Interview With Joe The Bluesman
1. Where are we talking from today?
I am Joe The Bluesman, based out of Las Vegas NV but am currently in the Little Rock area. I am retired from my career in construction management and now travel the USA in my RV.
This has the upside of being mobile, but can be limiting on committing to some music opportunities.
2. How did you get involved in music?
I have been aware of music as long as I remember. I remember when I was a little kid on our family vacation in the car and being the one to choose the radio station. Back then a kid could be in the back seat and lean over to the radio on the dash...no seat belts or anything! But somewhere around like the third grade, I started playing the violin, back when schools had music programs. I played orchestra stuff until I was a teen, and discovered rock n roll. I moved on to drums, did that in drum and bugle corps and the sort. I was never very good so I went onto the guitar when I was about 14 or so. After 14 it was on to playing in bands, I grew up in Huntington Beach so we played the SoCal venues. Like so many young musicians I grew up and I got married raised kids, I did not do anything musically for more than two decades! About the year 2000, I bought a strat and a small marshall and have been growing musically ever since. It was 3 years ago, on my 60th birthday that I made the decision to make music my main endeavor, putting the day job behind me.
3. Can you describe your music?
My originals are generally blues based. But,...blues is a wide genre, so not all of my originals fall into the standard 12 bar and chord progression. I have originals that have been heavily inspired by Coltrane as well as Roxy Music. In my shows, I play a few known standards, but I play them in a bit of an excited attitude, a bit rushed and a bit of overdrive! The songs I am currently composing are very much country based. I wonder if Arkansas is rubbing off on this city boy a bit. I expect to have a set of new material out of a Little Rock studio soon. As I noted, traveling as I do limits my ability to commit to bands and the like. So I have developed one-man electric blues show. There are some rock, some blues ballads and the like. I am a quick set up and strick, so I like to illustrate that I am a great fill-in or warm up a show. I have the material for a full show as well.
4. Music wise, what are you working on?
As I noted, the songs that I am noodling on right now have a country almost Hank Williams inspired sound, which is unusual for me. I play electric guitar always trough tube amps with a vintage sound with a bit of distortion, so country is not my sound, but that is what I keep playing these days! Currently, I am working on more gigs in the Little Rock area. I will be in Memphis for a while then Nashville, so I am looking for gigs there as well. Then I'll be settling in the Cincinnati area for a couple of months. I'm expecting the new music will help land more gigs in the near future.
5. What would you like to say to your fans and the world?
First, of course, THANK YOU. It is interesting, I have more fans outside of the USA than domestic! I think that is a case of the lack of exposure blues has in the media. The solution is for folks to get out to see more live music. Certainly, I would like to have everyone come check out my show, listen to my tunes, but most of all let's all get out and support live music.
The music I have online now is older but most are still part of my live show. Most of what is online I recorded live so it has sketchy quality! I am a better musician than an engineer, lol. There is a14-second delay on Sea of Loneliness (a song recorded in my pre-family rea circa 1984)