joe wright


Where I Came From

My story isn't special.  It's not dramatic.  I'm a pretty simple, easy going, mid-west dude who grew up in a blue collar, mid-west town.  For as long as I can remember I've been surrounded by music.  Whether it was listening to it bouncing around the back roads of Clinton County in the bed of my aunt's pick-up truck, or hanging out with my older brothers as a young boy singing along with the Beatles, the Stones, or the Guess Who, my life seems to be saturated with musical memories.

I started singing about the time I could talk.  I sang in front of an audience for the first time at age 7 and was immediately hooked on performing.  I messed around with music for the next 30 years.  Most folks never knew how important it was to me, mostly because I never told them, and because I never really stuck with it long enough to convince them.  When I turned 18 and went off to college, I shelved my passion for music to pursue other things ... things I thought were more 'realistic'.

Where I've Been

About 18 years later, after a series of life changing events and experiences, I found myself needing an outlet.  The most natural thing for me was to turn to music.  That year my mom gave me a guitar for Christmas, though I didn't really take learning to play it seriously until the following December, when I asked my younger brother to help me compose some music to go along with some lyrics I had written.  His response: "Don't you own a guitar?"  Well ... I did happen to own one ... but I didn't know how to play it.  He helped me to compose the music but when we were done, I had  to learn to play my own song!  On December 26, 2006 I sat down with my guitar, fired up YouTube, learned to play a D chord, and haven't put it down since.

Where I'm At

I love what I'm doing as a solo singer/songwriter.  While I'd never change the five years of starting, running, and fronting the local country band Fall Creek, I feel like I've found my home with rolling with just my guitar, microphone, and a bar stool.  I'm constantly trying to figure out what I'm really supposed to do with what God has given me, but in the meantime I have a few people to thank publicly for where I'm at now, and for what I get to do. 

First and foremost, if it weren't for the saving grace of Jesus Christ, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be here today.  As a young man I was on a pretty selfish and self-destructive path.  I was lucky to meet some wonderful people, Jerry and Tammy Flore, who had the courage to tell this rebel what I needed to hear.  My life has never been the same since.

My wife of 21 years, Christine ... what can I say?  She's my best friend, my confidant, my sounding board, my biggest fan, and my biggest supporter when I come to her with crazy ideas.  I'll forever love her ... up to the moon and down again, around the sun and back again.

To my mother, Sondra Stapelman; my step-dad Robert Stapelman; and my two brothers, John and Matt Wright.  Thank you for helping me to become who I am, and for being okay with the result. *smile*

Gene Brigham, for agreeing to join me to start my first band, Fall Creek.  And Russ Morse, Richard Mitchell, and Joy Grantham for agreeing to come along for the ride.  There were a host of other folks in the band during our five year run, but those four were the originals.  Thank you for believing in me, the band, and the music.

To Connie, the owner of the Grand Cafe, in Old Town, Lansing, for giving me and Fall Creek our first gig.  We were the first band to ever play there ... there have been many, many bands since, but Connie gave us our first shot, playing for "tips in a jar."

To the hundreds of friends, old and new, who have come out to support me week after week.  To the dozens of bars and venue's who have hired me.  To Bobby Guy for getting me on the radio.  To the many guitar slingers in Lansing that keep me humble and hungry every time I come out to listen to you.  Thank you for everything.

Where I'm Going

In 2012 I played over 120 gigs all over the Lansing area.  I'm toying with the idea of recording an EP, so we'll see what happens with that.  My goal is to keep on singing and playing until the day comes where I can't, or until folks get tired of listening ... whichever comes first.  See y'all around!

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