Jim Croce, A.j. Croce, and Maine.

Jim Croce

Jim Croce

So tonight’s show was unbelievable. When I showed up, Rita Wilson and I met, and she is such a sweetheart! She had a KILLER band, and you need to do yourself a favor and check her out when she comes to town! I heard she’s opening for Sugarland in Indiana in the next couple days. You can fact check and get back at me. ;-P Either way, she was absolutely enchanting and an instant buddy at the same time!

During her set, I wandered to the green room where A.j. Was warming up. He looks up and says, “Do you mind if we warm up?” And I was like… “Uh… No!!!!” (I would have skipped my set to sit there and watch him play.) So he starts strumming and the second his pick hits the guitar I turn into a 4 year old.

You see my parents had me when they were really young. When my birth father and mother were 21ish, they divorced and I only got to see Pete during the 3 weeks of the summer that we’d fly back to Maine. Some of my earliest memories are from sitting in his blue car, drinking Mountain Dew and Pepsi and listening to Jim Croce. That was the one thing that I could always rely on. Whenever a song would come on by a chick singer, Pete would say jokes like, “Ewwwww… Girly music…” and change the station.

As a little kid, those drives in Pete’s car would deeply impact me. I remember the 3 hour drives from West Minot to Bangor or Bar Harbor or Orono as some of the best times in my life. Listening to songs like, “Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown”, “Time in a Bottle”, “I’ll Have to Say I Love You in a Song” and the “Car Wash Blues” to this day, instantly reminds me of humidity, green trees, watching Pete play softball and summertime. Even though I had been adopted by my step dad and was a Damigo, I felt like I was a mature adult with Pete. He got me, and I got him. And warm soda, 30 pepsi bottles in the back seat and me, Pete and my brother Nathan was all I needed. (Maybe that’s why I love driving? I know my parents would drive me around when I had bad ear infections to put me to sleep as a baby, I guess I was destined to tour? :-P)

So when A.j. Was warming up with his Father’s song “Operator”, I had to turn away pretty quickly to hide my tears. Not much has gotten to me like hearing him play that in the green room before I walked up on stage. It took me a minute to compose myself, but after I pinched myself and realized I wasn’t dreaming, I took the stage and gave it all I got.

It was all a kind of surreal blur from there. My tour is done now, A.j. KILLED his set, and it’s time to get to work on my kickstarter rewards and the album. Nights like tonight are the reason I’m alive. I’m so absolutely grateful for every breath I have.

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About Joshua Lodge

Josh will cheerfully admit that he averaged less than a dozen people a show when he first began playing San Diego coffee houses and clubs. But he garnered diehard fans in the process, sold a few thousand copies of his EP, Pocket Change, and picked up few awards along the way. After a traumatic family incident Josh retreated inward, and he ended up writing what would ultimately become his breakout debut, Raw. The album was true to its name and people noticed - Josh picked up two San Diego Music Awards for "Best Acoustic" and "Best Local Recording," opened for the likes of Zac Brown, Jason Mraz, and Matt Nathanson, and had enough money and momentum to tour the country a few times over. A few years after Raw, there was his third EP, Hope. Whereas Raw was a mostly acoustic, vulnerable affair, Hope was a celebration. Pleading and poignant, heartfelt and heavy hearted, it segued effortlessly from orchestral to alt-country, eventually landing him in the top 25 on the country charts. One of the hardest working indie singer/songwriters in Southern California, Josh spent much of the year with producer Mike Butler, gathering up some of the finest musicians in town, shaping his songs and sound further still for his album I Will Be There out now on Randm Records. From the joyous encouragement of “Just Give Me a Call”, to the simple sincerity of the ballad “Tennessee”, Josh’s songwriting skills are clear, his voice rings true and his goals remain the same as when he started - to keep making the best music he can, and to share it with all. A few years after Raw, there was his third release, Hope. Whereas Raw was a mostly acoustic, vulnerable affair, Hope was a celebration. Pleading and poignant, heartfelt and heavy hearted, it segued effortlessly from orchestral to alt-country, eventually landing him in the top 25 on the country charts. One of the hardest working indie singer/songwriters in Southern California, Damigo spent much of year with producer Mike Butler, gathering up some of the finest musicians in town, shaping his songs and sound further still for his latest album, "Just Give Me a Call", available now, on Randm Records. From the up-tempo single, “Just Give Me a Call”, to the simple sincerity of the ballad “Tennessee”, Josh’s songwriting skills are clear, his voice rings true and his goals remain the same as when he started - to keep making the best music he can, and to share it with all.
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