Category Archives: Journal of Cactus Joe

CROSS TALK: Eric de los Santos (Marimba Virtuoso) Tonight (4/21) @ 8 PM @ Common Ground (Middleton WI)

A new community coffee shoppe and music venue called Common Ground has set up shoppe really close to my house, and this pleases me. It also pleases me that the fantastic marimba player Eric de los Santos is performing there tonight at 8 PM, as part of the weekly Durango Roadhouse Radio (presumably webcast) Show. It pleases me still further that the show is FREE and there’s food and booze there too.

What displeases me is that, as far as I can tell, this performance has not been advertised anywhere on social* or mainstream media. That’s unfortunate, because some people may miss this show as a result. Rarely do I cross promote shows other than my own on this site, but sometimes it’s worth it. This is one of those times. Sorry for the late notice…

In full disclosure, I (as CACTUS JOE) am performing at Common Ground on Saturday May 12, along with my band GUPPY EFFECT. That show is being very well-promoted, thank you very much:

I feel strongly that the community should support worthy live music venues like Common Ground, otherwise we won’t have such places around anymore…just DJs pounding out dance mixes all night in smelly bars (blech!).

In addition to live music, Common Ground has food (with vegan-friendly items) and booze, as well as ample parking in their huge parking lot. The interior is spacious, yet cozy and warm. It is fast becoming one of my favorite hangsz…and not just because it is close to home, although that makes seeing shows there a no brainer.

*Note: I have disenfranchised social media from my life, so I actually have no way of knowing…maybe this show is blowing up the Facebook and everyone knows about it! But I am gonna go out on a limb and gamble that this is not the case. So if you are just finding out about it now…you’re welcome!



Hi Friends.

Winter hiatus has been over for almost a month now, even if Winter has codependency issues at the moment. My full band GUPPY EFFECT has been out performing a little. CACTUS JOE (that’s me!) has a solo acoustic show performance at the Common Ground coffee shoppe in Middleton WI on Saturday May 12th at 8 PM. It’s even gonna be broadcast on the radio globally to the whole world. Then GUPPY EFFECT acoustic duo is gonna perform right after that, at 9 PM.

My musical presence just started an indefinite hiatus from the social media, mostly Facebook. The ratio of lost time to both productivity and return on investment was increasing exponentially (a bad thing). The social media pundits would probably argue that I simply wasn’t using it effectively, and they can shove that idea right up their arses. In any case, for now you can only get you daily (or weekly) dose o’ Joe right here on my official website…and business is good. Subscribe or bookmark this page…or better yet, come to a show and we’ll get you connected.

For some musicians, myself included, it’s time to get back to analog music media. Social media are a useless mess for connecting fans with good music. So I hope to see you soon!



The Road is @#$%ing Hard, But Also @#$%ing Awesome

Hello Friends.

Happy Spring Equinox! As the daylight hours get longer and longer, seek to fill them with fun things to do. Maybe check some things off your bucket list.

For a few years now, I have wanted to join the band SUNSPOT’s road crew during their annual mecca to rock at the South by Southwest musical festival in Austin TX in mid-March. It always sounded like a blast. This year I finally checked that off my list, and it has been a total blast. Since I am going back to school in the fall to become a marriage and family therapist (a two year Masters program), I knew I wouldn’t be able to have this opportunity again for some time to come. So I made it my goal to go this year and they had room for me in their new tour van. I’m on board as roadie, designated driver, and unofficial biographer. But I also got to perform at an open mic in Nashville along the way, which was super cool. The tour is winding down now, but it has been a fantastic experience, which you can read about on my blog:

Someday you will die (sorry if that’s news…). When that day comes, it’d be pretty awesome if you had achieved the lion’s share of your bucket list agenda items. So get out there and start rocking (in the metaphorical sense…).

Now that I’ve been accepted to graduate school, I am on a timetable to achieve some near term goals before classes begin in August, because studying is likely to be my full time occupation for a while after that. That makes getting my novel draft finished a much higher priority, and probably my main focus for the rest of the spring and summer.

I’m also going to try to do a few days of RAGBRAI, the massive week-long bike trek across Iowa, in late July. I fully plan to host my own annual bike event, BIKE WITH JOE, on Labor Day weekend. Even though I will have just started school by then, I should still be able to get away for the long weekend up at my folks’ cabin, a last hurrah before a grueling but fulfilling two years of hardcore studying and training.

Anyway, I hope you are happy and fulfilled and living the good life you want for yourself. If I can help you achieve that in any way, just let me know. I’m living my dream life for the most part and I’m happy to share my tips for success.


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