Doran Joseph: Getting In Trouble Around The Globe

Doran Joseph


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He’s a little bit blues, a little bit funk, a little bit rock, and a lot of fun. Doran Joseph has traveled around the globe, spreading his music everywhere he goes. The one common thread among all of his journeys is that everyone really seems to love his music. Infusing his own brand of humor into the music, Doran has managed to create lighthearted, upbeat, and catchy music. Progressive Man is glad to have been able to talk to him and learn where his various influences come from. is here today with musician Doran Joseph. Doran, for those who might not know you, tell us a little about where you’re from and how you first got into music.

Well I grew up in Miami, Fl, and started playing guitar at age 14. We started a Ska/Punk band in high school called Fresh Outta Jimmy.

As I aged, I started traveling and accumulating new interests and styles and really diversified what I do as an artist. Everyday I pick-up something new. Its a wonderful journey.

When they’re first starting out, a lot of musicians try to pattern their music after that of more famous, established artists. Were there any particular artists you tried to emulate when you first started out?

Building my style has always been about taking bits and pieces of all sorts of music. Traveling has been a great way to build this up. Guys like Reggie Watts and Flight of the Concords have been influential in building up my sense of humor.

The Black Keys, Ray Charles, The Temptations, The White Stripes are definitely some artists I listen to a lot and you will find traces, both lyrically and musically, of what they do in a lot of my material. My favorite way to find cool stuff is by going out to see live music, any given night you can see a bar band that has a tune, or a lick, that can get me thinking about some new stuff I can do.

You actually release a lot of your music under the name Doran & The Troublesome Things. How did you meet the rest of the band, “The Troublesome Things?”

The Troublesome Things has actually never played these tunes all together. I was running sound on a cruise ship, and at night linked up with the members of the show-band on the ship and we would get drunk and record, and I guess that’s kind of where the whole “Troublesome Things” concept came into play.  Being up too late, being too loud, etc.

That entire CD was recorded on a ship. I was very blessed to have access to talents like Jon Ventre, Chaz Chambers, Henry Dearden, Jenn Mundia, Matthew Heery, etc, and the diversity of the bunch really shows in the music I think. I’d also like to thank the incredibly talented Aditya Arrisaputra for his hard work mixing and mastering the EP, he is a freakin’ genius!

Doran Joseph musicHow did the song creation process work for you? Did you compose all of the music before introducing it to the rest of the guys or was it a group effort to create the music from scratch?

These songs were pieces I had composed and written myself and have been playing for years with different bands.

It’s been such a fun journey to see where the songs started, who they started with, to where they ended up.

Recording with these guys was great to get a new twist on old ideas of mine, and everybody really hit the ground running.  I knew what I wanted, and yet as every instrument came into the fold it became something else I could have never envisioned myself.

Now, you’ve played your music all around the world, from Germany to Belgium to Spain. How exactly did you come across those opportunities? What was the experience like?

I had the benefit of when I was young, 19 years old, having the opportunity to be truly and profoundly lost. I saved up for a summer, booked a flight to Berlin, and landed in Germany with a flight home from Barcelona in 2 months and no plans. That trip was really where I started writing and growing as a musician.

I was quite poor, and all I had to do was really play music and see what there is to see. I was welcomed everywhere I went with such open arms, locals would house and come support me when I played. The interest in my music there was so rewarding!

And to this day, when I put up new music on my sites, I can track it and see that a lot of my hits are coming from Belgium, Spain, and Germany, from friends I made and the people they showed my music to.

Your music generally has more of a funk/blues sound to it, but your featured song, “Dirty Boy,” has a more aggressive vocal styling to it. Was it a conscious decision on your part to make a song with a, for lack of a better word, “harder” sound to it?

Dirty Boy is about a young guy out on the town, I really wanted to emphasize kind of a youthful recklessness and silliness with the song. “Miss You” by the Rolling Stones was a big influence on the piece. It’s all about a good time, and sometimes when you’re having a good time you get a little loud and rowdy!

In my opinion, the most distinctive part of the entire song is the light, carefree flute playing in the background of the song. Even though it’s placed in the background, it affects the mood of the song tremendously, in a good way of course. Was the flute a late addition to the song or did you create the song intending to have that in there? Did you play the flute yourself?

The flute was played by David Stevens, a very talented multi-instrumentalist from California. It was actually the very last piece to come into the song, and was largely improvised. It is one of my favorite parts, it really plays up the flirtatious silliness of the whole tune.

What do you have lined up for 2013? Are you planning on playing any shows or releasing any new music?

In 2013 I relocated to Denver, and I am playing a lot around town now, building up a local following. Its such a young vibrant town!  I’m promoting Doran & The Troublesome things and sales have gone very well- really happy with the feedback I’m getting. I’m recording new material which I will be releasing under the name “CaddyWompus” and I’m hoping to have enough material ready for a mini tour this fall.

I’m also working with Truman Lusson of The Shades on a side project. I’m involved with a wonderful charity called Sing Me a Story, which has sick young kids from around the world write stories, and then volunteer songwriters turn them into songs so the family can really see this vision their child had come to life. It’s been very rewarding and all of it is keeping me very busy!

As we mentioned earlier, you’ve been around the world and played with a number of different bands. You’ve got to have a particular stand-out moment in your music career. Are there any favorite or particularly memorable music moments you have?

I’m a simple guy. I’ve always said that if my music helps just one person, it would all be worth it, and I’m very blessed that already in my young career, I’ve had some small opportunities to do that. Whether it be my involvement in Sing Me a Story, or the other charities I’ve volunteered sets and sold CD’s for, or just throwing birthday party concerts for my friends so everybody can have a good time, I’m very lucky that me doing what I love is of any use to anybody!

Friends will call me from time to time and be listening to my song in the car or something, singing along, and it really blows me away, even on the small level that it is, that the people around me have been so supportive of me pursuing this. I want to thank everybody who’s been there from the beginning and everybody who hops on along the way, I feel truly blessed to blessed to have friends like you. Big things are coming, I promise!

Thanks for chatting with us Doran! Where can people go to find your music?

You can purchase Doran & The Troublesome Things on itunes or Amazon, and check out free samples of the EP at To stay up to date on my comings and goings, join my Facebook page at

Thank you guys at Progressive Man so much! This has been a fun opportunity and what you do for the music scene is so important. Very grateful you took the time and interest in my music! Cheers.

Author: Nader Ahmadnia

Nader Ahmadnia is a writer for Progressive Man Magazine, an online music publication that features new and emerging talent.

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