Illinois native Joshua Ketchmark has recently released an impressive debut that happens to be the “soundtrack to his life…it very well could be the soundtrack to yours”. Music is at the heart of Ketchmark‘s existence; as an only child, a guitar served as his surrogate sibling. Before long he found himself in Nashville, honing his songwriting chops and picking up more instruments along the way. By incorporating himself into the fabric of musician’s society, he soon found himself working as a guitar tech, providing opportunities to rub elbows with producer extraordinaire Rob Cavallo, Johnny Lang, and Melissa Etheridge. In fact, Etheridge let him use her signature 12-string guitar to record his debut record, which is the first thing you hear in the Byrds-like riff on the excellent “How 2 Let Go”.
All Ketchmark‘s tunes follow the formula we love: quiet but engaging versus that erupt into a catchy arena-ready chorus. As you would expect from a “soundtrack to life”, Ketchmark touches on familiar themes of romance, but also explores feelings of loss (of his father in “On Your Shoulders”) and finding happiness in the wrong place (the eerie and mysterious “Now”). Overall, the production is great and the vocals are well done (would have enjoyed more pronounced harmonies, though).
“List Of Regrets” will satisfy fans of The Calling, Lifehouse, or 2000-era Goo Goo Dolls. What a great way to start off 2010! Ketchmark has delivered a remarkable debut and I look forward to hearing this artist grow into a superstar.
iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10