#149 – You Don’t Need To See Your Audience In Order To Know Your Audience

Joey Stuckey is an award-winning guitarist, songwriter, singer, composer, producer, radio and television personality, music columnist, educator, and sound engineer. He is also the official music ambassador for his hometown of Macon Georgia.

And… he’s blind.

As an infant, Joey lost his sight and sense of smell as the result of a brain tumor and was introduced to music from an early age. His mother enjoyed opera, while his dad enjoyed country music. When he was 13, Stuckey developed pneumonia and eventually had to be homeschooled for an entire year.

“I lived for my shows on Saturdays,” says Joey. “I was a huge fan of public radio and on Saturdays, I listened to a show called, ‘After Space.’ It was DJ’d and produced by a guy called Rob Thomas (who eventually became a good friend and is still a great friend today). He would play radio shows like, ‘The Lone Ranger,’ ‘The Shadow,’ and other classic shows. I was so enamored with these stories – the sound effects and narration broadcast in a format accessible for the blind were just amazing.” The show was produced so eloquently, Joey decided that sound production was what he wanted to do with his life.

What began as a simple statement turned into a life-long passion. After that evolutionary period in his life, Joey bought all kinds of sound equipment and was soon recording sessions in his house with various garage bands. He was amazed at the writing ability of the many musicians he came across. “I realized, at that point, that there were things I wanted to share with the world,” says Stuckey. “And I knew that the medium for that was music.”

Without missing a beat, Joey graduated from high school at the age of 14 and at 17, began his musical career by taking classical guitar lessons from noted music professor Terry Cantwell. Joey went on to attend Mercer University. He furthered his musical education by studying with renowned jazz guitarist Stanley Jordan and later, with Professor Steven Crowell.

Despite his physical limitations, Joey has flourished in every aspect of his life. He released several albums, including ‘Take A Walk In The Shadows’ (1995), ‘Ironies, Pain And The Light That Guides’ (1999), ‘Live And Stuff,’ (2000), ‘Live And More Stuff,’ (2001), ‘So Far,’ (2003), ‘Oceanside,’ (2009), ‘The Shadow Sound,’ (2011), ‘Mixture’ (2012) and ‘The Acoustic Sessions, Volume I’ (2014). Joey experienced national success with the launch of ‘Mixture,’ which reached #9 on the CMJ Top 40 Jazz Charts for North America. Joey’s guitar style is reminiscent of rocker Jeff Beck and jazzer Wes Montgomery, while his vocal influences range from Mel Torme to Gregg Allman.

Joey enjoys promoting music in various ways. He is a featured music columnist for the webzine ‘Portal Magazine’ and contributes regularly to a music blog on ‘Gateway Macon,’ where he writes about the history of music in Macon and other music-related topics.

Joey is currently involved with students, instructing them on guitar, voice, music theory, and sound engineering. He is a professor of Music Technology at Mercer University and an official mentor for the Recording Connections School in Los Angeles. No stranger to musical theater, he was the music director for Macon State College’s production of ‘The Rocky Horror Show’ in the fall of 2002. Recently, Joey has taken on the role of music publisher and has a growing catalog of great songs in multiple genres. His publishing companies include Sociology Publishing (BMI) and Sign Wave Publishing (ASCAP).

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The music provided for this episode is from:

Artist: Joey Stuckey

Single: You Know My Name

Album: Joey Stuckey

Composer: Joey Stuckey

Website: www.joeystuckey.com