“My grandfather always used to play at holiday gatherings, while my aunts sang,” recalls Joe Boes, when asked what got him interested in guitar. His best friend wanted to start a band when he was about 14. “I was supposed to play drums, and his friend would play guitar. As it turned out, we didn’t start a band, and I ended up buying his guitar!”
At that time, he started taking lessons with Bryan Rombalski at Durdel’s. “Bryan made me realize that music was more than notes, or studying for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Music was going out and enjoying other forms of art, life, and culture and incorporating these things into your music.”
After several years with Bryan, Joe joined the Toledo Youth Jazz Ensemble. They went to a competition in Florida where they took 2nd place in the all-around competition. He also studied with Rob Worden for several months, prior to attending BGSU. While at BG, he studied with Chris Buzzelli. He also played in various guitar ensembles, both jazz and classical.
In 1995, he went to Southern University, in Louisiana, where he studied under the direction of Alvin Batiste, a legendary composer and clarinet player. While under his direction, his ensemble was asked to play at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, where Joe debuted a piece he had written called “Vibe.” “The cultural experience in Louisiana was very interesting. Along with the great academic experience, I was able to play with many blues musicians and enjoy many different kinds of music throughout the streets and clubs of New Orleans,” said Joe. He was also employed by the University as a guitar instructor.
After returning in 1996, Joe played in various blues and R&B bands, including Blue Willie and the Mudcats, Mudfoot and the Blues Messengers and 5 Spot. During this time, Joe also moved about the country, with extended stays in Califonia, New York, and most recently, Nashville, where he spent about two years.
“I started out with an internship at Woodland Studios [which is famous for recordings from Shania Twain, Robert Cray, The Oak Ridge Boys, Days of the New, Ryan Adams, and others] but the studio closed, and I got a job in an entertainment union.” While there, Joe also expanded his repertoire playing a heavy rock/alternative band, and alternative country/blues project and finally a casino circuit R&B outfit. None of the bands ever became more than locally famous, but Joe says of the experience, “It was fun, something more to put on my résumé. Getting a chance to get inside the music industry was interesting, both for the better and the worse.”
Joe returned to Toledo in 2002 and jumped back into teaching at Durdel’s. Joe was married in July of 2005, and they have had their first child, Isabella. Also in 2005, Joe released a CD of original music which you can hear on his website listed below.
“Guys like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Howlin’ Wolf and John Lee Hooker are what drew me to the blues. That’s my foundation” Joe says other influences are; Motown R & B and the psychedelic funk of the ’70s, like Sly and the Family Stone, as well as Bill Frissell, Tom Waits, Marc Ribot, Jerry Douglas and old Hawaiian-style music. “Then, of course, there’s Hendrix. There’s so much to be said about him, but I guess everybody already has said it at some time, so I’ll just say he was an influence.”
Contact Joe to set up a lesson: firstname.lastname@example.org