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L.A. Beat

Joey Only makes his own way as an outlaw country punk

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B.C outlaw country musician  Joey Only returns to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Dec. 15 with tour mate Adam Farnsworth.
He has been busy dealing with a variety of life events including  divorce and getting attacked in the midst of the new tour.

Joey Onley returns to Lethbridge, Dec. 15. Photo by Richard Amery
“I got the frickin snot beat out of me last week by three criminals in Barriere BC, two of which are still in jail,” Only described in an e-mail from a tour stop in Kelowna.
“ I took it pretty bad too.  My face looks like WW3 hit it still (my) eyeball is full of blood, black eye, swollen face.  I have played 2000 shows in Canada, that's only the second time something like this has gone down, so I take it with stride.  You spend 20 years entertaining drunk hillbillies, you just have to expect that eventually something was gonna happen. I don't like it, but I am tough enough. The show must go on,” he continued.

It’s kind of true to the outlaw life though. He is pleased to be able to make his own niche, refusing to identify with mainstream country.
“I started playing punk rock country before many people were doing it.  For a long time it didn't make sense to people and I wondered if I could ever make my name doing this. I hate the pop country. It's made by millionaires in a city somewhere.  I live in the mountains, I have been an underground miner, a cowboy and any other things. So for me country music is about the land and it's people. I write about what I know. I think my whole goal was to destroy Nashville. Let's be honest, I don't fit in with that industry. I wouldn't even enjoy talking to those people much, we don't have much in common. I have never been on a label until now, never wrote a grant, never wrote an application, never kissed a corporate ass. I have made my name slogging it out in the small towns. I try to remember peoples names and stories. I am a northern folk singer and that's who my audience is. It seems that there a resurgence in country music.  More and more people are coming back to it and more and more of them are liking the more traditional idea of what country music should be. It should be COUNTRY music, we don't need session players who used to be in Poison on my records,” he noted.

 Careerwise, things have been relatively quiet since his last visit to Lethbridge with Bobby Dove in July.
“Things have been quiet since the summer for me because of personal life problems related to divorce and children.  It's just now that I am getting back out and getting to work. And I am really glad, I enjoyed the show at the Owl so much last time with Bobby Dove. But the best part meeting the staff and hanging with George Arsene and Shaela Miller and company afterward.  Sometimes that's the best part of the job,” he wrote from a tour stop in Kelowna, where he is supporting the new vinyl reissue of his 2016 record “No More Trouble in Peace.”

“No I don't have a 'new CD' coming out. I am in Kelowna right now at the home of Sleepovers For Life Records. Right now Scott Gibson is assembling the packaging for my first ever vinyl release tonight (Friday, Dec. 8) at Kettle River Brewery we are releasing No More Trouble in the Peace on record. I designed the album to fit on a record but couldn't afford it but now I am signed on to Scott's new DIY punk rock label, he is making it happen! I have wanted to hear my music on vinyl for nearly my entire musical life. I am very happy about this. Hopefully the copies aren't all sold out by the time I hit Alberta next week,” he enthused.

While he isn’t much for rap, another summer project has been laying down some drums for the Melwamen Collective in Ashcroft B.C.
“I don't have much to do with hip hop at all, but my friendship circles are large and tight. I was hanging in Ashcroft with the members of the Melwamen Collective, mostly native hip hoppers in the group.  Geo Ignace (aka the Voice) came over to the studio and said he wanted some new mixes and tracks to work with.  So I laid some bad ass drum beats down and Farnsworth threw in some amazing piano licks.  So eventually, more likely than not you will all someday be able to hear a punk rock cowboy folk singer playing drums in a hip hop album,” he wrote.

 He is enjoying touring with Adam Farnsworth.
“Adam Farnsworth appeared on my last album and has been officially an outlaw band member for several years now. You need to play 10 Joey Only shows to become an outlaw. Adam opens the show, he is a much more technically proficient musician than I am...I need him in my show more than he needs me in his haha. But really, when he joins me on stage it's like having a whole band. We're very funny back and forthing. Our voices are in different in ranges too so we sound really great together.  In many ways, it's a comedy show. Washboard Hank pushed me to being funnier and funnier as the years have gone on —funny is becoming my show,” he enthused, adding he is excited to get back to work.

“My life was kind of on hold this year.  I just got out of a 10 year relationship with the mother of my kids, whom I still care about very much though I accept what my life has become.  We used to sing together. I miss that too.  I would have to say that this was the most emotionally gut wrenching year of my life.  My worst nightmares came true.  I can't lie, depression was an issue through the process.  I am starting to find myself again and get used to the new who isn't a faithful husband.  Starting to envision more and more what my new life will be like and starting to make it happen,” he wrote.

He had an interesting beginning to the tour, getting attacked while on tour.
 He is excited to return to the Owl Acoustic Lounge.
“I like Alberta in general.  I am a huge fan of the prairie people.  They much more naturally understand what I am doing and what I am about.  I think Steve is doing a great job at the Owl. I feel lucky to not just welcome there but wanted too.”
 Admission is by donation for the show, which begins at 9 p.m., Friday, Dec. 15.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat editor
Last Updated ( Sunday, 17 December 2017 12:06 )  
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