Joe Merrick
Gig Seeker Pro

Joe Merrick

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | SELF

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2008
Solo Rock Singer/Songwriter




"Dad’s Double Life: Joe Merrick plays dad by day, musician by night"

Dad’s Double Life: Joe Merrick plays dad by day, musician by night

By Linda Thomas

As a precocious 2-year old roused by the primal beat of drums, Joe Merrick of Hanson sat for hours listening to records, mesmerized by lyrics and melody.

Now 35 years later, you’ll find Merrick inside his own Guilty Dog Studio (named from a song he wrote by the same title) changing diapers while humming a riff from his latest musical composition.

He gets to be Mr. Mom by day to Elizabeth, 4, and Grace, 7 months and Mr. Rock and Roll by night - and a real celebrity around the local music circle.

Ask how he got his start in music and he’ll tell you he had no choice.

‘‘I was born to do music,’’ he said with a smile. ‘‘I think my first words were ‘Sugar, Sugar,’’’ referring to the lyrics from the late ’60s Archies hit.

Merrick’s passion for music is getting recognized in high places.

Two songs he wrote and produced won first place in the September 2005 round in the Song of the Year contest sponsored by VH1 Save the Music Foundation.

‘‘Just in Case’’ won for folk and ‘‘Good for Me’’ won for country.

Billboard Magazine awarded him a Certificate of Achievement for songwriters in the early ’90s.

One of his studio recordings was included in an episode of HBO’s ‘‘The Sopranos’’ when guitarist Ryan McHugh of Randolph recorded local children singing Bob Dylan’s ‘‘Mr. Tambourine Man.’’

Listening to Merrick’s unique blend of progressive rock, country and pop is an emotional and head-bobbing experience.

Client and bandmate Tom Rudzinski said Merrick’s songwriting flows right out with each new song being as good as the last.

‘‘Joe works long hours writing and recording and dedicating himself to be the best musician he can be,’’ said Rudzinski. ‘‘He has a keen musical instinct many musicians try to achieve but never attain.

‘‘His excellence has made me become a better musician,’’ Rudzinski said.

At age 8, Merrick started playing drums and by 14 began writing songs. He learned to sing harmonies from artists like Crosby Stills & Nash. He learned drum parts from progressive rock bands like Rush and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. He learned song structure listening to the Beatles, James Taylor and Cat Stevens.

Merrick attended Berklee College of Music where he took classes in piano, voice and songwriting.

He studied drums with Dick DiCenso of DiCenso’s Drum Shop in Quincy and Merrick now teaches in Weymouth at South Shore Music Company.

Singer, songwriter, engineer, producer, Merrick has worked with artists like Kevin Barry (guitarist for Paula Cole and Mary Chapin Carpenter), Keith Harris (drummer for Black Eyed Peas) and Dan Kenny (keyboardist for Britney Spears). He engineered local bands such as Two Ton Shoe, Junction 18 and A Loss For Words.

At 23, he quit his job at Vater Drumsticks in Holbrook to teach jazz, play in bands and build his own recording business.

He saved enough money to buy an eight-track home studio where he recorded his first CD.

Merrick’s songs focus on family and other real-life experiences. He wrote ‘‘Waiting for Elizabeth’’ for his first born (on his third CD ‘‘Down Home’’). A song for Grace is in the making.

Elizabeth is starting to follow in her father’s footsteps, playing songs on the piano by ear and listening to Thelonius Monk, Pink Floyd and the Beatles. The first thing she asks for when she gets in the car is ‘‘play Monk.’’

Merrick has been a stay-at-home parent since Elizabeth was born. He and wife Chrisann wanted the girls to be cared for by both parents even if it meant working opposite schedules. While she works until 3 as a guidance counselor at the Hanover Middle School, he changes diapers, makes cookies, handles pre-school drop off/pick up then teaches, records and plays music.

Merrick mentors young local artists like aspiring 18-year old singer Tracey MacLean of Abington.

‘‘Joe has helped me to figure out who I am musically and how to express myself,’’ she said. ‘‘Not only is he teaching me music but he’s teaching me to be open and original. I don’t have to sound like someone else. That being me is OK.’’

Two years ago, Merrick was Jazz Band Director at Hanover High School. He connected with his students and shared his love of music.

Jim DiNardo was one of those students, and his mother said her son, now a senior, has developed into a fine musician because of Merrick’s encouragement, mentoring and influence.

‘‘Joe introduced his students to the sound of jazz, inspired them to work collaboratively as an ensemble and gave them confidence to push themselves to become better musicians.

‘‘He knows how to bring out the best in young musicians, challenging them to keep trying and perfect the next piece of music,’’ she said.

Merrick is working on a new CD and a documentary DVD chronicling his career to show a musician can make a living without being a superstar.

He has submitted his music to Universal Music Publishing Group, - Patriot Ledger


Joe Merrick -Self titled CD
Joe Merrick-Supernaturally Sober
Joe Merrick-Down Home
Joe Merrick-Lost In Boston



   Joe Merrick has been working ceaselessly in the Boston area over the last 30 years on a steady incline-building his career as a singer/songwriter.  Whether a soloist or band leader, Joe's original music and the stories about how they songs were written always reach the hearts audiences everywhere he performs. He writes about the simple things in life as well as the complex, such as the love between a parent and a child, and a young soldier going off to war.   

His songwriting style has been compared to, James Taylor, Marc Cohn and Jackson Browne.  His song, "Good Feeling For A Change," was licensed by Lifetime Television, as well as three MTV network shows. He has received songwriting awards from ABET, The Great American Song Contest "Song of the year", and Billboard.

His Latest accolades consist of two well-received performances, opening up for The Steve Miller Band.  He won the “Ohh, Ohh it’s Love” Subaru commercial competition where they were looking for a “fresh new sound for 2013”. The Commercial was aired during the World Series. As a result of winning the contest he now works for the company and has sung over twenty five commercials for major companies including Honda, Ford, Toyota and Work Out World.   He won two awards from Limelight Magazine “Male vocalist of the year” and “Song of the year” for “We’d Be Lying,” which he co-wrote with Kiley Evans.  He and band members joined Carole King at an event in New Hampshire, they played a set of American-themed songs and then he performed with King herself. Currently Joe is working on five songs for a new album, titled “Priscilla.   “All of the songs will be original compositions except a piano-based cover of  “Stairway to Heaven”.    
                                     As a Berklee College Alumnus, Joe has learned to survive in the music business by learning a number of different trades.  With songwriting being his main passion, he is an accomplished drummer, piano player, bass player as well as a producer.  He is figuring out a way to make a living by teaching and honing his skills as a producer and engineer and has worked for many artists in the Boston area.

                                 Joe feels “making it” in the music business is very different than it used to be. “Since we, as musicians, are in the midst of the digital music revolution, I feel it’s all in the hands of the artist”.

He has figured out ways to bring attention to himself by using the tools of the internet by investigating and educating himself... “The skies the limit”  he says.....

"One of the best voices in the singer/songwriter scene today “

                                              - Les Sampou, Boston singer/songwriter.

Band Members