Joshua Worden

by FAITH BENNETT
Since Deep Search’s in store concert series started they have hardly had a difficulty finding quality local acts to play the well lit and spaces between the shelves but this week’s show will not only feature the 904’s own Grammar Tree but Atlanta’s Joshua Worden.
Grammar Tree is a self described “DIY indie hip hop group” that bloomed in 2011 and has grown quite their own fan base here since. Worden on the other hand, though also commonly having “indie” in his artist description, leans more towards the R&B end of the spectrum. Just as DIY, however, Worden does write produce and arrange all of his material. He is a trained Jazz guitarist and brings that to the table in his slow jams that were inspired by artists such as Raphael Saadiq and Frank Ocean. Like James Blake or the Unbuttoned, the music he crafts is very separate from what would play on any R&B radio station but it is also clearly demonstrative of talent. Perhaps he is most similar to James Blake, at least in terms of mood. “Marrow” is one of the down tempo pieces that exemplify his musical skill and vocal range as he almost goes into Justin Vernon territory.
The new album, “Always This”, is his first work since last summer’s debut EP titled “The Withered Tree.” Now even more sure of his craft Worden is ready to reveal “Always This” in June and play live shows in support of the release. Though he plays everything on the album he has a little help for live performances. Will Montgomery is there to play drums,and provide the vocals and samples without which the experience would be incomplete. Some of his songs may even remind listeners of Justin Timberlake’s the 20/20 Experience, and given that record’s positive reception, Worden might have chosen just the right time to release “Always This”.
Jacksonville is a really good town for music but it is nice when our Georgia neighbors visit and share their work. Joshua Worden is a welcome addition to the generally local shows at Deep Search and it’s hard to imagine he would disappoint. When you see him there remember that this album was just released.

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