Confucius said, “A craftsman, if he wishes to do good work, must first sharpen his tools.” That being said, Sly Joe’s music is honed like an acupuncture needle. It slips under your skin, stimulates your vitality, then leaves you feeling good all over.
If you watched 'Parenthood' or 'Friday Night Lights' on NBC, you may already be familiar with this feeling after hearing some of his songs there.
Sharpening his skills on the global stage for most of his life, Sly Joe has shared audiences with a very large array of bands (Train, Maroon 5, Lady Antebellum, Avett Brothers, Gillian Welch...) in venues such as Hard Rock Cafe-(Beijing), Summerfest-(Milwaukee), Lambeau Field-(Green Bay), WAMI Awards Show-(Milwaukee), Leach Amphitheater-(Oshkosh), and numerous festivals, clubs, and coffeeshops from coast to coast.
Diversity. Little Joey liked to spin in the middle of the living room, watching the ground go around like an LP record while his mom spun Beatles and Jackson 5 albums on Sunday mornings. This became his Melodic Church of Rhythm and Soul. Afterschool he'd practice Chopin, Debussy, and Beethoven on the piano, or sing "Sweet Child O' Mine" with friends on the sidewalks of Wisconsin. Once teenaged, the guitar became his new ally and Van Halen lit the way through the back alleys of Led Zeppelin and Pearl Jam. After those flannel-ly grunge years, Joe immersed himself in one of his greatest influences- Stevie Wonder. All the while, writing more and more songs.
It was after a tragic car accident in high school left him hospitalized and took a friend’s life, that Joe began approaching songwriting more seriously and more sensitively, with a renewed priority to make the best of what we have today.
"Music is what feelings sound like, and I tend to write a lot about love and happiness," says Joe. "When a song expresses these positive ideas, it attracts more of the same to anyone involved, whether they're singing along or just along for the ride. I think it's helpful to bring more joy into this world, and I do that with my songs."
Those songs have earned him musical residencies in Thailand, San Francisco, and throughout the Fox Valley of Wisconsin. Hundreds of college and mainstream radio stations, independent films, and Podcasts across the globe have also found his music a perfect fit.
He's even performed with the Blue Man Group and spent several years as Musical Director/Bandleader of the WAMI (Wisconsin's "Grammy") Awards show.
"The most soulful musician in the Valley."
"Fans of fresh indie pop-rock with a splash of rebellion and a penchant for a good time will dig it."
"Sly Joe and the Smooth Operators have entered a new territory in soul, funk and roots music...creating a wholesome yet breathtaking live performance...nothing short of being marvelous and organic!"