Joshua Panda, a twenty-five year-old singer/songwriter from Charlotte, North Carolina, is an exceptional combination of folk and soul, Bob Dylan and Otis Redding, and has traveled with this unique sound to a unique place: Vermont.
Joshua grew up in Huntersville, NC where at age three he started singing gospel music at Rockwell Baptist Church. From the church, he adopted the gospel hand wave, the rhythm, the wailing, and most importantly the embodiment of spirit. Ever since those early days in the choir, Joshua has oozed with uncontainable emotion and passion.
Integrating such soulful energy into his original pieces, Joshua has captured a spirit in his performance, which encompasses both the flailing of a fervent preacher and the intimacy of your best friend telling you a story.
Currently, Joshua is playing with any variation of musicians from Vermont, Montreal, New York City, and North Carolina. Typically his band features guitar, mandolin/piano, accordion, drums, electric guitar, pedal steel, and upright bass. Musicians include Lowell Thompson, Brett Lanier, Brian Axford, Ed Grasmeyer, Dan Davine, Spencer Day, Pete Weiss, and Jarrod Attkinson. Joshuaâ€™s debut album What We Have Sewn, released in the winter of 2009, is an album of love and loss that Joshua calls, â€œmy own brand of soul and gospel-based story-telling.â€ Furthermore, he has just recorded his second album live in the studio in Montrealâ€”a compilation of songs that he deems â€œpull more from my roots and country influences.â€ PandaRue Productions will release the LP Joshua Panda in the fall of 2010.
Country influences include Kris Kristofferson, Townes Van Zandt, and Ian Thomas. Along with these artists, Joshua lists the singing style of Sam Cooke, the performance aspects of Otis Redding, and the lyric writing of Hank Williams Sr. as the most dominant influences on his music. With this diverse range of ingredients, the choirboy from Huntersville has come to Vermont with a truly new flavor that could join the likes of Phish food and Cherry Garcia.