Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Just Joe

Just Joe’s self-titled, three-track solo EP dons a wistfully passionate sound through soaring vocals and touching piano riffs. Reminiscent of Ronnie Van Zandt’s powerful interpretation of classic rock ballads, the album features piano passages that Joe interprets with verve. He’s honed his skills on the keyboard since his mother taught him the secrets of the keyboard at five years old.
Perhaps the strongest of the EP’s track trio is "The Captain," although each of the three songs holds its own through powerful lyrics ("Sayin’ please, on my knees/ I gave my all with nothing returned” in “How Could You”) and a forceful rock ballad interpretation sustained across the entire album.

Joe Altier, Just Joe’s real name, should strike a familiar chord with Syracuse dwellers, since he’s a rock artist born and raised in their city. You may know him as former vocalist of Brand New Sin (BNS), with whom he toured North America, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and released three worldwide-distributed albums. Following his split from BNS, Just Joe amassed an eclectic repertoire of more than 1,000 cover tracks, ranging from Frank Sinatra to Metallica. 

A tireless, prolific artist, Just Joe will leave you searching for his other works, including The Last Days of Planet Earth with Elephant Mountain. He formed this Syracuse-based “straight up rock’n roll” quintet with former BNS guitarist Brian "Slider" Azzoto, lead guitarist John Hanus (Mandate of Heaven), bassist Dave Hoyt (Ledyard) and drummer Lewk Detor (Villains Trust). 

 This piece was originally published in the Syracuse New Times The Upbeat music blog, May 9, 2011.

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