JJ  Voss
Gig Seeker Pro

JJ Voss

Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada | SELF

Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada | SELF
Band Americana Singer/Songwriter




"'Show Em Who's Voss'"

4 stars out of 5

I recently got my hands JJ Voss' sophmore record 'Show Em Who's Voss'. In the dozen or so albums I have picked up so far this year it is quickly becoming a favourite of mine. I consider myself a rock n roll kind of guy that likes a lot of country. A more accurate statement would be that I like well written story songs. Just about anything that I can really feel and grabs me I can get behind. Where the magic really happens is when you believe the artist. This is definitely the case with Regina native JJ Voss. JJ writes workin' man music. He writes honest music.

I really dug the first record 'Hillbilly Storybook' from a couple years back but wondered if JJ could top his debut when I picked up my copy of 'Show Em Who's Voss'. I was delighted to find out out that the hardest working musician in Regina has really hit his stride with his most recent effort. In scene chalk full of the likes Taylor Swift's and Lady Antebellum's, JJ is the everything you like about classic country with a really fresh new edge which keeps him from sounding dated, I have no doubt this record will get a lot of spins in the months/years to come.

'Show Em Who's Voss' really pops. Between working with some killer people in Nashville and another group of stellar people in Regina, JJ has his bases covered. The Nashville band includes on of the original Steve Earle Duke's Harry Stinson, Paul Martin of Exile/Marty Stuart and Kenny Vaughan who has worked with Lucinda Williams and Rodney Crowell when not playing with Marty Stewart also. There are several uber talented musicians that he worked with in Nashville. That being said his Regina band is really impressive also. Jayson Brinkworth, Ken Burton, Brett Schinbein and Laura Roddick really lay it down at home. Between the two bands it's hard to pick a favourite.

One thing is for sure you won't be disappointed in picking up this title. It really is fantastic from start to finish. It never drags and always keeps moving ahead steady like a train, My personal favourites are 'It's a Pride Thing', a song about being blue collar and happy with it, 'Bare Bones' which deals with the reality of living beyond your means, 'Breakin' Things' a super fun song about simply getting out of hand and 'You Pull Away', a ditty about chasing a girl in a seesaw situation.

JJ can be seen many Tuesday's at Bocado's lounge in Regina as the host of the weekly Tuesday Night Troubadour. You can pick up 'Show Em Who's Voss featuring "It's A Pride Thing" by ordering though his website here: http://jjvoss.com/store.html. It's also available at the Future Commincations outlet which is located at 508 Henderson Drive here in Regina. - Spun Music

"CD Review " Show 'em Who's Voss""

3 1/2 stars (out of five)

The evolution of J.J. Voss as an artist is quite evident with Show ‘Em Who’s Voss, which is scheduled for release on May 24. Although Voss’s debut album, Hillybilly Storybook, garnered positive feedback with its release in 2008, the followup disc has raised the bar for the Regina-based singer/songwriter. The disc has an interesting variety of music, displaying Voss’s love of country, rock, folk, blues and Americana. The songs — two of which Voss wrote solo while sharing writing responsibilities on the other six — are a fine blend of music and stories.

Voss’s voice sounds great, a result of his making a commitment to his career after the release of Hillbilly Storybook. It’s obvious listening to Voss that he’s been performing regularly and finetuning the instrument that is his voice.

It’s A Pride Thing, the first single from the album, is a true reflection of Voss the man. One listen to the track and you’ll know everything you need to know about Voss and his take on life. Other tracks that stand out on the album are The Night I Hit The Wall (a fascinating ballad with a blues feel), Playing For Keeps (a song about a man refusing to settle for anyone other than his soulmate) and Whiskey, The Tree and Me (a haunting ballad about a man trying to deal with the pain of a failed relationship).

Voss produced three of the tracks with Nashville legend Harry Stinson — he’s played drums for Steve Earle, Marty Stuart, Bob Seger and Peter Frampton — producing the remaining five tracks.

