Josh BrayView in iTunes
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Emerging from the same late-noughties folk scene as Laura Marling, Mumford & Sons, and Noah and the Whale, West Country singer/songwriter Josh Bray's eclectic sound also incorporates a blend of gospel-blues, rootsy Americana, and sunny country-rock. Born in Devon but raised in Dorset, Bray was originally a fan of grunge bands Nirvana and Pearl Jam, until he stumbled upon a copy of Nick Drake's "River Man" in his late teens. After becoming an aficionado of the '70s folk-rock era that spawned the likes of Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and John Martyn, he picked up his late father's Spanish guitar at the relatively late age of 21, and soon taught himself how to both play and write his own songs. Intending to become a criminal lawyer, he graduated with a law degree from Bristol University, but just before he was due to take up a position working in human rights law for prisoners on death row in the Southern states of America, he decided to pursue a musical career instead. In 2007, one of his tracks, "The River Song," was chosen to promote British fashion brand Jack Wills, and after signing a deal with indie label New Tide Records, he began working on material with producers Howard Gray (Van Morrison) and Ashley Krajewski (Apollo 440). Following support slots on the Parlotones' and Blackwater's U.K. tours, he released his debut EP, Whisky and Wool, in 2010, and followed it up with an album of the same name a year later. ~ Jon O'Brien