1. Music background
Joel Ward took piano lessons as a child, played saxophone in the school band, and is a self-taught guitarist. “My band teacher in high school was definitely the reason I got into music. She heard me play the saxophone and told me I was good at it. Once I realized I was good, I put all my energy into music.”
2. Workaday life
“I raise my kids during the day and focus on my music the rest of the time. I teach piano and guitar and then gig at night. No matter what time I get home from a gig, I wake up early in the morning with the kids and do it all over again.”
3. Well, that’s odd
“I played at a place called That One Place in Rockford, Ill. It was a hangout for people who play games like Dungeons & Dragons. It was a very dark, gothic scene. When I showed up, the place had its name written in fake blood on the door. I was pretty weirded out, but it ended up being a very cool time. They were all nice people.”
4. You just can’t please everybody
“There was a lady in the crowd at a gig once who was really into our band, but the guy she was with hated us. Everyone in the band was getting a kick out of it. We all saw her mouth the words ‘He’s an amazing singer,’ to the guy she was with. Then the guy replied, ‘No, he’s not!’ and stormed off to the back of the room.”
6. Music therapy
“Being able to reach people, to touch people through music — that’s what wipes out all the negativity. I wouldn’t want to trade it for anything in the world.”
7. Take me to church
“Music is my way of feeling spiritual.”
8. Preferred place to play
“I like an atmosphere that is classy but not uppity. Something with a local feel, local music, and local beer.”
9. Musical style
Joel’s style is soul, with leanings toward Americana. His next album is going to be a mix of soul, funk and R&B.
10. Where to find Joel
You can find Joel at Forager Brewing Company every Thursday at 8 p.m. for Therapeutic Thursdays. Visit his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Joel-Ward-Music-118011591026.
Kim Zabel is a Plainview freelance writer and photographer. Ten measures is a weekly column spotlighting a local musician. Send nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.