Born Musical — Josh Goforth

Josh Goforth is the “single most talented young person” I have ever met.

Interview with Joe Penland, July 2010

If the musical heritage was in the air and part of the soil, one of the most talented and well-known musicians to spring from Madison County soil in recent years is Josh Goforth. He has performed since the age of four when he played the piano in church. But, it was a performance at his middle school by Sheila Kay Adams that caused him to start thinking about the musical heritage of his native Madison County.

His musical heritage goes back several generations. He received his first guitar from one of his great-uncles and began to learn the instrument under the tutelage of another great-uncle. His great-great-great-grandfather was Madison County fiddler Asbury McDevitt. With his natural talent, he has learned to play ten different instruments by ear and cites Arvil and Gordon Freeman as a primary influence in his fiddle playing.

In 2000, 2003, and 2005, he was named Fiddler of the Festival at Fiddler’s Grove and, after winning the third title, was designated “Master Fiddler” and retired from that competition. As a young teen, he played fiddle for the movie Songcatcher, both onscreen and on the soundtrack. He has toured all over the U.S., Europe and Japan and now plays with David Holt and The Lightning Bolts which features with David Holt and Laura Boosinger. In the past he played with several bluegrass bands including Appalachian Trail, the Josh Goforth Trio, and Josh Goforth and the New Direction. Nominated for the first time in 2010 for a Grammy, Josh is a popular draw at concerts in the county.

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