Joey McGee
Gig Seeker Pro

Joey McGee

College Station, TX | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | INDIE

College Station, TX | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2009
Solo Americana Singer/Songwriter

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

Music

Press


Two years ago, local Singer/Songwriter and New Orleans native Joey McGee left his day job to pursue his life’s passion: music. His genre of choice? A “creole gumbo” of musical influences he calls “Folk Rock Groove.”

“It’s sort of a blend of soul, gospel, blues, bluegrass, jazz, rock, folk, country, and even a dash of zydeco,” says Joey, when describing his (literally) one of a kind musical style.

But where does this particular blend of sounds come from? How does he make all these different elements work together? Joey says, “It comes from who I am rather than trying to make it ‘work.’”

As a kid, Joey played in the church, which he describes as mostly “Rockin’ Jesus” songs, before starting to write. Some of it was “churchy” music, some just fun. Eventually, Joey branched out of the church to play music with a wider scope: “I felt limited, like I was in a box. As an artist, you’re constantly like, ‘Don’t keep me in a box!’”

Inspirations for Joey’s sound include a variety of artists he grew up listening to, such as Bill Withers, The Eagles, Chuck Mangione, Professor Longhair, Prince, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Dr. John, and Patty Griffin. To describe the spectrum of his musical taste, Joey says: “Yesterday I had two songs running through my mind. One was by Travis Tritt, and one was by Rage Against the Machine.”

Joey is also a self-proclaimed “poster child for the late bloomer,” first picking up a guitar at 18 and only beginning to play for an audience at 27-28. Since moving to Bryan with his wife in 2007, he has played gigs all around the Brazos Valley, from Benjamin Knox and Veritas in College Station to more casual joints such as Revolution and The Village in Downtown Bryan. He currently has two albums out: Love is the Way (2010) and Fades to the Sun (2012).

In the Q & A below, Joey discusses his experience as a local performer and shares his advice for aspiring musicians.

What would you say are your strengths as an artist?
“Part of what I do well is take a cover song and make it my own. There is this song by Bob Dylan, All Around The Watchtower. I have a blues version of it, an acoustic rock version of it, I even started playing one with a Latin feel to it. I like to take these songs in and put them out with a totally different groove to them.”


What are some differences between recording music and performing?
“There’s something about live music, energy that happens during a life performance that can’t really be duplicated in a studio. Sometimes, [when you’re playing live], you just have to plug away. But it’s worth it because of those times when it’s great. Also, playing at a place like, say, Veritas or Luigi’s is a lot different than performing at Revs [Revolution Bar and Café in Downtown Bryan].”

What is your favorite song to play/sing?
“I go back and forth with this, [but] I’ve been enjoying a recent song I wrote called "Not The Best At All." It's a song about resolution with who I am as a person and as a performer. There comes a point in life when you realize you have your limitations, but you also have your gifting. I'm finding it's best to row in the direction of your strengths and not worry about your weaknesses. Seek to excel at what you're good at and you – and the rest of the world – will be happy campers!”

What was your best live performance experience ever; a night everything just really worked for you?
“I don't think I've experienced my best performance ever just yet! The release of my latest CD, "Fades To Sun," was really cool though. I typically perform solo but I gathered musicians together who worked with me in the recording process and we performed a live show – that was AWESOME! I need to get a band together soon.”

What was the worst? What happened?
“I don't think I've had a worst either, believe it or not! I've yet to be booed off a stage or anything like that. There have been a number of occasions where it seems that I'm performing to the venue employee and no one else really cares what's going on. I take those times and count them as a practice and strive to do my best regardless. I tend to look on the bright side of things - it's a double-edged sword really. Some might say that there's no water in the glass; I tend to look for the water residue.”

What is your favorite way to interact with your fans?
“I think I'm still growing in this area. It really depends on the crowd. Sometimes they just want to hear the music, sometimes there's joking around. I like it when everyone is having a good time and enjoying themselves [sic]. So if folks are having a good time that's good for me.”

What advice do you have for aspiring musicians?
“Other than working on your actual craft, I think it's really important to surround yourself with other creative-type people. Creative spirits thrive around other creative spirits and there is a lot of stuff we typically have to fight against (especially in our own minds). I find connecting with other artists (whether they are musicians or not) to be really refreshing. What we do is pretty atypical and we need to muster all of the encouragement that we can.”


Are you currently working on a new album?
“I have a couple of ideas and recordings I'm working on now. My wife and I recently bought our first home (well, we're paying for it anyway) and that has slowed things down for me as far as recording and performing. Everything has its timing! I'll hopefully get back into a good recording groove in the fall.”

For more information about Joey McGee or to check out his “grooves,” go to his website: joeymcgeemusic.com; like him on Facebook: facebook.com/JoeyMcGeeMusic; or follow him on Twitter: @JoeyMcGee. - Brazos Valley Insite


Joey McGee is a singer-songwriter with a sound like a mixing pot. His self-titled “folk rock groove” sound fuses gospel, jazz, and blues influences into a unique blend that shouts to be heard. Mostly performing in and around Bryan, TX, it’s easy to forget McGee’s New Orleans roots. McGee strives to bring “Cajun spice” to Texas through his rhythmic music – and does not disappoint. Lately, McGee has been experimenting with his sound. His latest studio project, Terlingua Taproot, hints at Southern country influences and a different vibe compared to his earlier works. We sat down with McGee to discuss his musical influences, evolving sound, and personal journey along the way.

