Joshy Soul and the Cool
Even on a hot day in late June, Joshy Soul (aka Joshua Strauther) sticks to his vintage aesthetic with a suit and a hat, his mustache neatly curled at the ends. It’s this throwback style that sets Joshy Soul and the Cool apart in the local music scene. He says, “Almost when they see us walk onstage and they see our suits and our horns, they’re like, ‘Uh-oh, who are these people?’” Sound-wise, there is a richly soulful resonance in Strauther’s voice and a bouncing positivity that the horn section lends, offering an ardently soul vibe with a hint of R&B.
As far as his vintage style and sound are concerned, there is a definite appeal about the era that Strauther pays homage to. “I think there’s just a lot more heart that came in back then,” he says. “[Soul musicians] were pioneers, and a lot of it came from what was going on in that era as well as just African Americans getting out in the music world.” When comparing contemporary “neo-soul” to the soul of the ‘50s and ‘60s, Strauther notices an effort that sometimes has to be made in order to hearken back to a sound that came so naturally back then. “When you grew up like how I did, with records and your grandma and everything, that’s kind of all you know. You listen to any of the guys in this band, their parents let them listen to The Beatles, Tower of Power, all these crazy soul bands. It just does come out of us as what we know.”
For Strauther, DIY is a lifestyle that is pertinent to him as a musician. “[I hem] my own pants and suit because I don’t want to pay for a tailor, even though I should,” he says. “We recorded on our own. We distributed it ourselves. Branding was just who I was—everything was just ourselves. The thing about Salt Lake City is that it’s such a DIY city. [DIY Fest] just brings the city together. I see all my friends there. I guess I just hang out with creators, which is cool.” Find Joshy Soul and the Cool’s album, Vintage Dreaming, at joshysoul.bandcamp.com and check out the live performance at the DIY Fest on Friday, Aug. 12 on the SLUG Mag Main Stage from 8:30 p.m.–9 p.m.
For more information about CLC DIY Festival programming, click here.