MILTON COURIER - Milton native and former Citizen Way band member Josh Calhoun has released new music in a full-length solo album titled "The A Sides *& The B Sides."
On Aug. 8, Calhoun will be hosting a CD Release Concert at the Milton Seventh Day Baptist Church, 720 E Madison Ave., to showcase his new songs and share some stories behind them. The concert begins at 6 p.m.
The Milton Courier contacted Calhoun to see what he's been up to.
Q.) Was doing a solo album something you were always interested in doing or long in the works or how did this come about?
A.) I never intended on releasing a full-length solo album but I had all of these songs that had gone unheard and my wife continued to encourage me to put them out there. After I came off the road from touring with Citizen Way, I took a small hiatus from performing original music until a friend said the right thing in the right way at the right time that led me to put out this album.
Q.) You are a multi-talented musician. What instruments do you play in addition to vocals?
A.) Drums were my first love, I took piano lessons as a kid, and I learned four chords on an acoustic then suddenly was put in charge of the student-led service at Judson University. and the rest is history. I was able to play guitar, drums and piano on this record but I've also played more eclectic instruments such as the saxophone and accordion for various gigs.
Q.) Who helped you put the album together (and in what capacity)?
A.) I recorded the album up in Minneapolis with my friend and producer Aaron Ankrum. It was a process that spanned over two years and many trips up to the Twin Cities. I also had a variety of friends record on the album with me. Ben Blascoe, who was one of the founding members of Citizen Way with me, played bass on a couple of the tracks; Joel Hanson, of the band PFR, tracked some guitars and vocals as well as Steve Goold on drums for How Sweet the Sound. Alayna Newell sang on a majority of the songs and co-wrote Wonderful Lord with me. Jon Martinez, Jasper Nephews, Ben Noble and Christian Ankrum also shared their instrumental talents. I love to collaborate and creating a record is such a great way to do that.
Q.) What does this album mean to you?
A.) I have been crafting these songs over the past five years and am now (finally) releasing them. Many of these songs I wrote while on the road with Citizen Way and some of them I wrote in the quiet places of my home church in Milton (Milton Seventh Day Baptist Church) and my home studio. These are my stories and my psalms - songs of the good moments and songs of the bad, both the A sides and the B sides of life.
Q.) What else have you been up to? Work? family, where are you guys living now?
A.) Just about 3 years ago, right before my second daughter was born, I stepped away from touring with Citizen Way. I did this so I could be home much more frequently than I had and share in the early years of my kiddos lives. I'm so loving getting to be a part of every day with my wife and three kids and being here to witness all of their "firsts," things that I had so often missed while on the road. God is so good and led me to a new local career in music. I am now the creative arts director at Central Christian Church in Beloit. God continues to put songs in my heart and I will continue to sing them and share them as He calls. My album, "The A Sides and The B Sides," is a collection of some of those songs.