Rockabilly by Josh Christina at the Mainstay, Oct. 14

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Josh Christina

Josh Christina, a Baltimore based rockabilly and country singer and songwriter in brings his band for a good-time FallFest concert at The Mainstay in Rock Hall on Saturday Oct. 14, at 8 p.m. Admission is $17 in advance and $20  at the door. Information and advance ticket sales are available at the Mainstay’s website http://www.mainstayrockhall.org. Reservations to pay at the door can be made by calling 410-639-9133.

Josh Christina is only in his early twenties but already he has been dazzling audiences from Baltimore to Nashville with his piano and vocals. He is a ridiculously good piano player, born into a musical family in Baltimore who has spent the last 15 years of his life honing his sound. It’s a danceable combination of country, classic rock, big band and rockabilly with influences from Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry and maybe even a little Elton John. It’s a sound distinctly his own and there’s a modern streak as recent influences have included Adele, Charlie Puth, Chris Stapleton, and Meghan Trainor.

This is concert is the culmination of a day of music, crafts, food and fun at Rock Hall’s annual Fallfest billed as a celebration of Family, Community and Oysters.

Christina’s most recent recording, “I’m 21” (a reference to his age) was released last year and was produced in Nashville by Kent Wells (who has worked with Dolly Parton) and features the title song as well as other originals such as ‘Rockabilly Saturday Night’ and ‘Kiss Me when You’re Sober.’

Christina’s personal journey began at age six, when he took an interest in the King,  Elvis Presley. “Hearing Elvis for the first time, I remember thinking his sound was so unique and raw. I watched DVD’s of his performances – my favorite was his 1954 performance of That’s All Right. His sound was so clean, yet so edgy. As I developed as an artist, I found myself gravitating toward that same sound.”

By eight, Christina had organized a Junior Blues Brothers act that performed regularly at venues in the Baltimore area. At 15, he began playing piano after taking a trip to New York City with his parents to see Million Dollar Quartet on Broadway. “While I bought tickets out of my love for Elvis, I remember being blown away by the stylings of Jerry Lee Lewis… He had such flare. He redefined the piano for me.”

With his newfound passion for piano, Christina began writing, drawing inspiration from the “simple, yet clever, corny rhymes” of writers Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Stevie Ray Vaughn. After graduating from Dulaney High School in 2013, the Cockeysville native went to work on his debut album. “Man From Another Time,” featured several rock and roll and rockabilly covers, along with a few original songs written by Christina.

His sophomore effort, “Good Old Love,” released in 2015 was produced by Wells in Nashville. “Making your debut in the Nashville scene – a scene currently dominated by pop country – is tough. I couldn’t have landed in better hands. From the start, Kent insisted on embracing my vintage rockabilly sound.”

And on the subject of Nashville’s pop country dominance, Christina isn’t worried, “I think the country genre is beginning to shift back to its roots. Meghan Trainor has done it with the pop genre, taking it back to its roots with her sound’s doo-wop influence. Bruno Mars has done the same in R&B with notes of funk in his sound. Slowly but surely, artists in the country genre are putting their foot down and adding notes of classic country and rock to their sound. If anything, I feel I’m at a bit of an advantage. My sound isn’t headed that direction. It’s already there.”

The Mainstay (Home of Musical Magic) is the friendly informal storefront performing arts center on Rock Hall’s old time Main Street. It is committed to presenting local, regional and national level talent, at a reasonable price, in an almost perfect acoustic setting. Wine, beer, sodas and snacks are available at the bar.

Upcoming Mainstay performances include:

October 16      Joe Holt welcomes Chuck Redd

October 21      Sue Matthews: Matthews Sings Porter

October 23      Joe Holt welcomes Rebekah Hock

October 30      Joe Holt welcomes Brad Chaires

November 4    Peter and Will Anderson Quartet featuring Chuck Redd

 

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