j o e l ' s b i o g r a p h y
I was born in 1967 in Springfield, IL, but relocated with my family to Jacksonville, IL, at age 4. I was exposed to a large variety of music from my Dadís vast record collection while growing up and began playing drums in the school band in 5th grade. I continued in the school band program all the way through high school and was named 1st chair drummer as a junior and honored with the musicianship award, as well as the Louis Armstrong jazz award as a senior.
Started playing guitar at age 17 on a guitar that was obtained via a trade for some car stereo speakers. Played/learned music with various friends for a while after high school, and founded my first gigging band, Fair Warning, in í88, playing cover songs in bars, bowling alleys and parties regionally.
Moved back to Springfield in í92, and was soon asked to audition for local cover band Elephantís Gerald. The band broke up after a couple of years, as bands so often do. Then I was asked to join the progressive cover band Music Box, which also included Tina Thornhill on bass/vocals. In Ď95, Tina asked me to play guitar with her on some songs she had been writing in a new project which eventually became known as Thornhill, reviving a name Tina had used in one of her earlier bands.
Also during this period, in Ď00 and Ď01, I played guitar for local singer-songwriter Eva Hunter, performing shows in Springfield, Champaign, and on weekend trips to Indiana and Kentucky, as well as recording the live cd, Butcher Town.
Some of my influences/musical heroes in no particular order are Mark Knopfler; Mike Campbell (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers); David Gilmour (Pink Floyd); The Edge (U2); Duane Allman; Doyle Bramhall II; Jason Isbell (Drive-By Truckers, The 400 Unit); Marc Ford (Black Crowes); Jay Farrar (Uncle Tupelo, Son Volt); Dave Boquist/Brad Rice (Son Volt); Jeff Tweedy (Uncle Tupelo, Wilco); Jay Bennett (Wilco); Todd Park Mohr (Big Head Todd & the Monsters); Jimmie Vaughan (The Fabulous Thunderbirds); The Reverend Billy F. Gibbons (ZZ Top); Warren Haynes (Govít Mule, Allman Bros.); Tom Waits; Peter Buck (R.E.M.); Eric Clapton; Pete Townshend; Derek Trucks.
I believe music is a great escape. When I play or even listen to music I can forget all the troubles and concerns of the outside world. On a good night, on a really good night when the band is sounding just right, I can close my eyes and just feel the music flow. And thatís good enough for me.