“Let’s Get Woke” – Josh Christina (reviewed by Dave Franklin)
Anything that sounds like 70’s Elton John doing his best Jerry Lee Lewis impression has got to be worth checking out. And indeed “Let’s Get Woke” (I took the liberty of adding the contraction apostrophe, I can be annoying like that) is a infectious blend of piano driven, high octane boogie-woogie and pop ’n’ roll. You find it located to the commercial side of The Killer and the rootsy side of Rocketman, not a bad place to be if you ask me. And since you are reading this, you did…in a round about way.
Throw in some raucous and revelatory blues-rock guitar that has been driven to excess, deft, shimmering break downs and sonic gear shifts that happen in the blink of an eye and you have something that is brilliant in its simplicity and simple in its brilliance. If you are looking to a modern song that has been grown in the still fertile top soil of late 50’s rock ’n’roll and watered by the rains of 70’s classic songwriting then been allowed to blossom in the here and now, bright, fragrant and strikingly eye catching…well, ear worming in this case, then there is no better contender than this.
Warlock Asylum- “Let’s Get Woke” Review
One of my favorite rockers Josh Christina is back with his new single “Let’s Get Woke”. Josh has a very nostalgic style of song wherein he is able to take modern-day scenarios and infuse this into a bluesy and classic rock musical landscape. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Josh’s musical career has grown tremendously. His success can be attributed to having a loving family who provided him with a strong foundation and love for God. I had the blessed opportunity of getting familiar with the Americana maestro’s work during a review of his epic song titled “Friend Zone”. Josh’s music continues to evolve as evidence from his recent offering “Let’s Get Woke”.
“Let’s Get Woke” is a captivating tune with equally impressive production. The song has an exceptional bluegrass feel and opens with a wonderful taste of electric piano. “Let’s Get Woke” is reminiscent of Jerry Lee Lewis’ style of chorale. Josh provides a tremendous vocal effort that is filled with blissful moments, “Let’s Get Woke”. As Josh Christian continues to shine, so does the depth of his creativity and has blossomed into a beautiful musical career.
From Tuned Loud Hit Radio: “Instincts”
“Josh’s new album entitled “Instincts” was recorded in Memphis at the historic Sam Phillips Recording, and co-produced with two-time Grammy award winner Jon Carroll. Listen to this album and you’ll hear tunes that make you think of Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and Gene Vincent or other legendary roots rockers.
If you’re a fan of 1950’s rock n’ roll this new music will restore your confidence in the ability of youngsters to carry on a great tradition of rock’s pioneers. Josh Christina writes his own music, refurbishes the classics, and plays a mean piano. Also, if you get a chance to see Josh and his band live, they create some real great excitement with their audience.
On “Instincts” all the cuts are good, there are no clunkers or fillers. Here Josh and the band lock in on a forceful, creatively motivated and sonically ambitious attack. Tracks like the opening rocker “Friend Zone” and the mid-to-quick tempo piano-driven “Counting Sheep” explode out of the speakers with newfound confidence.
The bluesy love ballad “Letters”, builds from a sparse beginning to a fully layered conclusion. “Spic and Span” seeks to secure Josh’s place as rock n’ roll’s foremost revivalist, as does the infectious “Blasted in the Basement”.
This being a bona fide, dyed-in-the-wool, Josh Christina rock n’ roll record, as tends to happen when listening to his music, you’ll be hard pressed to keep your toes from tapping. But there are also many slow and soulful moments, as can be heard on “Love Is Funny” and the beautiful title track, “Instincts”.
It’s a testament to Josh’s talents that he can continue to be influenced by the past without ever sinking into parody. Instead, he keeps growing and reaching into new, uncharted territory. Josh Christina music provides a bridge across generational lines by going backward to move into the future.
And just to confirm how he got from the past into the future, Josh closes the album down with a rampant Rock and Roll Medley that includes: “Hound Dog”, “Long Tall Sally”, “Johnny Be Good” and a “Whole Lotta Shakin”. With each new release, Josh Christina seems to be pushing himself to the ranks of the greats, getting better and more interesting as he moves forward.
He stretches his range of vocal stylings and reaches for more notes on his piano. Josh’s natural charisma comes through on each song, whether it’s a driving rocker or a slow soulful groove. This album confirms his determination to create a rollicking and robust musical experience that draws immediate attention from the get-go.
Album Review: “Instincts”
‘Instincts’ is the latest release from the Baltimore based artist, Josh Christina. Christina’s unique rockabilly sound is evident throughout this brilliant recording with blues additions and catchy melodies. His sound is truly mesmerising. The piano and vocal are the backbone to all of the songs with a hammond organ, guitars, bass and drums playing in the supporting cast. ’Instincts’ offers hard hitting, dance provoking, soulful music throughout and is a thoroughly enjoyable listen.
