Thursday, August 15, 2013

Tour Stories - Part I - A Tangible Currency

Hey rockers!

It's with honor that I announce my guest blog series on Positive Impact Magazine. WOOO! They asked me to write some guest posts, and I've been chronicling the adventures on the rails from a human perspective and the view from the search for Good. I hope you enjoy!

A Tangible Currency

Many life changes happen in a flash, yet are disguised as ordinary events in the course of a day, played by unsuspecting actors, almost as a cosmic joke from an invisible casting department.
One of these lessons hit me in the face recently. I’m a rock musician, but one of my side “gigs” is a DJ. Through a strange series of events, I’ve found myself the host of my Classic Radio Hour show, where I bring my speakers and other sound equipment to assisted living communities and nursing homes, setting up to play Frank Sinatra, Glenn Miller, and other hits from a bygone era. I sit at my DJ table, and join the appreciative audience in listening as I spin the tracks of old. It’s quite moving to see people soak up the songs of their prime, and to hear their stories after the show.
One day, however, things took a different turn. The show was at a larger facility that, in addition to housing seniors, hosts an adult day care center. The mix of audience ages can create an unusual dynamic. One of the younger clients of the facility (let’s call her Sally) loves to dance to a favorite song that I have for her each time (the track is decidedly not Frank Sinatra.) Sally is standing in front of the room, as is her custom, dancing joyfully and charmingly off beat to the song, the personification of the fierce happiness that music brings us, no matter how “different” or “normal” we are.

“Mildred” was sitting in her wheelchair, and was probably having a hard day. Perhaps she was in a lot of pain, sad, or lonely. Whatever the cause for her discomfort, she was not enjoying the song, and was certainly not enjoying Sally’s dancing. ”Stop it! Sit down!” she shrieked.
Continue reading...

Sunday, July 7, 2013

As the dust settles...

Hello, everyone!

  Wow, it's been just over a month since the tour ended, and ...what a trip!  

  So many trains, so many faces, and so much good found in the world.  From the 15th floor of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, to the pitch black outside the window on the southbound night train through rural Virginia (the train conductor remembered me from the last tour!), there was good, music, new friends, lessons, and a rockin' fun time all around.  Check out this recording from a hospital in Raleigh, NC.  I got to talking to a teenage patient after the show, and turns out he's a fantastic guitar player.  He's playing the acoustic guitar, and I'm on the cigar box guitar here, live from the hospital lobby, recorded right on my cell phone.

  I'd like to thank each and every one of you for being part of this worldwide, interactive Search for Good, and I can't wait to do it again.  Thanks for looking out for the bright things in the world, and posting it back online.  It was really very cool, and quite inspiring.  Thank you.

                                         A pint-sized audience enjoyed the concert assembly,
                                      and the 5th grade chorus singing along to a blues song!

Bowling with the Vliet family - they treated me like royalty
on the Raleigh tour stop!
  Another good thing:  The media!  You know, they're always getting slammed in the news (the irony of this is  just dawning on me), which is a bummer.  The reporters, editors, writers, radio show hosts, and TV folks that I had the privilege of working with were consummate professionals, a joy to work with, and very glad to share the news of good in the world with their audience. Thank you, everyone!

With Mariana N. of ReverbNation outside of
Wakemed Children's Hospital, Raleigh, NC
  And speaking of media, I'm honored to announce that I've been invited to write a guest blog for Positive Impact Magazine!  I'm currently writing a series about the tour, and I think you might enjoy it.  I'm outlining the tour in detail, and sharing the stories and lessons I learned while spending time searching for Good. Here's the series so far.  There's also other guest blogs happening, too!  ReverNation, Dotted, and JTV Digital all have been way cool to host some of my writings!

  The good news keeps rolling in, too.  On Thursday, the 4th of July, I released Onward on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, and all the other major stores with distribution from my new friends in France, JTV Digital.  If you missed the tour version of the album, check it out here!  


  So, what's next?  Well, I'm still getting caught up, but stay tuned for a Flickr gallery of the tour shots, a brand new podcast, with the first few episodes featuring audio from my tour journal I kept in mp3 format on the rails, and a radio campaign for the new album.  Let's get this thing charting, baby!

  But most of that is shop talk.  I'll be doing something interactive again soon. See, I was walking up the sidewalk to my house the other night, and through the hushed summer forest, I thought I heard the lonely whistle of the night train making it's way up the opposite shore along the Potomac river.

  And I knew it was almost time to start planning the next adventure with you.

See you soon!

- Josh


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mid-Tour Update

Hello, everyone!

  WOW, what a fun tour so far!  I've been rockin' out in places like NYC, Philly, DC, Alexandria, Mt. Vernon, and Waldorf, and am about to hop on the train to Charlottesville and points south tomorrow.  Check out this great write up the tour got in a Charlottesville paper:


YOU'VE been rockin' the whole world, finding good EVERYWHERE!  Awesome!  Keep up the amazing work, and keep on posting things back to that hashtag #JURT (Josh Urban Rail Tour), or join the Facebook group at:

Here's a video for ya:

Off to get some sleep!  Looking forward to playing the UVA Cancer Center at Charlottesville tomorrow.

