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Friends of Blluemade | Guitarist Joshua Gooch

Guitarist Joshua Ray Gooch in the Blluemade linen cap

Guitarist Joshua Ray Gooch in the Blluemade linen cap

Guitarist Joshua Ray Gooch in the Blluemade linen cap

Guitarist Joshua Ray Gooch

Guitarist Joshua Ray Gooch in the Blluemade linen cap

Guitarist Joshua Ray Gooch in the Blluemade linen cap

Guitarist Joshua Ray Gooch and Blluemade's Alex Robins in the Blluemade linen cap

The Blluemade linen cap got a lot of attention when we launched (it was featured on Cup of Jo and Heddels, to name a few!) but perhaps no one has given it more attention than Joshua Ray Gooch, a talented musician we met around Inspiration LA parties last January and have gotten to know over this year (and see perform, which was a thrill!). Joshua immediately impressed us with his enthusiasm and kindness, as well as his great personal style, which illustrates an appreciation of vintage pieces and details combined with a love of contemporary designers for a result that is both individualistic, stylish, and comfortable (what could be better?). We're extremely flattered by the fact that the Blluemade linen cap has become such a core aspect of Joshua's wardrobe (besides Alex and myself, I'm not sure anyone else has every color!) and felt it fitting, upon the relaunch of our bestselling cornflower blue linen cap, to take this opportunity to interview Joshua and share more about his story with you!

-- Joshua Ray Gooch

-- Musician, guitarist, producer, songwriter, educator, author...

-- Los Angeles, California

Currently listening to: 
-- Bill Evans's "Portrait in Jazz," Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's "The Last Prophet," Spoon's "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga," Smokey Hormel's "Smokey's Secret Family," and Pete Yorn's "Musicforthemorningafter."

What's your style like?
-- There are elements of many different eras and subcultures of dress in my style. They vary from day to day but I think over time I’ve developed my own aesthetic that, regardless of season or occasion, is consistent. That’s not to say that I’m not on an endless search to refine my style, but at this point that refinement is within the minutiae rather than the basic building blocks. 

Most of my clothing is heavily inspired by classic menswear from the 1920s up until the mid 1960s. But what I absolutely avoid at all costs is dressing by the era, i.e a head-to-toe look that would have been worn during a specific time period. Mixing and matching all of the elements creates something new, something inspiring. And that venturing into uncharted territories feeds my need for a daily creative outlet. 

How did you get into your line of work? What excites you about it?
-- I became a professional musician through extremely dedicated practice and a series of chance encounters. Almost everything about my life as a musician boils down to: Luck = Preparation + Opportunity. 

I began playing guitar at 13 years old and spent the majority of my waking teenage years either playing, reading, thinking about, or listening to music. But I must say, it never felt like work, it was my passion. At the time, the thought of music as a means of income was a nearly impossible idea; I was living in San Diego and my family was not involved in the entertainment industry in any way.


As I become more proficient as a musician, opportunities began to present themselves. And each time they did, I felt I was ready. I had put in the requisite hours of practice and knew that if I could maintain that level of dedication, that I would continue to move upwards in my journey. Fast forward to the present: I am now 27 years old and I still apply this exact philosophy to my life today. It has done me well and I feel that I understand the process by which improvement can take place, not only within music but any field of interest that I may have. 


I have an endless excitement for music. Not a day goes by that I don’t discover a new record, transcribe an interesting phrase, converse with a talented fellow musician, teach private lessons, or play a concert for 100,000 people. All of these experiences are exciting in a different way but are equally necessary in my quest for musical improvement. But I will say that improvement after the initial growth period (first 5 years or so of playing), tends to be much more gradual and the advancements aren’t as apparent, even to a trained ear. So maintaining the same levels of excitement and interest at this point in my life can sometimes prove to be difficult. Droughts of inspiration will occur, but it’s all about how you deal with the process of extrication: Will you conquer it or simply give up. 

What do you look for in clothing and how does it factor into your day?
What I look for in clothing is first and foremost: quality. I want to know that the garment will last and endure my journeyman lifestyle. I also look for items that have details that are slightly out of the ordinary i.e shorts/pants with a self belt; blazer with triple patch pockets; an interesting (but not off the wall) color; Hollywood-top trousers instead of traditional waistband. These seemingly minor details are what make the garment interesting to me. 

Typically I set up my outfit the evening before. I check my weather app so that I dress accordingly, then I consider what appointments I’ll be attending so that I can gauge the formality of my look. Once I’ve assessed these two things I’ll typically try to choose a new and exciting garment to base the rest of the look off of. If the item is navy I base the rest of the color palette around that. Theres no particular order by which I add from this  piece, sometimes the belt will come next, sometimes the hat, sometimes the shoes. Once the look is complete, I arrange it on my valet stand that I keep in my living room. After I put the clothes on the next day, I no longer think about them. I intentionally purchase clothing that can handle being worn without the need to be pampered. If my things get scuffed up and worn in, that only adds to their character. I’d advise anybody interested in fashion to begin thinking this way. If you live your life in fear that you’re going to wreck whatever you’re wearing, this will only make your days less enjoyable.

What's your go-to outfit?
-- This is going to sound strange but I actually don’t have one. I try to make sure that I never wear the same outfit twice. This forces me to be creative with my clothing on a daily basis, which I love. Don’t get me wrong, there are still items that become indispensable during certain times of the year. For instance, my linen caps from Blluemade have been worn pretty much everyday for the past 5 months. I’ve been on tour with Shania Twain for the entirety of summer and many places we’ve travelled to have not only been incredibly hot, but also suffocatingly humid, as well. I collect hats and have a tremendous collection at my disposal, but none of them are as breathable and light as my Blluemade caps. They’re truly the ideal summer cap! So whatever outfit I’ve been excited about lately, my linen caps have been a part of. 

What's your next trip?
-- In mid-September I’ll be heading out with Shania Twain for our European leg of the Shania NOW tour. I’m incredibly excited about all the places we’ll be playing, especially Prague and Dublin, both cities I’ve never travelled to before!

What do you pack when you travel, and why?
I’ve now been touring for over a decade and have learned many tricks of packing lightly and intelligently. Early on in my travels I would bring far too much and end up lugging around a bunch of excess items for months at a time. And yes, this is as frustrating as it sounds. 

I’ll typically try to pack all within a color scheme, which more often that not contains these colors: blue, brown, white, green, and a plethora of neutral tones. This helps me consolidate my color choices and leaves me knowing that essentially everything I’ve brought matches. Unless it’s winter, I try not to bring any hefty and weight items, like peacoats and leather jackets. They take up far to much space and make re-packing at each hotel an absolute nightmare. Instead, I rely on layering of relatively light items, that way I can constantly mix and match, instead of wearing the same massive coat over each and every outfit.

Remember: You always need less that you think you do!

Website www.joshuaraygooch.com

Instagram @joshuaraygooch

Joshua is wearing Blluemade caps throughout mixed with vintage and new pieces. The latest Blluemade cap is available here

All photographs excepting the stage performance and the photograph of Alex and Joshua were taken by Ethan M. Wong (website, instagram).