Growing up in a musical family, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when Josh Bravener’s musical career officially began. Born in Fredericton, the local folk artist attributes his love of performing to a peculiar event many years ago in Collingwood, Ont. It was there, at an Elvis festival, when eight-year-old Bravener saw his father performing on stage.
“I guess there was something about seeing all those Elvises getting up on this huge stage in front of thousands of people with a live band. Something in me just said ‘I could do that,’ and I did,” said Bravener of the experience.
A year later, Bravener took a trip to the Salvation Army, and was ready to hit the stage with his second-hand tuxedo, some makeup and a greased up ‘do. This first attempt left him with a second place victory. The following year, he won first.
“That’s kind of what got me started. I decided that music was what I wanted to do.”
The Bravener family tree has many a musical branch. Dad has been dubbed an “entertainer extraordinaire” with his brother Aaron in the same realm, just on drums. It wasn’t long until Bravener, his brother and father were playing together, mostly rock ‘n’ roll and classic country. After Aaron left the band for other musical pursuits, Bravener began writing his own stuff.
“I think in doing this I developed a real love for the classic/roots music. After some pushing and prodding I convinced Aaron to drum for me. He joined and we just played folk music,” explained Bravener.
When it comes to nailing down just exactly what his sound is, Bravener credits his musical inspirations.
“Some say it’s old school but I don’t know if it’s that. I have always loved the way the old country artists could play three chords, no crazy instrumentals just guitar, bass and vocals, and still tell such a story with so much feeling.”
The artist plays in three Fredericton bands: The Hypochondriacs, SexGhost and Nuages, all the while tapping into the New Brunswick beat. His love of the local scene in New Brunswick is reinforced by the camaraderie rampant in the province, looking up to bands like The Olympic Symphonium, the Waking Night and Motherhood, to name a few.
“I get to play alongside guys I really look up to. Just the fact that I get to play with these guys is awesome but to also call them friends and collaborate is another thing.” Bravener added. “There is so much support from local businesses. We are blessed to have so many people who care about music.”
With a musical background this colorful, it’s obvious Bravener will continue his ride through New Brunswick’s music scene with that trademarked, folky zeal that not just any millennial can pull off. His coarse crooning sets the melodious storyteller apart, and will definitely have a say in where and when Bravener takes his next step.
“I mix everything I have always loved about music. Boogie-woogie, doo-wop, blues, and so forth. I throw all those things into a pot, mix it around a bit, take it out, let it simmer and see what happens.”