Onward, Soldiers:
The TVD First Date

“Every so often, my dad would take me up to the attic of our house and play his old records for me.His and my mother’s collection, which eventually became mine, became my greatest musical inspiration growing up.”

“The first record I ever heard was Who’s Next by The Who. I can still remember holding this album cover in my hands as a child. I always wondered why they were using this mysterious concrete slab as a toilet in the middle of nowhere. Today, these songs still sound fresh; timeless. It’s a true rock and roll record. A beautiful collection of songs. The opening track, “Baba O’Riley,” became the theme song to my childhood. When I hear this album now, I think of the attic that overlooked the street I grew up on, where I first heard this record, and first I started my first band.

The album that always followed was Jerry Jeff Walker’s Ridin’ High. I think there was a connection between the cover of Who’s Next and the song “Pissin’ in the Wind,” one of many great songs off  Ridin’ High when it came time to put on another record. Jerry may be a drunk and a loon, but he’s a damn good writer, and I have learned to appreciate this record even more as an adult.

Someday I’ll sing to my kids like my dad sang to me,

“Pissin’ in the wind, bettin’ on a losing friend. Makin’ the same mistakes, we swear we’ll never make again. Pissin’ in the wind, but it’s blowing on all our friends. We’re gonna sit and grin and tell our grandchildren…”

Now that’s something to grin about…

The record that will forever be burned in my memory is Jackson Browne’s For Everyman. There’s not a song on the record I don’t love. This record has inspired me in many ways with the countryish stuff that I write. I can dig on the Eagles, but their  version of “Take it Easy” doesn’t hold a candle to Jackson’s version, that he flows seamlessly into the beautiful “Our Lady of the Well.”

I could listen to this record every day for the rest of my life and never get tired of it.

Last, I will never forget the day my mom brought home “The Wall”. I was 12 years old, and she had gone to the local record store in Pittsburgh, and asked the guy working there what to buy for her son’s birthday. I can’t thank that dude enough. This album blew my mind. I spent the majority of high school trying to figure out the bass lines and guitar hooks. It definitely opened up the doors to psychedelic music to me. From there I explored The Velvet Underground, The Doors, Violent Femmes, and on and on.

I recently got to see Roger Waters perform The Wall live, and was awed by the theatrics.

These are four albums that changed my life and inspired my music and my restless songwriting.”
Josh Wittman

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