The Good Vibrations of Josh Isn't

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Since launching Go Retro a good decade ago I receive many requests on a fairly regular basis from artists, musicians, businesses, and the like asking for free publicity on this site. You've probably noticed I've barely mentioned anyone through the years and there's a good reason for it: many of them simply aren't that talented. (Ouch, I know. But true.)

However, when Josh Isn't reached out to me a few weeks ago and invited me to listen to some of his recorded tracks, I immediately KNEW he was more than deserving of someone sharing some love for him. Josh is a very talented young man and, as I told him in my reply to him, a bonafide double whammy: he looks a lot like John Lennon and sings more than an awful lot like one of the Wilson in Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys. For real. In fact, if you close your eyes while listening to him you'd swear you were hearing the BBs themselves.

For example, Josh took the 1962 Bobby Vee classic "Take Good Care of My Baby" (written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin) and gave it a Beach Boys-esque makeover. Have a listen, and let me know what you think!

I know, right? Amazing vocals and arrangement! And as you can see, he plays all instruments on the cover.

The Cleveland-based Josh Isn't (his last name actually isn't Isn't, ha ha, but Perelman-Hall) credits the Beatles for sparking his passion for '60s music. As a young teen until high school graduation he soaked up all things Beatles, and the Fab Four inspired him to learn guitar as well as several other instruments. He also fell in love with the 1950s doo-wop sound (as evident in his song choice above) but it was one particular album by the Beach Boys that really inspired his music career.

"It took me until the summer between my freshman and sophomore year of college to find out that The Beatles weren't the only group inspired by these songs," he told me. "The Beach Boys totally fit the bill for me, and hearing Pet Sounds changed my entire view of music. I identified with Brian Wilson and his desire to be creative within the confines of pop music. From then on, I knew that I had to spend my life making music, and that my goal would be to use creativity in the music the same way The Beach Boys had."

Josh hasn't recorded an album yet, but he's obviously well on his way. Here's a few other tunes he's given the BB treatment to, including his latest cover of John Legend's "All of Me", which also contains some nice shades of his doppleganger, John Lennon, as well:

Did I mention that Josh is only 22 years old? So there's proof that many millennials are doing more constructive things then taking the Tide Pod challenge!

Josh isn't sure if any of the Beach Boys have heard his music but of course, hopes that one day they will. He doesn't have an official site yet, but you can follow Josh and his latest releases on his YouTube channel and Facebook page. Here's how Josh describes himself, by the way:

Who is Josh Isn't? Josh Isn't is a 22 year old musician and video creator, taking much of his inspiration from the sounds of the 1960s, especially groups such as The Beatles and The Beach Boys. He uploads videos to his YouTube channel, all of which are creative covers with an accompanying video of him singing and playing all (well, most) of the instruments himself. 

To learn more Josh and his arrangement style, here's a great interview he gave on the podcast The Time Machine.

I hope my Go Retro readers out there will give Josh a listen and follow his channels for his latest updates. When he makes the big time you can say you saw and heard him here first! I wish him all the success in the world and believe he has a very bright career ahead of him. I can't wait to hear what he records next.


  1. He's terrific! This is the 2nd time in 2 months I've loved your recommendations. The other was Tom Gaebel and his vintage Sinatra style. Please keep them coming!

    I'd like to recommend Caro Emerald, a Dutch Jazz/Pop singer who has a very vintage flair to all her music, the beats and remixes of some will make you get up and dance too. She has an official channel on YT. Some of my favorites I'd recommend are "That man," "Tangled Up," "Liquid Lunch," "One day," and "Pack up the Louie."

    1. Thanks, VoyagerG -- I remember you mentioned Caro Emerald before and I replied that I discovered and liked her a few years ago (although I think she deviated a bit from the vintage sound with her last album release and ventured more into a pop sound.)

  2. I'm sold. Very good production on these tracks, too, which would have to be a prerequisite if you're going for the PET SOUNDS sound.


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