— Jeff DeDekker - Regina Leader Post

"Concert offers variety of music"

Live @ The Riddell with J.J. Voss, Melissa Mannett, The League of One and Casey Stone)

7 p.m. Wednesday

University of Regina Riddell Centre

- - -

Shows like American Idol and Making The Band illuminate the process of developing as a smaller act and working towards continued success. In most cases, though, the actual process is less glorified than in the Hollywood machinations.

For local country act J.J. Voss the path from unknown to career musician involves a large amount of hands-on work and creativity. His creativity and generosity are apparent as he is helming a night of local independent music with proceeds to be donated to the Canadian Cancer Society. The show, scheduled for Wednesday at Riddell Centre, features Voss and his band, along with notable local acts Casey Stone, The League of One, and Melissa Mannett.

According to Voss, the idea for the show came from the great success of his CD release show a year ago to the day in the same room. Instead of trying to recreate the night, he decided he wanted to share the night with some deserving friends.

"(Riddell) turned out to be such a great venue -- it sounded so great in the room, that all the pieces aligned to do it again. Doing it on my own last year I learned it would be great to have a few more local acts on the show because as a local act you're good to sell about 100 tickets a piece. For this show, we've got four local and independent acts that are all promoting recent material.

"I work in the industry," continues Voss, "on a few different levels, and as an audio engineer I've worked with all of the groups, having mixed them before, so I know what they've all got going on. A big part of what we're doing is shooting a DVD for each band, as the sightlines are great and the room sounds so good. We decided to bring in a recording rig and do a three-camera shoot so each act will get very good-quality footage of the show. I did that last year for my show and it really helped in acquiring higher-quality bookings and raising the profile of our band within the industry. Instead of shooting it in a bar, we figured it's a lot better to shoot it in a theatre."

Voss, who describes his music as in the vein of Steve Earle or John Mellencamp, says there's music for everyone Wednesday as Stone delivers great songs flavoured with straight-forward rock and a blues influence, while The League of One is a progressive rock band with a touch of metal. The night is rounded out by Mannett, performing her danceable pop music.

Voss, who has started work on new material for a yet to be determined release date, doesn't feel that the varying genres will confuse attendees, as it will only expose them to other great acts they might not otherwise see.

"The diversity may catch a few people off guard," he admits, "but we don't want the show to be about genres facing off against each other. If you look at media in general, everything is so melded, so we want the night to be about genres helping each other."

Beyond that, Voss is excited for the chance to give back to the community by getting to do something that he loves. As he put it, "Cancer is one disease that really seems to affect every family, my family included. I think it's the most universal disease that we need to get rid of, or find a cure for."

Explaining further, he adds, "I'm such an advocate, as an independent artist, because I see that so many times the only places to play or perform are at cabarets or bars, where the focus isn't our product. Doing it in a theatre does so much more in allowing us as artists to present our material. This is about our music as a product, as opposed to selling something else. To have the opportunity to do that, and raise money for such an important cause is a tremendous one that's too good to pass up.

"We really want to see people come out, not only to support us, but for this great cause."

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Tickets can be purchased online (www.jjvoss.com) and at Vintage Vinyl - © Copyright (c) The Regina Leader-Post

"Voss has a busy end to 2008"



The Pump Roadhouse

Friday Saturday, Wednesday

- - -

For the holidays this year, JJ Voss plans to spend a lot of time at the bar. And he's quite excited about it.

Voss, a Regina country-rock musician with a recently-released EP to his credit, will be playing three shows at The Pump, including a New Year's Eve double-bill with country artist Kal Hourd.

"It's gonna be exciting," Voss said. "There's a Boxing Day date, then Saturday the 27th, then we have a few days off to get ready for New Year's Eve."

Since the release of Hillbilly Storybook in August, Voss has been working to gain a foothold on college and American radio rotations for his guitar-based brand of country-rock.

With songs such as "Innocent Man" and "Holy Man," the independently produced album is populated by characters trying to make sense of the world and their place in it.

"They're all story-type songs, telling stories about specific topics as opposed to songs about feelings and such," Voss said. "My heroes have been the storytelling songwriters -- Steve Earle, Jim Cuddy. Guys like that."

With the help of a Toronto-based marketing firm, Voss is submitting his material to independent record labels and radio stations, zeroing in on those who specialize in Americana, a loosely-defined country genre that is generally rougher and tougher than today's mainstream Nashville sound.

