JOsh Cleveland

Dustin Smith

eric smith

Influences like Amos Lee, Martin Sexton, U2 and Eddie Vedder taught him to see everyday life through the eyes of music. His joy in writing music is learning to find the gems, the memorable elements in sometimes unexpected parts of life. Whether these moments are funny, sad, profound or seemingly random, his mission is to capture something familiar and essential.

From bluesy to soul and back to authentic acoustic ballads, Josh’s voice centers the music. His ability to shift to falsetto, like a Corvette shifts gears, is effortless and smooth.

Most of their evenings are spent playing 2 and a half hours of music. As you can imagine, the monthly routine can be challenging. But as Josh Cleveland expresses, “I want my music to mean something. I want, if only for a moment, my songs to connect my story to the stories of those listening. Heart to heart, beat for beat.” It’s that message and desire that continues to push his band to play and fight for a piece of your ear.

There’s something to be recognized when you see Minnesota artists working full-time jobs, playing 2-hour gigs, and putting every effort into perfecting their music. It’s the root of working musicians and what we all should be supporting in our communities. Grizzled veterans Josh Cleveland & The Way Back continues to find ways to broaden their audience, record new music, and connect heart to heart, beat for beat. It’s this spirit and goal that everyone can attach to, no matter our profession.