‘Instincts’ begins with the track ‘Friend Zone’. The song opens with a beautifully played piano with a strong sense of the Rockabilly genre which flavours the record throughout. The piano offers boogie woogie elements which would be perfectly suited for Jools Holland’s Hootenanny in December. There is a strong, inviting country element continuously driving in the background.
The stand out tracks are hard to pick because the record is so strong as a whole. If we were forced to choose they would be, ‘Counting Sheep’ for it’s honest lyrics, ‘Blasted in the Basement’ for its driving pace and the ‘The Good Book’ which showcases Christina’s piano playing ability. All of these tracks offer different tempos, flavours and colours which are integral to make ‘Instincts’ stand out from the crowd in a busy market.
Our all time favourite track on this album is, ‘Letters’. It is simply stunning. It’s the 3rd track in the running order and it is completely different to what we have heard on the first two songs. It beings with a dissonant piano which then begins to flow and gives the feeling it could be a classic standard with its gentle barrage of 7th chords and melodic vocal accompaniment. There is a gorgeous, smooth and inviting guitar solo too. It has a Billy Joel feel about it and if it came onto our radio we would turn up the volume every time.
We absolutely adored Christina’s vocal performance on this album. His deep, soulful and intoxicating voice is simply sublime. He delivers all of the songs with passion and the maturity of his song writing will appeal to many different people.
Coming from a musical background, with a drummer father, singer mother and a grandmother who was a big band singer in the ’40’s and ’50’s, Christina’s musical heritage can be heard and felt touching the soul frequently on this album. These founding influences are used to drawn upon his pure natural talent and aptitude.
Christina also has an impressive back catalogue and we are so thrilled to have been introduced to his work. We can not wait to hear what comes next!
-FVReviews August 2018
Song Review: “Friend Zone”
100% dig this!
Man…I can’t remember if/when I’ve ever written a review where I’ve had the opportunity to compare someone to the legendary Jerry Lee Lewis – but this makes the grade & matches that wildness for sure. The Killer turns 83 this year…though I’d suspect he’d still be unwilling to surrender the throne of Rockabilly easily or at least without an arm wrestle – I’d be willing to bet he’d be completely jazzed about this new tune “Friend Zone” by Josh Christina. The amount of personality, charm, energy, passion, and skill on display here…is straight-up captivating – this is one hell of a performance!
I definitely didn’t feel like Josh was shying away from the influences of the classic greats of the real beginnings of Rock’n’Roll…the Elvises…the Jerry Lees…the Chucks…you know – those first glimpses into the magic of bringing music to the people in a vibrantly new & addictive format that really let the attitude dictate the sound, rather than try to adhere to the strictly set guidelines of being radio-friendly for the time. They pioneered those sounds and brought them into the mainstream where they still exist & thrive today; that classic style has morphed and changed 1000 ways from Sunday from where it started and a track like “Friend Zone” boldly reminds us of where it all came from. Fantastically FUN – your ears WANT to listen to every second of this single…it just has a vibe that you can’t help but feel.
I honestly don’t know what else to say – the execution and energy of this song are OUTSTANDING. Josh hasn’t just created a single that’s a real nod to the classics – he is OWNING this sound and bringing it ROARING back for all of us to hear…and I truly feel like he’s done an absolutely exceptional job of it. The throwback element of his sound is so welcome to the ears and the way that this multi-talent plays & sings this song is nothing short of remarkable. I hear zero reasons as to why Josh Christina wouldn’t go on to be a verified world superstar – the amount of space out there in music for a sound like this right now is just about infinite, and this guy has all the talent & skill it takes to fill it right to the very brim.
I’ll say this much for sure – talent like this can’t just sit on the bench. When you hear the real deal, it’s so apparent…like a truth untold, it’s just something you know – and Josh Christina is indeed, the realest of deals. Lyrically, he’s just as sound as everything else you hear in the quality of his music – in fact, there’s quite a few of you out there that I’d be willing to bet can relate to this song maybe more than they’ll even want to admit. The “Friend Zone” – let’s face facts, many of us have been there. What continues to make this song a standout cut is the focus it has…that’s such a relevant theme for this style of sound, know what I mean? The concept of “Friend Zone” isn’t that far away from like, ‘heavy petting’ or ‘first base’ – which would have certainly been themes explored in the golden-era as Rock began to embrace its body and get seriously expressive physically – so to couple that old-school vibe with a concept that’s modern but still attached to that same kind of idea…to me, it really proves that Josh is seriously in-touch with the entire sound of that magical time in music’s history. Respect runs deep here. It’s more than just in the words – it’s in the attitude, it’s in the style, it’s in the SOUND – Josh is nailing it!
