Q1: Thanks for doing our interview, Joey. You have a very interesting story, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I have had a very interesting life thus far and hope to have many more adventures. I had a brain tumor when I was around 2 years old and the doctors, who first thought that there was nothing wrong with me, said that I had to have surgery. Problem was, that I probably wouldn’t make it and if I did, I wouldn’t walk or talk. This surgery would take about 7 or 8 hours and they told my folks that if they came out in less time, that they needed to be prepared that I hadn’t made it. The surgeon came out in about 3 hours and told my folks that he felt like a higher power had taken control of his hands and he just lifted the tumor out.
Spoiler alert, I also walk and talk:-) It wasn’t easy, I spent around 4 months in ICU and the brain tumor cost me my sight, sense of smell and a host of other challenges like no adrenal function and I now sport a metal hip and shoulder, but I am alive and living a life of intention through music.
The key to a life full of joy is to keep a sense of wonder at the amazing diversity and complexity and beauty of the universe around us. To make sure to take time for those people that we love and who love us back and to find that passion that informs our being and to follow that north star where ever it takes us.
2. What do you feel has been your best musical release thus far into your career?
Hard to say, they all have something to offer and of course, they all have things that I would do differently given the skill I have now verses then, but the “Mixture” record was a real joy and my first time charting. That record got to number 9 on the top 40 CMJ jazz charts and people still love it today. I also loved the process of the record because my longtime friend and musical partner in crime, the amazingly gifted Tom Rule, was my co-writer and co-everything else on that record. Tom had played in my band and been a session musician in my studio for longer than either of us care to remember and we kept saying, man we should write some songs together sometime, but we didn’t until we both found we had early Friday afternoons free during 2011, so we started writing about twice a month. We wrote 10 songs and decided we should record them. Over the next 2 years, we did, no hurry just enjoying the work with no real end goal in mind. About mid-way through the recording, we realized that we had something special, so I released the album in 2013 and am so glad I did.
4. What musicians would you most like to collaborate with?
I have so many people I admire — Winton Marsallis, Sir Paul McCartney, Neal Finn, Ammie Mann, the list goes on and on. I am disappointed that I won’t have the chance to work with Oscar Peterson, Prince or George Michael, but still hopeful I’ll get a chance to do something cool with some of the greats still on this earth like Dave Ghrule!
5. If you could only be remembered by one song what would it be?
That is an interesting question. Honestly, it doesn’t really matter as each person has a song that speaks to them and not to others, so whatever I do that speaks to another human being is wonderful, however, I do like the craftsmanship of my song “Cold Heart” co-written with a dear friend who sadly passed in 2017, Charlie Hoskyns. This song hasn’t been released yet, but we are starting to include it in our live set and one day the version I recorded with Charlie will be released and I think people will dig it. My dear friend Rob Fenimore, an amazing musician and another friend with whom I write music, said about “Cold Heart” when I played it for him “ I would go out of my way to hear that song again”, so to me, that is high praise indeed!
6. How would you describe your live show to any readers of ours who have not seen your show yet?
About 30% comedy and 70% intense music! We come early and stay late and are more than glad to sign records, take pictures, and visit with our fans old and new.
I also think carefully about the venue and the audience that that venue attracts and try to build a set that makes sense and will engage that audience.
7. Every artist has a why. What is your why when it comes to creating music?
Music has always been a part of my life. My Mom used to play classical music and nature sounds to me en-utero and my dad always loved music and played the greats like Hank Williams Sr, the Statler Brothers and Eddie Arnold, who I actually got to meet once. My first musical obsession was the Beatles, of course long after they had broken up, and I followed that love of music on and on. From the songs of my childhood like “Thriller”, “Working for the Weekend” and “Separate Ways”, to more modern classics like “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, “Plush” and artist like Train, Otis Redding and Frou Frou.
As a blind person, the sound is my universe. I am surrounded by it and it runs through my soul, mind, and body at all times. I find music is the most powerful force for positive change and the closest thing we know to the language of the angels. Music puts the lie to the idea that we are alone and no one can ever understand our story, then, you hear a song on the radio or streaming service and you think, oh my god, that person is singing about my life and then we understand that while no one can ever totally understand your journey, they can empathize and share the road with us. My basic goal is to leave the world a little better than I found it and music is the best way I know to do that.
8. If you could only listen to one song on repeat for a solid week. What song would you choose?
Depends upon the week:-) However, I love the Smiths and the Beatles a lot and Crowded House so it would be something from one of those artists, perhaps “Weather With You”?
9. Tell us about the big openers you have had during your career!
I have had the honor and good fortune to share the stage with James Brown, Clarence Carter, Jimmy Hall, Ted Nugent, Bad Company, Smash Mouth, Lee Brice, Trisha Yearwood, The B52’s and many more. It’s a lot of fun and a boost to your confidence to be selected to be part of doing a show with artists and bands that are at the top of their craft!
10. List your social media links and Spotify please so our readers can find you.
Please do visit the fan zone at www.joeystuckey.com we have worked hard to make something special to provide fans with a great experience.