Joshua Carswell sings varied styles

‘I love songs that tell great stories.’

Ask Joshua Carswell to classify himself as a singer and he’s at a loss for words. Ask what he brings to his stage show and the enthusiasm cascades out.

“I enjoy a broad range of songs and styles. What I really like is to take a song you know and love and add a breath of fresh air into it.”

Carswell will cover numerous musical genres and eras during his concert at 7:30 p.m. next Friday, Feb. 13, at the Clark State Performing Arts Center.

The show is part of Clark State’s Club Kuss Series and is appropriate for all audiences.

Growing up a pastor’s son, Carswell had an early appreciation of hymns and gospel music, but also grew to love the old standards from the 1940s and the Great American Songbook.

Folk and roots music also caught his attention. When he became a professional singer, Carswell didn’t want to choose just one genre, so he decided to cover whatever suited his versatile vocal stylings, which have taken him from the Grand Ole Opry to Carnegie Hall.

“I’m something of a balladeer. I love songs that tell great stories,” said Carswell, trying to narrow things a bit. “That’s why the old standards and folk are so intriguing.”

He’ll perform cover songs from the 1930s up through today, with a few originals he wrote that, true to form, range from a Diana Krall jazz feel to laidback pop in the style of John Mayer and Jason Mraz.

He admits about the only thing he hasn’t dared try is rap. While unlikely, Carswell never says never.

Tunes will include Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” and “Autumn Leaves,” a French song covered by Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Doris Day among others.

With the concert coming the day before Valentine’s Day, Carswell promises plenty of appropriate songs such as “My Funny Valentine” and “You Look Good in Love.”

This event will offer a free preshow lobby party beginning at 6 p.m. with complimentary appetizers and a cash bar available.

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