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: http://joescoffeefix.blogspot.com.

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.


I Am Starting to Love the @#$% Out of Bebop Jazz

Although I am by trade and nature a rock-n-roll guy, I have always liked classic bebop jazz, like Charles Mingus, Cannonball Adderley et al., Dizzy Gillespie, and Oscar Peterson. The latter is actually the inspiration for me learning jazz piano and Peterson’s music is what you are most likely to hear if I am your Uber or Lyft driver.

Lately, I have started to LOVE bebop jazz and look forward to the day when I can perform it with a group as either a bass player (my primary instrument that I am quite adept at) or optimally a pianist (I still suck, but I am getting a lot better thanks to 30 minutes of practice daily).

Right now, I am in my study listening to the Cannonball Adderley Quintet “Live in San Francisco” on a bootleg CD my sister sent me years ago. I am definitely going to add this recording to my Uber/Lyft repertoire.

Jazz is definitely an acquired taste for many. I used to think it was distracting and scatterbrained and egomaniacal, but with the intense exposure to it I have had over the past few years, including my year long stint as the house bassist for Tuesday jazz night at the Mason Lounge (Madison WI), I have really tuned into its phenomenal awesomeness.

There is still some jazz that I have no interest in, like the atonal stuff Pat Metheny puts out. I am pretty sure that guy just throws a bunch of good musicians in a recording studio, unrehearsed, says “GO!” and releases whatever turds result. But if you are a Pat Metheny fan, more power to you. I am not there yet. That is more in the fusion genre anyway, which doesn’t touch my soul the way the old school bebop stuff does. Bebop is pure, raw, and organic. Because it’s often acoustically recorded and minimally produced, you are really connecting with both the music and the musicians at a much more intimate level. And musical intimacy is not for everyone. That’s why there is punk rock (which I also love to death).

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