The organ is killer, the bass never quits, drums are spectacular, and that piano he’s playing is as off-the-charts cool as it gets – and that guitar solo! That’s solid attitude in music right there is what that is. Vocally, Josh is again, such a match for this style of music that you’d swear he came right out of the same era as all the legends we know and love today from the dawn of Rock. This song sounds ALIVE in every sense of the word – it’s got enough electricity in its vibe to power the grid to your neighborhood. Massively impressed with Josh Christina’s “Friend Zone”, this guy is purely as good as it gets; extremely talented, undeniably passionate, and MAN can he write a killer tune – he should be seriously proud of this performance. I really believe this guy is going to go on to be massive – he should believe it too.
EP: Review Josh Christina – “I’m 21”
Josh Christina is a Baltimore based Rockabilly, Country singer/songwriter and ridiculously good piano player. Think of a mixture of Elvis, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elton John and you have Josh Christina.
The I’M 21 EP is heavily piano based which makes it very enjoyable, highly gratifying and a real pleasure to listen to and all the songs are so easy to dance along too. Josh delivers a refreshingly different sound from most music we hear today. You cannot help but tap your feet whilst listening to Josh’s music and the entire EP is a real mood setter as is instantly uplifting.
Josh reminds me of early Rock and Roll artists, there is definitely a Memphis/Elvis influence and it is nice to have that sound back but with a more modern twist.
The EP starts with the track 21– a great track to jump into as the song is very upbeat from the start with breathtakingly fantastic fast paced piano playing. The song is all about, turning 21 of course, and all the things Josh wants to get up to now he is 21 and in fact is probably what every 21 year old wants to do especially with it being the legal age to drink in America. The lyrics are interesting and worth listening to.
Kiss Me When You’re Sober – more of a mid- tempo track with a stunning piano solo to start. I can hear an element of Elton John in this track both sonically and vocally a bit, although Josh does have his own unique tone. This song has a nice rhythm and melody and shows off Josh’s vocal talents a bit more, showing more of a gravelly sound in parts.
Text Message – an interesting song lyrically. The title gives away what the song is likely to be about. It is nice though, to hear a song where the guy is waiting for the girl to text rather than the other way around. Like most of the tracks, it is very upbeat and I like the talking part of the track right at the end. You will have to listen to understand what I mean.
We Are Done – I would say, Josh’s version of a ballad. Quite sad lyrics really and almost painful to listen to, especially if you can relate to them. This song, in particular, has a very country feel to it. There is a lot of passion behind this track.
Rockabilly Saturday Night – this is Josh’s current single which was released September 30th, 2016. Rockabilly Saturday Night is a fun, exciting and addictive mixture of Rock and Roll, Country and Rockabilly. It is so upbeat which is sonically and lyrically entertaining.
2AM Blues – the piano playing on this track cannot even be described. How Josh is not one of the most famous musicians for his piano playing alone is beyond me. This track has a blues sound to it, which I guess is obvious with having blues in the title. This song has a nice melody to it and is one of my favourites off the EP.
Josh’s piano talent is undeniably flawless and really quite exceptional, I can imagine Josh being a very exciting talent to see in a live setting. Something about the way he plays piano would make you happy to just see him play the piano all day but of course, we would rather hear him sing and play at the same time. His music is extremely buzzing and electrifying so a performance would probably literally blow us all away.
Josh’s vocals are so mature sounding that it makes him older beyond his years. His voice sounds experienced, flawless and very natural.
Josh is a truly remarkable artist who makes me want to learn to play the piano better, or at least know more about his style of music so I can compliment him in a more knowledgeable way.
I do however, want to sit in a Jazz/Blues bar and just listen to Josh all night. Can you make this happen please Josh?
Josh Christina may just barely be in his second decade, but he is undeniably an old musical soul. The Baltimore-based rockabilly artist, who inherited his musical chops from his parents and grandmother, embraces the essence of big band rock and roll and rockabilly on his latest single, "Rockabilly Saturday Night" from his latest album, I'm 21, which was produced by Kent Wells. Playing the keys with the dazzle of Jerry Lee Lewis, and singing with a youthful swagger reminiscent of Presley, Christina combines a nostalgic feel with a dynamic freshness that will have you on your feet and feeling alright!
-Tara from The Daily Country