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Tag Archives: Country

On May 31, I was extremely pleased to play a return gig at the popular Alexandria watering hole, St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub.  With me were Jim Gormley on percussion and Matthew Leonard on bass.  We had a great time playing our mix of pop, country, R&B, and blues – featuring cool original tunes as well as fun covers.  The set included songs recorded by Keith Urban, Tina Turner, The Eagles, LaBelle, Garth Brooks, and Demi Lovato.


A few months ago I had the occasion to travel through Nashville on the way to visit family.  As I was passing through, I decided to take the opportunity to try to get in on the open mic at The Bluebird Cafe.  I’ve heard so much about it ever since I began songwriting.

I’m happy to report that I got there early enough to get in the door and to play.  It was a great experience!  It’s a cozy place, certainly, so you get to look your audience right in the eye.  Obviously, many of the people in attendance are performers and songwriters as well.  That fact, along with the marvelous MC job done by open mic host Barbara Cloyd, creates a welcoming atmosphere.  Better yet!  Because a few folks had left early (before their turn at the mic came), there was extra time.  So Barbara drew two names out of a hat for a second song.  Guess what?  I got to play twice, sharing two of my original tunes!  How cool is that?!

Here’s the craziest part of it all – for me.  You see, my parents were both from the Nashville area.  As a result, I spent almost every Xmas and a week or two every summer visiting thereabouts when I was a kid.  Our home base was always my grandmother’s house.  That house, as it turns out, is a stone’s throw from The Bluebird Cafe!  I kid you not!!  I used to go door-to-door caroling with my uncle’s boyscout troop through that neighborhood!  I used to help my grandmother shop at the grocery store down the street where now a Whole Foods is located.  My grandma is no longer there, and the house doesn’t even look the same.  Still, just being in that neighborhood brought so many memories flooding back.

Of course, all that doesn’t make me a better performer or songwriter.  Ha!  Even so, it sure as heck made my evening singing at The Bluebird Cafe one for reminiscing as well as one to remember.

A few days ago I had to take a very long drive by myself.  After a few hours on the road, I invariable turn to the radio.  The fact that I don’t know what to expect in the song lineup keeps me more aware and focused while the miles pass by.  And it gives me the added benefit of hearing music I might not otherwise hear.  Ya know?

Anyway, one of the stations I landed on announced a new give-away promotion they’d be doing for tickets to see Maroon 5 & Kelly Clarkson in concert.  Holy crap!  I just about jumped out of my seat.  But I was driving at about 70 mph, so I didn’t.  Maroon 5 and Kelly Clarkson?!  Who thought that one up?  Cause whoever did came up with a GREAT idea.

In my opinion Kelly Clarkson is probably one of the best voices in the music industry today.  And she’s building a public repertoire that is broader than just light radio pop.  We all know she can do more because of all the crazy things they made her sing on American Idol.  Right?  And for their part, Maroon 5 is currently flexing it’s muscles in the pop arena with two solid hits from their last album, “Overexposed,” following closely on the big success of the “Moves Like Jagger” re-release with Christina Aguilera.  When you listen to their CDs, you note that they also have a wider reach musically than just enjoyable radio rock and pop.  Much of their stuff is clearly jazz influenced – which I like.

The dates for the Honda Civic Tour begin on August 1 in St. Louis and end in early October.  Openers at various locales include Rozzi Crane, Tony Lucca, & PJ Morton.   I think this is going to be one awesome pairing for audiences.  And, no, I’m not going to apologize for being excited about this.  My own music may be more Americana, but I have no qualms about applauding good music and good live performance in any genre.

BTW, general tickets for the tour go on sale tomorrow – April 6!

Here it is – the poster for my upcoming gig at St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub in the Delray neighborhood of Alexandria, VA.  This establishment is well-known and well-liked around the area because of it’s good food, good drinks and GOOD MUSIC.  I’ll be doing a mixed set of great popular tunes with some of my own original tunes woven in.  It’ll definitely be a fun evening, and there’s no cover!  With me will be Jim Gormley on percussion and Matthew Leonard on bass.  See you there!!

Anyone who has visited this blog in the past year has heard (seen) me talk about my debut CD – Joe Peck: In The City Lights.

Well, it has taken several months longer than I anticipated.  But I think the wait was well worth it.  The CD is ready and available and – dare I say it – in release.  You can buy it using this link at CDBaby as an mp3 album.  Awesome!!

It’ll be available in disc form shortly – as soon as the mail gets them to Oregon.  Of course, you can always buy a disc at one of my shows.  And if you don’t dig CD Baby, the album will be up at myriad other retailers (iTunes, Amazon, etc.) soon. 

Here’s a little info about the CD –

Genres:  Americana Rock/Country Pop
In Brief:  This debut album is a meaty musical stew of rock, country, blues, folk and pop spiced liberally with outstanding vocals, unforgettable hooks, and alternately fun and deeply poignant lyrics.

