Lined with prairie grass and seemingly unending openness, the high plains of Wyoming would appear to be the least likely place for the emergence of dynamic reggae music. Instead, with the ascent of the Josh Gonzales Band – straight out of Wyoming’s state capitol, Cheyenne – they are simply evidence that the spirit and essence of reggae music can reach the soul of any community and any listener.
Led by guitarist/vocalist Josh Gonzales, the Josh Gonzales Band, or JoGoBa, ignited the Cheyenne music scene upon its formation in February 2015. Bolstered by a scintillating reggae/blues/R&B hybrid, the Josh Gonzales Band quickly won over a loyal following and played before packed venues in Cheyenne within its first year of existence. In early 2016, the band was named Cheyenne’s favorite in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s “Reader’s Choice” awards – and JoGoBa has continued to expand its following into Fort Collins and Denver with each ensuing performance.
From the far-reaches of playing Friday night “Open Mic Nights” at local coffee houses, Gonzales continued to hone his musical craft with unwavering passion. He released a solo EP, entitled “Get Along,” in summer 2014 to warm reviews from fans and critics alike. After playing solo gigs for several years, however, Gonzales sought the challenge and possibility of greater instrumental collaboration. He joined forces with his father, Bill – no stranger to the game, with decades of experience playing in bands – and sought out some of the most talented accompanying musicians that the Capitol City had to offer. The result? The Josh Gonzales Band.
JoGoBa is derived from the artistic ingenuity of several legends, including immortals Bob Marley and B.B. King. Gonzales also found musical – and personal – inspiration through several more contemporary acts, such as Pepper and SOJA, with whom he has developed relationships after attending countless concerts. The authentic soul of blues music is seamlessly fused with the indomitably positive message of reggae in Gonzales’ songwriting. Gonzales’ music spans the human experience – from romance and heartache to socially conscious challenges of repressive ideologies – with one unifying characteristic: love will always prevail.
Through the many set-ups and tear-downs, the broken guitar strings, and the screeches of feedback, the Josh Gonzales Band has maintained a unique passion for simply playing music. No matter where their journey reaches, there is one certainty: that passion will never depart.