The music business is ever changing and it is tough to keep up.
In genrel , things for the independent artist are better, but, there are challenges, for example, you have an opportunity to share your music with a lot more people, but, because there are so many people doing that, you have to find a way to be heard, to rise above the noise. It is a forest for the Trees problem @jstuckeymusic
GETTING TO KNOW JOEY STUCKEY
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
The music business is ever changing and it is tough to keep up.
In generel , things for the independent artist are better, but, there are challenges, for example, you have an opportunity to share your music with a lot more people, but, because there are so many people doing that, you have to find a way to be heard, to rise above the noise. It is a forest for the Trees problem. Probably the biggest problem with the music business is the lack of educational tools out there for artists. I mean, anyone can put their video up about how to write a hit song on YouTube, but, that doesn’t mean they know what they are talking about. I can’t tell you how many times I have had guitar students come to me and say, I learned a D chord over the weekend, only to find out, the YouTube video they watched was put up by someone that shouldn’t be teaching, in fact, that d chord, was an F chord with incorrect fingering and I had to waist the lesson having that student unlearn that YouTube video. That is why shows like this one are so important! So, what am I saying, just this, to be successful in music, this is a business and it has to be run like one. You must take it upon yourself to get educated about your craft and to find the right resources to do so. The take away point is that I wish I could just play my guitar and write songs all day every day, but, the fact is, it takes more than that to stay employed in the music industry if you want to do music and nothing else. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do, but, I would rather be making music and not doing paperwork, but, I can’t take that approach or I will be out of work.
I guess the pros are better living through technology,
especially for a blind musician and as I said access to more fans through social media and digital distribution. Cons, Well, I guess the 2 that hurt the most would be the number of con artists , lots of people that appear to have solutions for your career but, just take the money and run and the other is that most of the live performance venues are run by people that don’t know anything about the music business, don’t get me wrong, they are by in large nice people, but, they don’t understand what it takes to do a live show well, how many hours you have put in to practice and money in the tools you need, like PA Etc. and how much you have spent in your education. They also don’t realize that a Face Book post is not marketing!
As a blind person, the 2 things that are the most difficult
are not being able to drive whenever I want whenever I want. I can get where I am going, but, it is hard to do it at a moment’s notice, so I have to plan things out in advance and very carefully. That is why as a young musician, I decided it would be best if people came to me, so I got in the studio business so they would have a reason to come to me instead of the other way around. Now, I travel all over the world all the time, but, I have to plan for that and it takes a lot of effort and strategy to make it happen. The other big thing is that I can’t read, I know how to, but, don’t have the eyes to do it, there for I have to rely on my memory to get me through! Thank GOD I have a great memory; I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t. What that means is I always have to be on my A game because I can’t rely on charts or notes to help me out. While being blind can be challenging, I also think it gives me a unique perspective, I am like an audio ninja, sound is my universe and because of that, I give you a bit of an edge on other producers/session musicians because all I am doing is listening to your music, nothing else! I am more absorbed in the music I believe than a sighted person can be.
Oh now, you are putting me on the spot,
there so many people I would love to meet and learn from. Sadly, one of the people I most wanted to meet is no longer with us on this plane. That person was Oscar Peterson, one of the greatest musicians to ever live in my opinion. He was an amazing technician, but, more importantly, the joy of playing music was so evident in his playing! However, if we are keeping it to the living, I would have to say there are 3 people at the top of my list in the music business, if we start counting people like the Dali Lama, or Rachel Meadow, well the list would get crazy long Those people in no particular order are, Paul McCarty, Neal Fin and Dave Grol. Why, well they are amazing song writers, musicians and seem to be genuine people, not to mention they all appear to have the kind of work ethic I admire. I also would say in the rock/pop genres; they are the 3 people that most influenced my sound.
I have been blind sense a small child of around 18 months old.
My mom and dad were both lovers of music and song filled our house from before I was borne and my mom even played music for me while still in the womb. Funnily enough, my mom thought I was a music prodigy at 5 years old, even though I never played the first note on anything. She convinced a college professor to teach me guitar at 5, but, my hands wouldn’t even hold the guitar, let alone play it. I don’t know why she thought I should play music at that age, but, she did, and well, now it is what I do for a living. As mentioned, I had many health issues as a child and I spent a lot of time in the hospital. Around age 13, I got a bad case of pnomya and almost died. I had to be home schooled for much of that year. Well, I found many things to capture my interest over that long recovery, like Monty Python and other shows, but, the thing that changed my life was discovering old radio shows from the 40’s and 50’s along with some modern ones as well.