"Nashville moved on to a different fad when the hat acts came along," Voss said of the tendency to a slickly produced, pop-country sound. "It basically flushed out a bunch of incredible songwriters and artists who found themselves without a genre."

As a result, Americana artists have developed bases of operations in Texas and other southern states, offering an alternative to highly commercial country.

While Voss is focusing his marketing efforts in that direction, he admits some discomfort with the notion of channelling his work toward any specific genre.

"I didn't really set out to target a certain market," he said. "Whatever came out, whatever I managed to come up with, that's what I went with. I don't know if I'd want to change that.

"Writing for a certain genre market, it doesn't really bring out the best art."

In fact, since Hillbilly Storybook's release, Voss has found his songwriting has taken a more personal tone.

"I'm getting a bit more comfortable in my skin as far as baring my soul, putting words to paper and getting it in front of people," he said.

Delivering his music to an audience is what really excites Voss and keeps him plugging away, even when the marketing end of the business seems like an uphill climb.

"When I have the opportunity to put my music out in front of people who don't have a clue who I am, and to receive good feedback, that keeps me going-- knowing the music is legitimate and it does have a place," he said.

He is particularly excited about performing live several times over the holidays and wrapping up the year by sharing the stage with Kal Hourd, for whom he has high words of praise.

"He's one of my favourite local brand new artists," Voss said. "My stuff tends to be a bit rougher around the edges. He would be considered more mainstream country, but he's fantastic on stage."

The coming year will see Voss making trips to Nashville and Texas, taking in the work of fellow artists and continuing to promote his own music.

"I'm knocking on the doors, and there might be a crack," he said. "I might be able to get my foot in the door."

© Copyright (c) The Regina Leader-Post

http://www.leaderpost.com/technology/Voss+busy+2008/1114338/story.html - The Regina Leader Post

"Concert Review"

One final note on the Drink show — JJ Voss warmed up the crowd for the Hammers, with a little help from drummer/percussionist Jayson Brinkworth. Voss, who recently returned from a working holiday in Nashville, certainly left his imprint on the crowd. Although it's fair the say most of the crowd was on hand for the Road Hammers, it would also be fair to say that a number of them were converted into JJ Voss fans last night. - Regina Leader Post

"Voss Forges his own Path"

J.J. Voss

(with Craig Moritz and Ray Whitton)

7 p.m. Tonight

Riddell Centre Theatre

University of Regina

- - -

After growing up on a farm north of the small town of Cupar, J.J. Voss went on to "chase music down the road," as he puts it.

Now, he's trying to forge his own path with the release of his debut album, Hillbilly Storybook.

"Listen to all advice that you're given, but don't necessarily conform or change everything you're doing to meet other people's expectations or their way of doing it," Voss says by way of advice to other independent artists starting out.

"I don't think there is a handbook to follow these guidelines and you're going to be a star. Advice is great, but I think a person has to forge ahead and follow their own path."

Voss formed his first band back when he was 13, he explained. They were playing small town bars by the time he was 15.

"You basically grew up in a culture of playing cover songs," he said.

The goal was to learn the songs that were on the radio and success was considered getting a gig and making money at it, he said.

"That's what the focus was throughout my formative years, through the teens and early 20s. That's where I guess I got my chops up as a musician. But it didn't do a lot as far as establishing my creative side as far as being an artist and being a writer.

"It's been in the last six or seven years that I really kind of figured it out and pursued what I always wanted to, right from the get go, but didn't know how to get there."

That change in focus came from "forging ahead and writing and not making apologies for it and not trying to conform to what other people want or are saying is popular," he explained.

Now, Voss says it feels great to be able to hold his debut album in his hands.

"Instead of it being in theory and talking about it, now to actually have it in my hands and say, 'look this what I'm doing.' "

Voss wrote the first song on the album in about 2003.

"At that point, I started forging ahead with the dream of having my own career. It's a story song, about a third-generation soldier who's going off to war.