This past Saturday I had the opportunity to perform for a local cable entertainment show.  The show’s producer, Rick Dash, does a number of entertainment-related productions for the Arlington independent access channel under the Rick Dash Presents brand.

The production we taped was the inaugural episode of an entertainment-focused show highlighting local talent.  The host is DJ Nose -” the best and most versatile DJ in the area” – who does a great job serving up the guests he has lined up to share with area audiences.

Although my drum and bass players were unable to join me, I played and sang to backup tracks culled from the work on the CD.  The songs I performed were “In The City Lights” and “World Of My Own.”  As soon as I have some video or know when the show is airing, I will let everybody know. 

It was great fun.  The folks were awesome – Rick Dash, DJ Nose, the other very talented guest Shanelle (I hope I’m spelling that right!) and the entire crew at Arlington Independent Media.  Can’t wait to see the show!!!

And … I almost forgot.  Huge shout-out and thanks to Heather Curcio Saladino who made the early Saturday morning taping on one of the hottest days of the year.  You rock, Heather!!

As those who have read this blog before know, I’m fairly new at writing songs seriously.  I’ve been at it about a year and a half.  Previously I’d written a couple of tunes, but had mostly been performing and interpreting music written by others.

As a new songwriter, I figured it’d be good to learn from others wherever I can.  That’s why I joined the Songwriters Association of Washington (SAW) and have attended a number of their workshops and events.  Recently, the SAW Songwriter’s Toolbox workshop covered the subject of co-writing.  Something I’ve been seeing on that Bravo TV show “Platinum Hit” hosted by Jewel.  It looks kind of messy and even frustrating at times – but the payoff seems intriguing.

Anyway, at the SAW Toolbox they discussed co-writing.  We had an award-winning co-writing team (Janine Wilson and Max Evans) play some of their songs and describe their process as co-writers.  And THEN we were paired up and given the task of brainstorming jointly – just brainstorming.   Now that was an interesting process.  Perhaps I lucked out, but my session partner and I came up with enough material that we are now working on TWO songs from the same kernel of inspiration. 

I figure the session was meant to be a songwriting exercise, so we may as well get as much exercise as we can from the experience!   I’m really looking forward to getting the songs written, and we’re making progress.  They are both about the same subject, but they are in different musical styles and will very likely tell disparate stories on the same theme.  Hopefully, I’ll have more to share soon.  I’m psyched!

My single (yes, it’s still the only song out from the CD so far – lol) just went live on DJ Dixie McCorkell’s syndicated show, Americana Collection.  Dixie’s show plays the best in INDEPENDENT Alt. Country, Roots Rock, Bluegrass, Folk and … Americana.  I’m happy to say that she added ITCL to her playlist for the current show!

The show hit the street first in the Twin Cities this past Saturday.  According to radio station staff, ITCL got lots of local call-in requests.  Now THAT’S what I’m talking about!! 

Dixie has also put the show – Americana Collection #103 – up online as a podcast.  You can listen to it HERE.  Thanks Dixie!  And thank you, Minneapolis/St. Paul!

Although I don’t generally blog every time I attend an open mic, I felt I should definitely post once again about the great acoustic open mic at Modern Times Cafe in the Politics & Prose bookstore on Connecticut Ave in DC.  Why?  Well, because host Maureen Nelson was kind enough to recognize this blog when I performed there last night, of course!

As always, Maureen and Modern Times provide a congenial atmosphere that encourages lots of participation from musicians, poets, comedians, etc. every Friday night.  Last night was no exception.  There were plenty of talented folks offering up their art in this cocoon for creativity.  We had, of course, many singer/songwriters, performers sharing their renditions of cover tunes, a comedian, a cellist, then a cello/guitar duet, and more.  Adrian Hardkor Krygowski took a turn center stage, and the talented Ryan Lane – singer/songwriter, Navy corpsman and Iraq veteran – was the guest artist.  Even the audience was full of talent, including Star FK Radium guitarist Bill Martien, often a performer at Modern Times and many other venues locally and across the country.

With the new single out, I’m trying to get the song played while I continue working on finishing the CD.   Seriously, I am not a PR agency or a record company.  Thus my single now languishes in the inbox of many radio station music directors.  But, hey, I’m a singer/songwriter/perfomer just trying to make good music.

Enter podcasts.  Well, 2 podcasts so far.  “In The City Lights” has been accepted for play on 2 podcasts and is under consideration by a few others.  One of the 2 that has indicated their excitement about sharing the “In The City Lights” single with their listeners is syndicated and rebroadcast … drumroll … on radio stations.  Yeeha!!!  I’ll post more info about the podcasts and stations when the song goes live with them.  It may be a couple of weeks or so, but I’m in the pipeline!

I am so psyched!    Like the post title says: “Thank goodness for podcasts!”