MW: What artists or inspirations have helped shape the sound of your music?


JM: Good question! My influences are constantly changing, the music I wrote a few years ago is pretty different from what I’m writing today. Currently I’m exploring a raw sound – dirty, Southern, and real – and I’m drawn to stuff from Gary Clark Jr., alt-country music from the 90s – (think Whiskeytown, Driveby Truckers), and I’m digging songwriters like Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton, and a bit of Lydia Loveless. There’s a lot that goes into the mix!



MW: So you’re a New Orleans-native, but what brought you to the Brazos Valley?


JM: It was the invitation from my buddy of mine, Adam Saenz. My wife and I were visiting the Brazos Valley in 2007 and he said something like, “You guys should think about moving to Bryan. It’s a cool little town.” He didn’t know it at the time, but I’d been contemplating moving back south.

Prior to that, I’d been living in Pittsburgh. I moved there after living in San Antonio (left NOLA and moved there after high school), and I thought I’d only be in Pennsylvania for a couple of years. Hah! Life has its twists and turns! More than 15 later, I was quite ready to get back south. Pittsburgh is a cool town, but they don’t have breakfast tacos and abundant sunshine! It’s good to be back in Texas!

MW: Where are you getting inspiration for your latest studio project, Terlingua Taproot?

JM: The spark of inspiration stems from conversations I’ve had with my friend Todd Anguspaul Reynolds. He’s a brassy rancher and painter who owns a place north of Caldwell named Terlingua. During one of my visits there, he challenged a body of work of mine – I think the words “that sucks” were used – and it jarred something in me. It helped me to realize I had been coasting and not really tapping into the emotions and inspirations of why I write and perform music. Sometimes we need a good splash of cold water to help us wake up from our lethargy!

Anyway, those visits to Terlingua (and conversations I’ve had with other creatives) have helped me to tap back into the rootedness of who I am – a Southern, Creole-Cajun musician dude working through my hang ups and trying to make the world a better place along the way. These songs are a good reflection of where I am in life: they feel like rich, warm, black earth in your hands – it’s a bit smelly and messy – but filled with lots of goodness! I think folks will resonate with that.

Joey McGee will be performing live on February 12 at New Republic Brewery in College Station, TX starting at 7:30 pm. - Maroon Weekly (Amanda Boles)


Shiner Rising Star 2015 moved into Round 2 Thursday night (Oct. 8, 2015) with the 4-member Whiskey Prophets band tackling solo artist Joey McGee for the right to move into the finals. Sundown at Granada on Greenville Avenue in Dallas hosted this night’s event.

Sponsoring radio station KHYI announced Friday morning that it will be The Whiskey Prophets taking that giant step toward the finals and toward the career-enhancing prizes that come along with it.

In this Round 2, each performer has up to 45 minutes to perform their original songs along with two cover tunes. That includes getting onstage, plugging in and tuning up, performing, and then removing themselves and everything from the stage.

Judges this week were KHYI’s Brett Dillon, singer/songwriter Ronnie Fauss, and Mario Tarrandell, former music reporter.

Joey McGee stepped up to the mic after placing an electric guitar on a stand and holding an acoustic one, which he played through most of the songs. His covers were those from Bob Dylan and Whiskeytown. His stage demeanor, voice, and songs were at the same time friendly and magnetic. McGee is from the College Station area.

Judges Critique: Tarrandell started this round, saying he “liked the no-sweetener vibe and no window dressing” style. However, he added, after a few of the solo artist’s songs, the lack of accompaniment “started to make itself very clear” with a sameness to the songs. “What you lacked tonight was the strength of accompaniment.” Then, that said, he added that it took a lot for a solo artist to command a stage. “Something that a lot of singer/songwriters wouldn’t dare to do.”

Judges Critique: Ronnie Fauss agreed with both the more positive and negative points laid out by Tarrandell. Speaking from his own experience, he said, “It’s so easy with a band behind me. Harder to hold a room by yourself. But you did it. You have a vibe that captures people’s attention.” Fauss added that the biggest challenge for a solo artist is to “have songs that pop out. Your songs stood out.” He commented, too, that he could sense a real Guy Clark feel to McGee’s songs.

Judges Critique: Dillon’s comments were shorter and completely to the point — “Powerful, amazing, great songwriter. One of the best songwriters I’ve ever heard.” - Scene In Town (Mary Jane Farmer)


Discography

Terlingua Taproot (Due out Winter 2017)

Alive & In The House, Live Album (2007)
Love Is The Way, Album (2010)
Alien Jive, Single (2011)
Fades To Sun, Album (2012)

Photos

Bio

Joey McGee is a Texas-based singer-songwriter living in the Brazos Valley. A New Orleans native, his music is best described as Americana; infused with a unique blend of soul, alt-country, rock, bluegrass, blues - and a good dose Creole-Cajun spice!

The songwriter performs solo, duo, and with a full band, and is currently working on his third studio project - Terlingua Taproot - which is is due to be released early 2017.

Some folks that inform my sound are Bill Withers, Guy Clark, Chuck Mangione, Professor Longhair, Prince, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Jason Isbell, Dr. John, Patty Griffin and a whole host of others.

Band Members