Early on, singer-songwriter Joseph Houck’s distinctive voice was shaped by late-night woodshed jams, mountain music guitar classes, and his family’s eclectic musical tastes. From the high country of western North Carolina, Houck grew up in a musically fertile region, home to the late great Doc Watson. Through the boredom and hunger of his teen years, Houck spent many hours alone in his room with a guitar, delighting in songwriting experiments. His penchant for creative writing was further fueled by his time as an English major at Appalachian State University. As a student, he began sharing simple one-mic recordings of his first songs on Soundcloud, where he soon received support from a diverse community of artists and fans. On April 27th, 2011, the streaming platform recognized Houck as “Soundclouder of the Day,” introducing his music to a wider audience online. Praised for his resonant vocals, sharp lyrics, and skillful guitar playing, Houck began developing a reputation as a fine storyteller.
Set for a vinyl and streaming release on October 6th, 2023, Houck’s new record “Haunts & Wants” is produced by Knoxville, TN musician and frequent collaborator Bryan Ciliberto. An Americana blend of pop, soul, folk, and rock n roll, the passion project was recorded over eighteen months. Houck and Ciliberto shared files with each other from their home studios, recording several instruments between them. Houck was compelled to express the songs in full, colorful arrangements, and the album features several gifted musicians, whose contributions include elegant and dramatic strings and brass sections. By turns joyous & lively and moody & forlorn, “Haunts & Wants” is about longings, regrets, memories, and places we go in the everyday quiet times. It’s about how we cope with our desires and obsessions.