When radio was king, programs were made just like today,
but, without pictures. There for, the medium was an amazing discovery for a blind kid, all the stories were told using music, dialog and sound effects. I knew I could do that and from that moment, I started my life as a recording engineer. Later, at the old age of 16 I would start recording bands in my game room and be bitten by the music bug. While music was always a sentrel part of my life, I never thought about producing it or writing it until I heard those early play backs of the garage bands I recorded, I thought, I can do that and I then knew that was how I wanted to share my story, through music! Shortly after this around age 19 my dad got me a building in down town of my Home Town of Macon Georgia and I have been recording for a living ever sense.
Blind Man Drivin’
The song is very important to me for several reasons.
First, it is a song that works on multiple levels, yeah,
it is a love song, the song says” Lovin’ you is like a blind man drivin’” So it is fun on that level, but, also as a blind person that wants to let everyone know that it is okay to laugh at adversity, the song and the video are powerful tools I use to break down the barriers between the blind and sighted world and hopefully inspire both.
I have been blessed to do some amazing things
with my corer in music and I feel like I am just getting started, however, I must say that as a blind guy, doing all the running down the street and carjacking in the video, well, I wasn’t sure I could do that, I mean, it is hard to run full tilt down a street when you can’t see where you are going, but, I did it and didn’t fall once! I think that is one of the things I am most proud of, I did something I wasn’t sure I could!
I am also honored that; the song was chosen to be the theme song for the first ever “Visually Impaired Musicians Lives convrence” Held at the university College of London last year where I was a keynote speaker.
I actually have 3 projects on the horizon
First, I am working hard to finish the “Blind Man Drivin’” album for next year. I am waiting on a few things, one of which is for my friend Ross Hogarth, producer for John Melon camp, Bonny Rate, Vanhailen, Ziggy Marley and many more to get free so he can produce a track on the record called “Trouble Come Easy”. We have talked to several talented music legends to participate on this track and they have all agreed if we can get all the schedules to line up. Those musicians include, Chuck Level, Rolling Stones, Jimmy Hall, Wet Willie and Jeff Beck, Shannon Forest, Toto and Tayler Swift, just to name a few. The album is about 75 percent finish with a lot of great songs in the Blues style.
I also have an EP I am working on with longtime friend Rob Fennimore.
This record is more poppy kind of a Bare Naked Ladies feel. Our first single is out under my name and is called “Love in a Turnstile”. I don’t know when it will come out, but, we are getting back together soon to finish writing the last 2 songs for this 5 song collection.
And, the project I know will be ready earlier next year
is a project called” Joey Stuckey and The Shadow Bandits” This is a band comprising former members of the Popes, the Pogues and Modern English. We are doing an 8 song Album and we have finished all the writing, now we are in the recording process with 3 tracks totally finished and mastered. One of our tracks, called “What You See Aint What You Get” is the featured track on a female artist’s compilation CD I produced called “Ladies of the South”. We are going to do some touring next year to support the Shadow Bandits project in the UK in the states and maybe Canada, were working out the tour as we speak.
The style of music is routes, a great vibe and a bit of a departure for me.
I live in Macon Georgia, home of Otis Redding,
Little Richard and many more southern, rock Country and R&B artists. I am the music ambassador for my home town as named by the 2006 Mayor and city council. The music seen here is good, but, it isn’t what it should be. I have been working hard here promoting our music and we have no lack of talent, what we are missing, things that NYC Nashville and LA have is musical infrastructure. Over the last 5 years or so, things have been getting better and we are close to the dream of a full-time music city.
Places of interest in Macon include,
The Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, Rose Hill Sympatry where members of the Almon Brothers band are buried, The Oak Mulgy Endian Mounds and of course my recording studio, Shadow Sound Studio. My family owns an entire block of downtown buildings that we are working on renovating in to a music complex complete with performance spaces, recording studio, office space, rehearsal facilities overnight accommodation and much more, we have around 50000 square feet to work with.
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