709 Washington Street, Durham, North Carolina 27701

Josh Preslar Band post Christmas Reunion Party

December 26, 2014  ·  9pm $8

Josh Preslar was born and raised in the Piedmont Region of North Carolina (NC). After watching his father play he was inspired to take up guitar at the young age of 11. “I would sneak my Dad’s guitar out from under his bed when he was at work. I didn’t know how to play anything yet but I couldn’t help myself, I was drawn to it!” By the age of 16 his interest in the guitar soon became a passion and he started performing in talent shows, friend’s parties, and, in fact, anywhere he could.

Josh’s early interest in the blues was influenced by listening to Johnny Winter, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and The Nighthawks from his father’s record collection. “I respect all kinds of music but every time I heard those records I felt like that was what I wanted to do.” It was his introduction to Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf that fueled Josh’s desire to take off on his blues journey. He dug into the blues deeper and deeper finding all the greats like T-Bone Walker, Son House, Lil’ Walter, Lightening Hopkins, to mention a few. “I couldn’t believe it took me that long to hear about these guys”.

Josh’s first professional gig was with one of Raleigh’s blues favorites “Lil’ Dave” Stuart. He joined Dave’s band on bass in 2001 and continued with him for the next 4 years playing locally and regionally. “This was where I learned about supporting the band as a bass player and not worrying about playing flashy or doing things that would draw unnecessary attention to me. It was all about making each song different and keeping it solid for Dave”.

During this time Josh was also growing as a guitar player. He took the job along side his friend, Turner Brandon, as the host of the long running Berkeley Café Jam Session in downtown Raleigh. This was a perfect chance for Josh to learn chops and ideas from local heavy hitters and to practice and refine new tunes he was exposed to.

One of the people Josh had met in his over 9 years of hosting the Berkeley Café Jam Session was a young blues singer/guitar player from his own home town of Clayton, NC. This young man would go on to be known as Daniel “Slick” Ballinger. Josh joined his band on bass (and occasionally on drums) in 2007. Together they toured the US and Canada. Slick has gone on to gospel music entirely now but in his short time as a blues musician he opened up for such blues greats as B.B. King, and headlined blues festivals all over the country.

Josh has since joined Diunna Greenleaf’s band, Blue Mercy (“1st Place Winner” of the 2005 International Blues Challenge), and has toured Italy, Germany, Portugal, Belgium, Switzerland, and more. Diunna Greenleaf is based out of Houston, TX, and has received international acclaim for her work in the blues.

When Josh isn’t touring with Diunna his main focus is on his own band and his 2010 induction as the President of the Triangle Blues Society (TBS). The TBS is an all volunteer, non-profit, organization focused on the preservation of Blues Music. “It’s a labor of love. When I’m off the road I spend all of my free time working to make the TBS a functioning and forward moving blues society”. Since his joining the TBS board they have put on two successful shows with local and national acts and hope to raise money for a blues heritage trail in NC and a TBS Blues Festival.

Josh’s band is the long term goal of his. “I want nothing more than to take my band on the road and do the kind of gigs I do with Diunna. I have a good group of musicians out of NC that play with me on my personal gigs.” In the 4 years that Josh has been booking shows under his own name he has played all over North Carolina, Virginia, and South Carolina at blues clubs, festivals, bike rallies, and so on. He also played for the Mayor of Kansas City for a party held at Mayor Funkhouser’s (yes FUNKhouser!) house.

Between his travels and his TBS responsibilities he has little time to focus on his own band. He is currently working on his first full-length album. “I’ve wanted to do this for a while and it’s always been one thing or another keeps me from making it happen. This time I’m fully invested in seeing it through.” He hopes to have this wrapped up by the end of 2010 making for a February 2011 release.

Josh’s blues influences span the timeline from the early styles out of Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana, to the later sounds of Albert Collins, Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, Lowell Fulson, Bob Margolin and more. He has played gigs and or jammed on stage with Bob Margolin, Will McFarlane, Dan Aykroyd (you may know him as Elwood, hehe), John D Holman, Jumpin’ Johnny Sansone, Slick Ballinger, Diunna Greenleaf and Blue Mercy, Mel Melton, Harvey Dalton Arnold, to name a few. He is dedicated to music and, more specifically, the blues, and hopes to continue the tradition of bringing the joy of music to people’s lives.