The mid-90s were great times in Worcester’s local-music scene. Loads of talented bands were trying new things in the name of alternative rock and the nightclubs were hopping with original music.

Josh Briggs was in the middle of that scene, playing bass in Flat Stanley and Popgun Picnic, two bands that built up good followings with powerful live shows and solid recordings.

Yet when it became clear that Popgun Picnic was only going to get so far, the band members drifted off into other pursuits. Briggs started working in restaurant management and traveled around the country before settling back in Grafton.

When he got the itch to start playing again, Briggs learned songs on acoustic guitar and would bust out something by Sublime or The Beatles at gatherings in his home. A couple of years ago, at the urging of his wife, Briggs sought a Friday night gig at a restaurant near his home, and from there honed his chops and added venues to play. “When we started being in bands we took it so seriously. Now it’s about having fun,” Briggs said.

Yet that attitude hasn’t stopped him from cooking up a new batch of original tunes. Songs such as “Brand New” and “Spin” reflect Briggs’s more relaxed musical mood, as they boast funky grooves and good-natured lyrics. On “Your Man” he shows a knack for couching pop hooks in rock tunes. – Scott McLennen