Tempe-based The Black Moods have seen their fair share of success these days with the hit “Sunshine” from the album of the same name.
Lead singer Josh Kennedy is proud to be an honorary Arizonan, having grown up in the Ozarks of Missouri. Arizona’s music—specifically the Gin Blossoms—is what drew him to the Valley.
“This one day I was in my room playing and my dad says, ‘Hey, bub’—he calls me ‘bub’—‘come check out this band,’” recalls Kennedy, who’s joined in the band by drummer Chico Diaz and bassist Jordan Hoffman.
“It was the Gin Blossoms playing ‘Hey Jealousy’ on an awards show. I decided when I was 13 that I was going to play guitar for the Gin Blossoms. On my 21st birthday, I was on tour with the Gin Blossoms. They invited me onstage and I got to play guitar.”
With that stored away in his mind, Kennedy shared his top 10 Arizona albums with The Entertainer! Magazine.
1. “New Miserable Experience” is the record that led me here. Gin Blossoms were my gateway drug to the music of the Southwest.
2. Linda Ronstadt’s “Heart Like a Wheel” is amazing. Peter Asher produced it and just hit it out of the park. Also, I had the biggest crush on Linda. She’s on my list. The ultimate “Tucson girl.”
3. Alice Cooper “Billion Dollar Babies” is such a good record. Raw. Listening to this record makes me want to be in the ’70s.
4. Gin Blossoms’ second record, “Congratulations I’m Sorry.” I was eagerly awaiting the release of this. I wasn’t disappointed. From the opening track, “Day Job,” to “Not Only Numb” then “Memphis Time.” Love it.
5. The Format’s “Interventions and Lullabies” is one of my favorite pop records. It also came out around the time I had moved to Tempe, so there’s a lot of nostalgia in that album for me.
6. Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers’ “Native Heart.” Their latest release, but a rocker. Songs like “Shady Side” and “Every Kind of Lucky” are fantastic. We wouldn’t have the success and amazing fan support if it wasn’t for these guys taking us under their wing.
7. Pistoleros’ “Silver.” It’s their latest record and a great collection of songs. A really dynamic record and amazing guys.
8. Jimmy Eat World’s “Futures.” The title track hooked me. This record really turned me into a fan.
9. Dead Hot Workshop’s “Heavy Meadow.” I didn’t know they were the forefront of the Tempe scene until I moved here. After hearing this record, I completely understand why.
10. Chalmers Green’s “Remedy for Everything.” It’s the first record Chico and I did ourselves before The Black Moods. We made that record with Kevin Prier from the Real Fakes. We were just kids, but if you can find that album, it’s actually really good. We recorded it at the Gin Blossoms’ studio, which is now Four Peaks Brewery’s newest space. You can buy merch and have a beer there. We did some pretty sketchy stuff where you can now sit. Just be sure and wash your hands.