Knight of Mesquite - Studio Knights in the Mesquite News

Photo Credit: Anny Sivilay (Josh Knight at his studio Studio Knights)

Knight of Mesquite

Local musician, filmmaker creates first documentary

Story by Anny Sivilay - Mesquite News 

Mesquite native Josh Knight is known for his music and his studio Studio Knights, but now he can add filmmaker to his repertoire with his first documentary, “Lucien Leinfelder: The Pianist Who Played Through Parkinson’s.” This documentary recently got a Grammy Awards entry for Best Music Film.

Another item of his work that got a Grammy entry is his art design for the “Truthmonger” Comics Group 2-CD box set with book and mini posters.

What was the inspiration behind your documentary?
For me it was personal – he (Lucien Leinfelder) has Parkinson's, my grandfather had Parkinson's, and the fact that I was working with my mentor’s (Art Greenhaw) mentor. With it being a personal film to Art meant that it was a personal thing for me in being able to get to know him to be able do a documentary about him.

Your thoughts/feelings on getting a Grammy entry?
When it first hit me that I'm in line to get a nomination it was a very exciting feeling, and it takes me back to the beginning of the film when we first talked about it. It all goes back to how personal it was for me, and I think about the future of the film and the positive effect it will have on people.

How did you first get involved with Art Greenhaw?
We ran to each other a few times when I was in high school, and at that time I was very drawn to him because of his Grammy wins. It was very inspirational for me to meet him finally.
There was a Grammy event that the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences were holding here for the Texas chapter and I met him there. He was telling me about his building, and he said call him up next week so we could get together and talk, so we met up and from that point forward it was just history.

How old were you when you realized this was what you wanted to do?
I knew it from Day 1. I'm not going to say I came out singing, but it was all around me all the time. I had family members who were always playing music. A lot of it goes back to my uncle Keith; when I was younger he was probably one of my biggest influences. He has Down syndrome, and even though he had limited playing ability he was strumming the guitar. It was never in tune and it was the most awful sound you've ever heard, but he was doing it and he loved it and he cared about what he was doing.

Are your parents supportive of your career choice?
They were my main support. I have some family members who had gotten down the wrong path, and I think for them they looked at it as an outlet for me as a young child and it became 'let me help with this guitar playing.'

A childhood memory.
Before I was playing the guitar, I was singing the Backstreet Boys and N'Sync. When I was in (Agnew) middle school I had two or three of my other friends, we'd get together at the gas station at 635 and Cartwright, we'd hit the CD player to Backstreet Boys and we'd all stand against the wall and sing with the Backstreet Boys.

Is there a band/musician/genre you enjoy but don't want to admit that you do?
If I'm listening to something, I don't have any shame in admitting it, but I will say this: Me being a blues guy, the artist that I love more than any artist in the world would be Buddy Holly, that's no secret.

I was raised on country music, and when I first played the guitar I was playing country music. I like old school country music, and nobody knows that.
If I'm sitting down at home and picking up my acoustic guitar I don't want to play BB King, Stevie, or Albert Collins; I want to play some Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, I want to play some country.

Who are some of your musical influences?
BB King was my mentor when I was 16. Him and his whole family have been very generous to me. When he's singing you can just feel it, and that's a feeling I've never gotten to this day from any musician onstage. I strive every time I pick up the guitar to be more and more like him, and I feel like I always miss it.

As far as my outlook on the industry and accomplishments side of thing - Buddy Holly. He was the only guy in history who did everything. He recorded his music, he wrote the sheet music and charts to everything.

What was your most memorable gig?
The House of Blues in Dallas, because it was a hometown show. I had a lot of my friends and family there, and when you have your friends and family for a show it's almost like you're unstoppable.
When I first started in the music scene, I had to go everywhere but Mesquite and Dallas. Dallas didn't want me, they didn't want to hear my music. Mesquite was always on board and behind me.
There's no better show than having the people you love and care about there. That one and the one in the downtown square – Blues in the Square.

It's not always about having 1,000 people that makes an experience memorable, it's about your family, loved ones and having that moment.

What are you currently working on?
I'm releasing my new website, Studio Knights. We're giving it a fresh look, new design. It's designed to give a major label feel because we are a major label; we have lots of major artists on our label. We have a lot of next- and second-generation, well-known artists that we've been working with.
I've been working on a new record that will hopefully hit in the next six months and give us enough time to tour in the summer time.

Also in the works is the first major sitcom called “Gary.” Mesquite has its hand in a lot of things, but when I first moved here as a record company the goal was to break into a much bigger audience, more than just recording. I've always wanted to hop into the film industry and this is where this came from. I've made a few trips to Hollywood to see how they do their staging, run their episodes and produce, and I want to bring that to Mesquite.

 

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