"It was written when basically everything started happening in the Middle East. After the terrorist attacks of 2001, that dominated the airwaves and it was on everybody's minds. So I did some investigation into it, I read some books, and I got started writing this story tune. And little by little as I finished that tune and started working on the next song and the next song, it just turned out they were all story songs. So that's kind of where the name Hillbilly Storybook came from."

At 7 p.m. tonight, Voss will release Hillbilly Storybook at the Dr. William Riddell Centre Theatre at the University of Regina.

Fellow Canadian independent artists Craig Moritz and Ray Whitton will also be releasing records.

It's an all ages show, and kids age 10 and under get in free. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at Vintage Vinyl or CD Plus in the Northgate Mall, or online at www.jjvoss.com

"It's going to be a fun evening," Voss said. "For me, it's going to be an emotional evening, but those emotions are going to be great because I'm so happy to be able to be doing this."

© The Leader-Post (Regina) 2008

- Joe Couture

"Be Warned"

Be warned -- Hillbilly Storybook, the debut album for Regina artist JJ Voss, isn't a "country" album. It can't be tagged as traditional or contemporary country, although there of glimpses of both on the disc. Perhaps the most fitting description was one I came across on an Internet discussion board: underground alternative country. It's a lengthy moniker but it fits the first album of original material for Voss.

Containing six songs, Hillbilly Storybook is exactly that, an attempt by Voss to tell a number of interesting and colourful stories. He isn't successful all the time -- "Joanie The Jehovah Witness Stripper" comes off as rather awkward. Voss might have been trying to deliver a comedic story along the lines of "Let's Get Drunk And Fight" by Aaron Lines, but even with a wink and a sly smile "Joanie" ventures into some uncomfortable territory.

"Innocent Man," which has bit of a Steve Earle vibe to it, has an imprisoned man telling his side of the story. He is, of course, unjustly convicted. "The Gold Teeth" weaves a tale of the bad karma resulting after a murder and the removal of the victim's gold teeth which are then melted down for the murderer's wedding bands. It's dark and quirky but it works.

My favourite song is "Above It All" with Voss lamenting in his distinctive voice, "There's gonna come a day when I get myself together/and I won't blow my future for my past."

-- Jeff DeDekker

http://www.canada.com/reginaleaderpost/news/arts_life/story.html?id=04cb6d4b-0612-42ff-8251-d72f21a02c62 - Jeff DeDekker


"Holy Man" released to Canadia Country Radio in 2006, " Innocent Man" released to Europe and Australia in 2006. EP " Hillbilly Storybook" released in 2008

" It's a Pride Thing" will release to Canadian Radio April 2nd 2012

" Show 'em Who's Voss" Released May 24th 2012

" It's a Pride Thing" received airplay across Canada ( #62 on the Nielson Charts) and Was added to rotation on the TCN Video channel network in the U.S.A

2nd single " Bare Bones" is receiving airplay across Canada in its 12th week on the charts



Raised on a small farm in rural Saskatchewan during tough economic times, J.J. grew up identifying closely with the under-dog out-law music with heros like Johnny Cash, Steve Earle and John Melancamp to name a few.

In 2008 Voss released his debut record entitled “ Hillbilly Storybook” and he has been hard at it playing shows throughout Canada and the U.S. taking his music to the people. Highlight shows include warming up for Johnny Reid, The RoadHammers along with 5 shows in Nashville, including a showcase spot opening for Raul Malo ( The Mavericks)

May 24th of 2012 marked the release of his sophomore album " Show 'em Who's Voss" produced in Nashville with music city icon Harry Stinson (Steve Earle, Martina McBride, Marty Stuart,Corb Lund)

The Debut single " It's a Pride Thing" received radio airplay across Canada, with the video being picked up on a cable network in the United States....

With the follow up single " Bare Bones" catching on at Canadian Radio and coming off shows at the Camrose Big Valley Jamboree and Dauphin's country fest, JJ is hard at it on the road promoting "Show 'em Who's Voss" in Canada. 2013 promises to be a big year for Voss, with a mandate to tour extensively across Canada, and plans to release the Album to Americana radio ( in the U.S.) JJ's career is steadily gaining momentum.

Watch for JJ out on the road in 2013