You can tell a lot about a person when you learn where they were born, raised and came of age. In Joe’s case he was born in Mobile Alabama but at an early age moved to Picayune Mississippi. Now for those of you that don’t know, Picayune is only about an hour or so from New Orleans. The sounds of the Delta and Blues music in particular were the forever background music Joe heard while growing up. So it is no wonder that those sounds so deeply influenced him as he picked up his first guitar at age ten and began to play. Early on as he struggled to learn and play, as all musicians do, his step dad made a comment that he would never amount to much as a guitar player. From that negative comment Joe determined to prove him wrong and worked even harder to take his guitar playing to a level rivaling any of the greats in blues. All that hard work is paying off and people are noticing. When you are asked to play at Buddy Guy’s in Chicago I think you can say that negative comment has been avenged …and then some.
But there is another part to Joe and really is the reason he does what he does today. In fact, it is not only his biggest influence, it is the controlling influence in his life now. You see at age 25 after struggling with all the sins of the world that are so available today and hitting a low spot in his life as we all do, Joe was lead to Jesus and his never ending love for us. It was through this love and influence that Joe was able to turn things around, re-focus his life in a new direction and develop the gospel messages that are a part of his songs today. You can make a case, that one way to influence people with your music, is to put your own heart and soul on the line for all the world to see. If your heart and soul are right and your message is right you now have the power to influence people in a positive direction. In this case, both the power of Jesus and the power of music have united in a powerful fashion to bring souls to Christ and sound amazing in the process. I once asked Joe why don’t you just concentrate on writing secular blues songs and take your music more mainstream. His answer was because that is not what he has been called to do. I can tell you that is his final answer and in this case the right answer. So enjoy this unique blend of Blues, Gospel, and a heartfelt message, and wherever this leads we know who is ultimately driving the tour bus.
The Joe Lewis band has three CDs out that are available on CD Baby. You can hear audio samples on any of the CD Baby links in this website. The CDs are titled: “Love from a Distance,” “Good News Blues” and “Faith, Grace and Blues.”