Christmas concert, but first in Midvale.
“We’re excited to expand and do that in Midvale,” said Quint Randle, bassist/backing vocalist.
Based out of Provo, Joshua Creek has performed in Midvale before, most recently during the city’s outdoor summer concert series. And with a significant number of their fan base in Midvale, the group felt it was the perfect location.
Randle said they prefer playing in smaller venues with more nights giving their performances a more personable feeling.
“We like this intimate setting where it’s like we’re in our living room,” Randle said. Rather than one large show, they decided to hold four smaller ones—two in Midvale and two in Lehi on Dec. 22 and 23.
“An intimate setting really fits our performance style and makes it a more meaningful holiday experience for us and our audiences,” said Ron Saltmarsh in a press release. Saltmarsh is the band’s producer and lead guitarist.
While the group has performed in front of 10,000 people at Vivint Arena or other large venues like Abravanel Hall or The Tabernacle at Temple Square, Randle said the living room setting better matches their storytelling style.
“The nature of our songs are very storytelling [so] we like this idea of just talking with audience and playing for the ‘one’ so to speak as opposed to the mass,” Randle said. “Maybe we’re not set out to be rock stars but storytellers, and we like that.”
The Christian-country group has been together for more than 12 years with their first album release coming in 2005. In 2008, they won the Pearl Award for “Songwriter of the year,” from the faith-centered music association. This year saw Joshua Creek release their seventh album, “Pieces of Time,” with each song aimed at capturing different moments in time.
Randle said the group has grown musically over the previous 12 years. This new album reflects the next step of progress with their sound and vocal harmonies, discovered while performing various house concerts over the past year.
“What that allowed us to do…it helped us become really tight vocally. The new thing about the album is the vocals are different, there’s more three-part harmonies,” Randle said adding that the album is a little more produced and less acoustic than some of their previous albums.
Those stripped down shows granted the group a better understanding of its vocal options than lead vocalist Jeff Hinton, who Randle described las a mix of John Denver and James Taylor.
While the band has had their songs played from Utah to Missouri and throughout the south, Joshua Creek hopes their collection of singles resonates with different markets.
“There’s an ‘anthem’ for our home state of Utah, something for the LDS or Christian markets, a song for contemporary Nashville and so on,” said James Hollister, Joshua Creek’s drummer.
“When we write great songs,” Saltmarsh said. “Doors open and good things happen.”
The band decided to take a different approach to the second half of their album with five karaoke tracks and a downloadable guitar fake book with chords and lyrics.
Randle said they’ve received multiple requests from fans around the country for karaoke tracks for people to play at church or other settings. He noted that artists are experimenting with different ways for audience interaction and this was their way to do it.
“In the end, it’s all about making connections with our audience. And that can happen in a lot of different ways,” Hinton said in the press release.
That connection also exists with the band’s other songs as Saltmarsh said their songs take both them and the listeners places. The places can be literal or figurative.
After the two-night performance in Midvale, the group will then take its talents to the Lehi Arts Center for two shows on Dec. 22 and 23. Tickets are $7.95 and may be purchased at joshuacreekmusic.com.