See ya on tour!

- Josh

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A press release!

Hello, everyone!

  Well, things are cooking over here.  Tour stops are lining up, and the media outreach is starting.  Since everyone is included on the fun, here's the press release.  Feel free to forward it to your media buddies, or use it for your own blog.  See ya on tour soon!

Media Advisory

Josh Urban announces The Search for Good Tour – Finding those who rock the world.

There's good everywhere, but sometimes it doesn't make the news. So, we have to find it ourselves.
The search begins Friday, May 24th, as musician Josh Urban sets out to find it. Join him via social media as he travels the east coast by train, playing music in children 's hospitals, veterans centers, and street corners, finding the people, sights, and sounds that make the world a brighter place. Start a hunt of your own – go fourth and find the everyday heroes around you. Tag your photos and stories back to the tour using the #JURT (Josh Urban Rail Tour) hash tag on social media to share Josh's stage to reach a worldwide audience. Invite your friends, family, and co-workers to join you. Together, we'll go on tour. Together, we'll change the narrative. All the world's a stage. Let's put some good on it. The train leaves May 24th. All aboard!

Tour stops:

New York City, NY, May 24 (Sloan Kettering Cancer Center)
New York City, NY, May 25 (NYC subway system and street shows)
Philadelphia, PA May 26 (Hospital TBA, SEPTA transit system and street shows)
Washington, DC, May 27 (Veteran's Medical Center)
Online worldwide May 28-30
Alexandria, VA, May 31 (Street corner)
Charlottesville, VA, May 31 (University of Virginia Hospital Cancer Center)
Raleigh, NC June 1 (Wakemed Children's hospital)
Richmond, VA, June 2 (Sitter and Barfoot Veteran's Home)

Josh Urban is a one-man music show from Washington, DC. He's excited to bring The Search for Good Tour as a follow up to his 2012 Interactive Rail Tour, which engaged a worldwide audience to tell a collective story of the world as it's citizens saw it. Playing a mix of blues, rock, and pop, Urban engages his audiences from streets to stages with his stories, singing, guitar and energetic personality. The 2012 tour received coverage in many venues, including The Richmond Times-Dispatch, The Maryland Independent, The Charlottesville Hook,,,, 1140AM WRVA, 90.1 FM WDCE, 88.1 WMUC, XTSR, Charlottesville's NPR affiliate WVTF, The RamJam TV show (Fairfax, VA, NY, NY), and others. Additionally, Josh was invited to sit on a panel hosted by music industry giant to speak about his experience touring by rail.

Social Media connections:
Use the hashtag #JURT, or connect at , Twitter @dontjoshme,, Instagram @JoshUrban, Google +

Contact: Josh Urban

Friday, February 22, 2013

The 2013 #JURT


  As I walk along the road near my house, I can hear the train rolling on the opposite shore of the river through the winter woods.  The distant horn of the diesels seem to be calling to me. And like the winter, the world seems to be especially dark right now.

  I'm pleased to announce that I'll be hitting the rails again soon, and inviting YOU to tour with me, just like last time!  This time, there's an even cooler theme.

The Search for Good - Finding Those who Rock The World!  

There's a lot of mean people out there.  There's murderers and robbers and liars out there.  And they usually get the stories written about them.  However, since the world is still in one piece, since there's still kind, loving, brilliant people surfacing - it seems to me that there are some people who must be pretty cool out there.  There must be a lot of Good in the world.

So, I'm going to find it.  I hope you'll join me.  I forget who said it, but the quote "What you think about, you bring about" sure seems cool.  So, let's combine our little lights in the world into a huge bonfire of Good.

I'll be taking the train up and down the east coast of the USA, and I invite you to join in using social media.  When it's time to tour, go out and find those things, sights, sounds, and people who rock the world.  Tag the photos, stories, songs, and videos back to the tour using the hashtag #JURT (and we'll probably have a new one, too.)  Actually, I encourage you to start today - the world needs it.  (Just hold off the hashtag stuff, it'll get confusing.)  I'll be playing in lots of places, with an emphasis on those that don't get a lot of music:  Street corners, children's hospitals, VA hospitals and rehab places, and the like.  Hey, might as well bring some of the magic of rock 'n roll to everyone, right?

I'm still in the planning stages, but the tour dates will be from May 24th to June 2nd, 2013.  I'll be playing in:

Raleigh, NC
Richmond, VA
Charlottesville, VA
Alexandria, VA
Washington, DC
Philadelphia, PA
New York, NY
And Worldwide through a bunch of online concerts!

I'll post definite dates, times, and venues soon.  For now, get ready to go on tour, comrades.  It's gonna ROCK!  It's time - let's change the narrative and give 'em something GOOD to talk about.

I can't wait!

- Josh