Catch on to Joe Macheret in February

Amanda Allen

Joe Macheret has played with just about everyone in this town. Currently he plays with The Tillers, Maria Carelli, Scott Risner, and his own band Joe’s Truck Stop. Music is what he loves. The pace and rhythm of it is great, and for him being a full time musician is something that he loves. I met Joe about a year or two ago and was blown away by his talent. It seemed effortless. The effortlessness comes from the fact that he has basically been playing since he was five or six years old. That’s when it started and at one point years later he found himself studying music at Berkeley in Boston. To really get to know Joe, it goes way back.

In the most recent conversation I had with him he said that his earliest memory musically was when he was about three or four years old and he walked into the dining/piano room where his mother was playing the little yellow upright piano they had. She began pulling books of classical pieces out of the piano bench. She began reading and turning the pages of the books as if they were English. Despite Joe’s age, he was able to decipher that she wasn’t reading English, this was some sort of other language that translated into what he was hearing as his mother’s fingers touched the keys. It progressed from there with his parents wanting their children to be involved with music in some form or fashion.

His siblings and himself all started out on piano at five or six and as they progressed, they all wanted to try other instruments. His brother played violin for a year, his sister played flute, and Joe had been thinking about playing banjo or guitar around third grade. His father told him, after asking, that he would get Joe a guitar or banjo if he played violin for a year. Well, Joe didn’t get a guitar for years, then got his first banjo years after that. Through all that waiting though, Joe can pretty much play anything with strings on it from violin, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, banjo, and bass. With all this knowledge he has now been lending his skill to teaching at The Folk School Coffee Parlor in Ludlow, Kentucky. Guess we can surmise that through all the learning he received having the ability to teach others can bring this whole thing full circle.           

Joe keeps himself pretty busy doing this full time. He will be the artist in residence at The Crow’s Nest this month of February. Every Thursday evening, he will be performing along with a who’s who of folks you should not miss, as well as a full slate of shows happening throughout the month.

The last question I asked Joe was, “Why music? Why this of all things to do?” And he said, “I find purpose in it. I started 20 years ago and haven’t been able to get away from it. There were a few months, years ago where I thought I might like to be a lawyer, that was pretty damn weird. But honestly, I love being a musician full time.” Joe plays everything from country, blues, swing, old time Appalachian fiddle and banjo, Bluegrass, rock and roll, western swing, jump blues, and so many more and basically the guy loves old American music. And, that is a Joe Macheret show, all of the influences and styles coming out throughout the evening. Make it a point to come see him and any one of the following shows below. Ultimately, just enjoy the music.

February 4th - Crow’s Nest “Old Times, New Times" w/Uncle Mike Carr and the Urban Pioneers 

February 5th - Cyclone’s Bourbon Tasting at the Cyclone’s game w/The Tillers

February 9th - Sis’ on Monmouth in Newport, KY w/Northern Kentucky Bluegrass Band

February 11th - Crow’s Nest “Heartachers and Heartbreakers Songwriter’s Round” w/Maria Carrelli, Pat Hu, and Jared Schaedle 

February 16th - Sis’ on Monmouth in Newport, KY w/Northern Kentucky Bluegrass Band

February 18th - Crow’s Nest w/Joe’s Truck Stop and Dawg Yawp

February 20th - The Batesville Library w/The Tillers

February 23rd - Sis’ on Monmouth in Newport, KY w/Northern Kentucky Bluegrass Band

February 24th - Southgate House Revival w/The Tillers (electric set)

February 25th - Crow’s Nest w/Mike Oberst and Fleener Woozie

February 26th - Peacock Truck Stop w/Drunken Cuddle, Joe’s Truck Stop, Josh Sparks, and 40ty

February 28th - Northside Tavern w/The Tillers