About True Blues
Joey grew up in Columbia, SC and started playing guitar at 8 years old after seeing The Beatles on Ed Sullivan. Eric Clapton’s work with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and Cream in the 1960s was an epiphany, setting the tone and mood for Joey’s playing for the future. Through the years Joey has pursued rock and blues, playing in various bands from high school to the present. Heavily influenced by Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Allman Brothers Band, Eric Clapton, Albert King, Freddie King and Albert Collins, Joey combines a soulful voice and solid guitar work with a knack for turning phrases. Joey draws on his life experience to compose a large portion of the band’s original material. A diehard Fender fan, Joey’s main instrument is a Fender Stratocaster through a Fender Super-Sonic amplifier. Joey is happily married to his wife of 27 years, Robin. They have two daughters and a son, and live in Greenville, SC.
Inspired by his brother, Joe, and cousins Carey Jones and Greg Cheek, Pete began playing music at age six. He grew up in Anderson, SC, watching these older relatives learning to play their instruments and having fun performing with their local bands. Although his first instruments were six-string guitars, Pete soon developed an interest in bass. At age twelve, in response to Joeâs suggestion, âWhy donât you stop humming bass parts and just get yourself a bass?!â?, Pete bought his first electric bass and began to focus his musical attention solely on learning to play that instrument. As teenagers, Pete and his friends terrorized their parents and neighbors as they learned songs by the popular bands of their day, including The Beatles, Chicago, Rare Earth, The Allman Brothers, and Creedence Clearwater Revival. Such garage band experiences were instrumental in motivating and encouraging Pete to practice, and in teaching him how to work with a group to make music. Since his move to Greenville in 1979, Pete has had the good fortune to meet and perform alongside some of the areaâs many talented musicians. When True Blues was formed in 1990, he began listening to recordings of the old blues masters, taking on a new appreciation of their contributions to American music. Now a true blues enthusiast, Pete continues to learn from the many great players, past and present, who have their musical roots in the blues. Pete uses Fender basses and Yorkville amplifiers.
Joe’s calling to play the drums began when he was barely old enough to pick up a pair of his father’s sticks. Although he never had any formal drum training, he grew up listening to and emulating the jazz drummers of the big bands, including Buddy Rich, Louis Bellson, Dave Tough, and (especially) Gene Krupa. Nothing else really caught his attention until the rock era hit with The Beatles, The Who, Cream, and the rest of the British invasion. Then came Butch Trucks and Jaimoe from The Allman Brothers Band, Danny Seraphine from Chicago, and the ever-present Jeff Porcaro from Boz Scaggs, Toto, Steely Dan, and many other studio projects. With that tremendous variety of influences under his belt, Joe continued to develop the style he uses with True Blues today. After more than 45 years of playing, Joe swings and rocks the band with a big mixed bag of licks and tricks. Joe also writes and co-writes some of the band’s original tunes. Joe uses and endorses custom drums from Palmetto Music in Greenville, SC.
Bill reluctantly took piano lessons as a young boy, but it didn’t take long for him to develop an affinity for stringed instruments. Like Joey, seeing and hearing The Beatles was all it took. The first band Bill ever played with included two brothers named Pete and Joe during the time they spent together at The Citadel. Since then, Bill has played in too many bands to list. He continues to teach science at Cedar Shoals HS in Athens with his wife, Elaine. For influence and inspiration, Bill continues to learn from Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, Dickey Betts, Larry Carlton and Steve Lukather for guitar, and Billy Preston, Greg Allman, and Jimmy Smith for keyboards. For his guitar work, Bill uses a Fender Strat and a Gibson Les Paul through Mesa/Boogie amplifiers; for keyboards, Bill currently relies on Nord keyboards (Stage & Wave) with Speakeasy Vintage Music, Motion Sound and Barbetta amplification.