Musician from Maine wants to make most of visit home

Posted Dec. 16, 2008, at 10:17 p.m.

Closing out Josh Preston’s third solo album is his holiday song “Please Tell Me You’ll Be Home For Christmas.”

Singer-songwriter Preston knows he’ll be home in Roque Bluffs for Christmas, far from his new base in Nashville.

On the way home, during a series of East Coast shows, he’ll be playing as part of the Maine Songwriters Association Showcase at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18, at the North Star Music Cafe, 225 Congress St., in Portland.

He’ll also perform on Monday, Dec. 22, for an assembly at Rumford High School, where his friend, Mike Prescott, is music director.

Preston, 30, is taking advantage of a rare trip back to Maine.

“I’ll visit my parents and grandparents and my sister in Farmington,” said the 1996 graduate of Machias Memorial High School.

Preston will be back where music all began for him. His grandmother gave him a guitar when he was 4, although he admits he didn’t get serious about playing until junior high.

While in high school, Preston attended summer camps sponsored by Berklee College of Music, and after graduation from high school, he moved on to the Boston institution, where he earned a degree in performing music in 1999.

After college, he moved to Brooklyn, working on the business side of the music industry while refining his sound on the songs that would end up on the albums “Between Memory and Mortality” and “Rooftop Silhouettes.” He moved to Nashville four years ago.

Preston has used his experience in the music business to start his own label, Me and the Machine Records. In addition to his own releases, he has two bands and another solo artist on the label.

“I wanted to give artists the opportunity to make more decisions on their own,” he said. “I wanted to give people a chance to take charge of their own careers.”

His day job is working at John Prine’s label, Oh Boy Records. From 6:30 p.m. to midnight, he works on his own label’s business, including recording. On weekends, he performs and records.

Today, it’s easier for self-promoting, ambitious musicians to make their own way, Preston said.

“The Internet has opened up so many opportunities for us to expose our artists,” he said. “One can come in, record a song, and have it up for sale online in a couple of hours.”

For more information, visit www.joshpreston.com.

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