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With a tattoo of Bob Marley and Bono on his right arm and the face of John Lennon on his left leg, Joe Bachman doesn’t look like the typical country artist. But his slow-rolling, laid-back tunes are born for today’s country radio. Somehow, the Philadelphia native turned Nashville mainstay has hit upon the perfect recipe for good-time music, songs that are 100 percent guaranteed to make listeners smile.
Simply put, they’re impossible to resist.
As is Joe, a gregarious country gentleman with a heart as big as his frame who follows the “One Love” doctrine of his hero Marley. Always ready with a hug and a smile, Joe may be the most approachable future star to ever live the Nashville dream. He also boasts one of the smoothest voices, an easy-on-the-ears tenor that is just as adept with ballads as it is with party anthems.
“My three biggest influences in country music are Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney and Lee Brice. To me, those three guys can each do what I aspire to do. They can hold a beer in each hand and sing a party song and turn an arena of 20,000 into a little bar. Then they can pull up a stool, sing a ballad and have the whole place in tears,” says Joe, who also cites Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson among his country influences. “They can touch your soul. That’s the artist I want to be.”
Armed with some of the sweetest harmonies this side of the Eagles—whom he also counts as an influence—Joe moved to Nashville five years ago after striking up a friendship with Big & Rich’s Big Kenny Alphin and independently released his first album, One, in 2012. Now signed to Rock Ridge Music, Joe is currently in the studio working on his new album.
Debut single “Lookatchu,” written by hit songwriters Josh Kear, Ed Hill and David Frasier, is already hypnotizing those who hear it with its banjo intro, engaging chorus and crystalline vocals. “‘Lookatchu’ has a great hook and a great harmony. It’s perfect for me and my band. And I love a song that you can crank on a boat while drinking beer and just sitting back,” says Joe, who’s frequently on the water when not on the road.
A true touring warrior, Joe has played more than 200 shows a year for the past 10 years, opening for such stars as Randy Houser, David Nail, Chris Young and Florida Georgia Line. He regularly writes with some of Nashville’s most in-demand tunesmiths, including Arlis Albritton, Brian Davis, Michael Howard, Brad Crisler, Johnny Bulford and Johnny Garcia, Garth Brooks’ bandleader.
In the end, Joe is just glad to just make everyday folks forget their problems, both through his work in the studio and live onstage. “If my songs can help someone have a happier day,” Joe smiles, “that’s all I care about.”
And with the infectious slam-dunk “Lookatchu”—and his forthcoming equally upbeat album—Joe shouldn’t have a care in the world.