In The Groove with JR JR’s Josh Epstein

The Detroit indie rocker picks three formative songs from three formative years of his life.

Courtesy of JR JR

Click on the audio player above for the full conversation. 

Indie rock group JR JR is one of the seminal bands to come out of Detroit in the last ten years.

On Saturday, they will be performing a free show at Beacon Park in downtown Detroit.

JR JR’s singer Josh Epstein spoke with WDET’s Ryan Patrick Hooper for In The Groove — CultureShift’s award-winning series where a wide range of guests look back on three formative songs from three formative years of their life.

Track #1: A Grateful Dead Classic

Growing up, Epstein remembers listening to a lot of Grateful Dead on family road trips.

“My family was very musical and always sang four-part harmonies together,” he says. “I really remember… ‘Uncle John’s Band’ being a song we listened to a lot.”

Track #2: Pavement @ St. Andrew’s Hall

As a teenager, Epstein went with his sister to see Pavement perform at St. Andrew’s Hall in downtown Detroit.

“I remember hearing ‘Gold Soundz’…and that was a moment for me,” says Epstein.

Track #3: Dinner with Randy Newman

These days, Epstein has been listening to a lot of Randy Newman.

“The first Randy Newman song that I really got in to was… ‘living without you,’” he says. “I think Randy Newman does such a good job of writing through characters.”


  • Ryan Patrick Hooper
    Ryan Patrick Hooper is the award-winning host of "In the Groove" on 101.9 WDET-FM Detroit’s NPR station. Hooper has covered stories for the New York Times, NPR, Detroit Free Press, Hour Detroit, SPIN and Paste magazine.