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Joshua Wolak | Humming House

Joshua Wolak | Humming House

Inspired by the revolutionary stylings of the father of bluegrass himself, Joshua embraces a very forward and physical approach to the mandolin. And just as Bill Monroe challenged the traditions of his day, so too does Joshua strive to break down genre barriers and bring the magic of the mandolin to a wider audience, without limitation. The Americana band Humming House—in which he is a founding member—has been the perfect vehicle for this experimentation, and has allowed him a platform for energetic live performance for four years.

Under the umbrella of Americana, Joshua draws inspiration from both Irish and American folk music, bluegrass, classic country, and jazz. Though, truth be told, he grew up listening to more Radiohead than roots music, and – as a lifelong fan of experimental sound – is not afraid to draw inspiration from more modern sources. This disparity of influence culminates in a delightfully curious style, which adds an addicting and artistic depth to his arrangements.

In addition to Humming House, Joshua has been involved with many other musical projects in Nashville, TN, which he has called home for over a decade. As a writer, he has had songs featured on television (such as “This Hell Where We Belong” which was placed on the FX Network show Justified). As a multi-instrumentalist, he has performed with many other acts and been involved in numerous recording sessions. Currently, he has been writing songs for his personal side project, Hickory Slims, which features Joshua on a soulful lead vocal and guitar alongside Humming House cohort and longtime collaborator, Leslie Rodriguez. And – if that weren’t impressive enough – he’s also in the process of finishing up a pretty fancy pancake jingle.

While not playing music, Joshua facilitates adventurous competitions which raise money for charity (a la Ravenchase Adventures), pretends to have capable home improvement skills with his wife Sandy, and uses ancient alchemical secrets to search for the perfect bourbon-based cocktail. He is also a social media junkie: as the moderator of Humming House’s Twitter account, you can sift through his wit in 140-character form – accompanied, of course, by the occasional cat meme.

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