Josh From Moonshiners Talks About Old Traditions And New Ideas
By: Eileen Marable
11/28/2012Today has been a great day. How could it not be when I had the chance to sit down and chat with Josh, one of the guys we’ve come to know in this season of Moonshiners. We talked about the importance of preserving old traditions, a day in the life of a moonshiner, his favorite moonshine recipe, and his most faithful friend – Cutie Pie the dog.
Josh had one motto that he used to describe the Moonshiners experience and his life. He wants to turn his life into something bigger and better. Even though he’s a self-described country boy, he would love to stay in TV and someday travel the world – who couldn’t picture Josh on his Harley with the lovable Cutie Pie perched on the handlebars, sampling the local ‘shine from far flung places around the globe?
If that doesn’t happen, Josh is full of ideas so we’ll let you read for yourselves:
Q: You’re considered a newcomer to the moonshining community – how did you get involved?
Josh: Well I tell you, I been around it since I was a teenager helping out as a still hand when I was about 14 or 15. I worked with and helped a lot of old timers so I’ve been a part of it most of my life. On the show we are considered newcomers because it’s the first time we built our own operation, but I’ve been around it a long time.
Q: You’ve talked about keeping up the old time tradition of moonshining – what does that mean to you?
Josh: I love moonshining and keeping up the traditions because the old ways are dying. Back in the day, old timers could do just about everything. They knew a little bit about a whole lot – a little bit of building, mechanics, farming, working outside. That’s what it took to survive and provide for their families
I feel like if we don’t show each other about the old ways those things are going to die out. And if the old ways die out, and something happens in this world where we can’t rely on the modern things a whole lot of people are going to be in a lot of trouble. Food wouldn’t get to table, and it would be hard for folks to survive.
Bottom line though, I’m just fascinated by moonshining!
Q: What’s daily life like as a moonshiner?
Josh: I’m kind of an entrepreneur – I do a little bit of everything and I’m just a hardworking, country-boy kind of guy. Doing this show has been the best and the worst thing in the world because I’ve had to change my day to day and be careful with all the law paying attention to me. It’s made things really tough.
It’s also been hard personally. I’ve lost a lot of moonshining friends because they can’t associate with what I do – there’s just too much attention which could hurt them. I’ve also lost friends because they are jealous and think “my moonshine is better, I should be the one who is famous.”
It’s helped me realize who my friends really are.
Q: So what is your relationship like with the other Moonshiners on the show?
Josh: Everybody on the show is fantastic! It’s like a brotherhood or a family and we were meant to be good friends. I’ve got all their numbers and we can go hang out. It’s great!
Q: What are your future plans…what do you think the future will hold…and what would you like it to hold?
Josh: Well, knock on wood I’ve been lucky so far to be able to see what’s coming. Doing the shows has been full of extreme highs and lows. It hurts me financially to have to watch my back with all the attention that’s on me, but it’s been an incredible experience. If it continues I’d love to see it turn into something more – maybe another TV show or something. I hope it carries me into something bigger and better.
There is the option of going legal – I’ve got someone who might want to be my backer to do my own label. It would cost about $150-200K. It costs a lot to get going – you got your boxes, bottles and labels to think about. They also said maybe I could just sell my name to an existing operation which would be easier.
The thing is, going legal just isn’t as much fun!
Josh: That dog is my savior in so many ways when there was no one else. I’ve had a hard road to hoe recently with deaths in my family and life treating me hard. A dog loves you when no one else will. She’s been there with me during some real lonely times.
Everyone loves her! She goes everywhere with me. To work. On my Harley. Everywhere. I’m an outdoorsman and she loves going hunting with me. She’s great out in the woods and will show me where things are.
She’s my sidekick, my faithful companion and an all American dog.
Q: Do you create any special flavors of moonshine… for example do you have anything special for the holidays? Do you have any special recipes that involve moonshine?
Josh: Well there’s an old timers recipe I love to make – brandy. You take some clear shine and wine made from apples or peaches and combine the two. Yep, it would definitely be old timer’s apple or peach brandy.
As for recipes with moonshine I don’t have any of those as I don’t do much cooking. One thing I do make with it is some cough syrup. You use lemon, honey or some peppermint and combine it with the shine and let it marinate. That’ll cure your cold.
Q: What’s the one thing you’d like the audience to know about you and what you do?
Josh: Well, that I love the TV stuff. It’s tough to make but a lot of fun. I’d love to continue to do some kind of TV or maybe even a movie!
Q: Who are some of your on screen heroes?
Josh: I love Johnny Depp and Matthew McConaughey. If I was to do a movie I’d definitely want to do some stuff like theirs – edge of the law stories or action stuff.
The backup plan is going legal. And someday I’d like to travel around and see the whole world – Australia, Alaska, you name it. Kick some butt, drink some champagne and eat some caviar!
Who wouldn’t love to see that happen so keep tuning into Moonshiners, Wednesdays at 10/9c! on Discovery Channel