Music: Q&A with Josh Brough of Poor Man’s Whiskey

by Megan Waldrep

A group of UCSB grads make up Poor Man’s Whiskey, a band which has 6 studio albums under their worn-in, leather belts. Since forming, PMW has brought bluegrassy/southern rock music to towns and festivals throughout our great country. We saw them at the SOhO along with a very large, foot-stompin’ crowd. Read below as Josh (who commands the banjo, harmonica, and vocals) and the Local get more acquainted.

Where are y’all from?

Originally from Marin and the other guys are from Santa Rosa.

What is your go-to place when you come back to visit?

I always love to go to Jalama. Going surfing at the Jalama campground area is my favorite place to go.

What made you guys go toward a Southern sound?

We actually saw a bluegrass band playing at Cold Springs Tavern, the Cache Valley Drifters, and we were just blown away by that. We had never even heard bluegrass before and were like, “What is going on here?!”. And that’s how we decided to pick up these acoustic instruments and really go deep into the bluegrass world, to go to the roots and discover it all from there.

How is it to play in SB?

It’s like a reunion for me. All my college friends that have stuck around show up and it’s kind of this twice-a-year time that we can all connect. It’s sort of an excuse for everyone to come out – especially with the ones that have kids – it’s few and far between that we get together.

If you could pick any person to play in front of, who would it be?

That’s a tough one but at this point, it would have to be Willy Nelson. He’s my hero. He’s still doing it.

Poor Man’s Whiskey

Instagram: @pmwhiskey


Megan Waldrep is a freelance writer and columnist for the Santa Barbara Sentinel. She also writes under the pen name Elizabeth Rose for a dating column called I Heart.

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