"While I watched McClain play in the studio, waves of sound—warm and reassuring—washed over me; their undertow pulled me closer, figuratively, to the instrument, and drew me into the heaving sighs of the music."
-Derk Richardson, KPFA Radio
Joshua McClain is a cellist, composer, and studio artist based in Oakland, CA. He is best known for his unbridled and mesmerizing solo performances which, using a looping pedal and effects processor, create intense, otherworldly soundscapes. He regularly performs with The Handsome Brunettes, led by six-time Emmy winning songwriter Monica Pasqual .
Regarded as one of the top artists in the Bay Area, Joshua was voted Musician of the Year in San Francisco at the Raw Artist RAWAwards showcase in 2013. He has shared the stage with Thievery Corporation, Aj Croce, Over the Rhine, Blame Sally, Gordi, Dagmar, and others.
Joshua released his most recent album, Coming Home, in February 2018 - a concept album based on Joseph Cambell's The Hero's Journey. Joshua’s first self-titled EP was released in June 2011. In March of 2016 he collaboratively released a full-length album with The Handsome Brunettes. Titled Is Fortune a Wheel, the recording received critical acclaim:
"Monica Pasqual delivers a luminously beautiful new album. ...There’s a rare elegance and subtle drama to her lyrics. The melodies sway and soar, haunting in one moment, majestic in the next....Every track is a gem."
-Paul Freeman, Pop Culture Classics
Sought after for both his composition and improvisation skills as a studio musician, Joshua stays busy working with many Bay Area artists, including folk/americana sensation Spark and Whisper. He also appears on Sara Lovell's latest album, You've Got Me, winner of the 2016 Parent's Choice Award.
Joshua's style is deeply influenced by the music of Andrew Bird, Zoe Keating, Mark Summer, Yo-Yo Ma, Sigur Rós, Dirty Three, Jimmy Hendrix, Max Richter, Yann Tiersen, and Hans Zimmer, among others.
Joshua has toured and performed extensively in North America as well as Germany, France, Japan, West Africa, and Argentina.