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Reader Spotlight: Josh “Bass Mountain” Townsend

Josh 'Bass Mountain' Townsend

Josh Townsend is a bassist with one very cool nickname (“Bass Mountain”). Josh, like many others in the spotlight here, has awesome parents who helped him get his start in music at an early age. But it wasn’t until his high school years did he discover the bass, and that – as is also the case with many – was it.

Josh is our player in the spotlight for the week of September 18, 2012.

Bio:

I was raised in an extremely tiny town called Rossville. While most people around me focused on farming corn, my parents instilled me with a passion for music early in my life. From the age of 3 through 14, I learned the piano, drums, and tenor sax. My freshman year of high school, however, is when I discovered the bass. After expressing an interest in the bass (to the point of being annoying), my parents sent me off to get lessons from the bass extraordinaire, Scott Pazera. That, in addition to high school jazz band and a drummer that enjoyed jazz/funk as much as I did, marked the beginnings of my journey.

Location:

Rossville, Indiana United States

Day gig:

This fall I will be starting my Junior year at Anderson University in Indiana as a double major in Music Business and Computer Science with a minor in Accounting. Along with that, I teach privately, perform all over America, and do various studio work all over the place. I am also a host on a morning talk show on a radio station that covers Indiana and Ohio.

Years experience:

Almost six years

Bands & Gigs:

I’m always freelancing with various pop/funk/jazz groups, but the group that has all of my attention at the moment is a contemporary Christian band called Josh Sadlon & The West 40.

Gear:

  • Modulus Flea J5 – Bartolini Jazz pickups – Aguilar PreAmp
  • Modulus Fretless Quantum 6 – Bartolini Jazz pickups – Aguilar PreAmp
  • G&L L-2000
  • Markbass Little Mark II
  • Ashdown MAG 210T Deep Cabinet
  • DigiTech JamMan
  • Tech 21 VT Bass Sans Amp

Why I play the bass:

Years ago my Mom and I were at a Barnes & Noble listening to the new jazz releases. She picked up Marcus Miller’s Silver Rain album and I immediately fell in love with the groove. As soon as I heard the tune “Bruce Lee”, I knew that bass was meant to be in my life. That passion was made even more apparent after hearing Jaco, Wooten, and Bona.

My bass superpower/claim to fame

I was dubbed the nickname “Bass Mountain” when I was 16 when I was performing in a bar. An intoxicated man walked up to me saying, “Man, you’re so big. You’re like a mountain! And you’re so good at bass! You’re, like, a Bass Mountain!”

My influences

Not in any order: Marcus Miller, Victor Wooten, Richard Bona, Jaco Pastorius, Anthony Wellington, Scott Pazera, Stanley Clarke, Alain Caron, Brian Bromberg, Dave Matthews, John Mayer, Hiromi, Chick Corea, Michael Manring, Hadrien Feraud, and Pino Palladino.

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