Widespead Panic songwriter Jerry Joseph plays Vail | VailDaily.com
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Widespead Panic songwriter Jerry Joseph plays Vail

Charlie Owen
Vail, CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily
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It would seem to most that Jerry Joseph spreads himself pretty thin. He doesn’t see it that way, though. As the singer, songwriter and guitarist for rock bands like The Jackmormons, The Stockholm Syndrome, Widespread Panic, and even his solo career, Joseph tours heavily and is constantly writing new material, he said. He will play a free concert with another of his projects, The Denmark Veseys, Thursday night in Vail, kickstarting the Teva Mountain Games.

We caught up with Joseph while he was performing the all-important rock star task of … shopping for a lamp.

Jerry Joseph: I’ve been fortunate to do a bunch of projects … things kind of come up at different times … It’s kind of whatever it takes to make it interesting. I don’t know. I tour so much that … I feel fortunate that this stuff’s just around enough to keep me interested.

JJ: I think it depends on the players. By nature I think I’m a songwriter so it’s definitely not like a jam thing … Usually I’m playing with people who have some familiarity with the songs. Again, my stuff is pretty simple … As far as quality control, that’s hard to monitor, usually it seems like it goes off pretty well … When it works, it’s really cool and really rewarding and when it doesn’t work, it really sucks, but you never know what’s going to happen.

JJ: Unless I’m writing with somebody, I’m not usually writing for someone, with the exception of when I’m writing songs for Widespread Panic and that’s a whole different animal all together. I’m usually doing that with Dave Schools … But other than that, songwriting is something I usually do by myself.

JJ: No, usually for me I write titles … I hate looking at records with stupid titles. So I kind of have a list of titles and then when it’s time to start writing songs I use the titles as kind of like the starting point … It’s just something I’ve always done. I’ve always written like that.

JJ: I was really little. I used to pretend that I was Ricky Nelson when I’d watch the “Ozzie and Harriet” show with my parents and then I had a play guitar and they’d go ‘Ricky Joseph’ or ‘Joey Nelson’ and I’d pretend I was a singer. And when I was five I actually got a real one and started taking guitar lessons and probably wrote my best songs when I was like five or six.

JJ: Well, what’s funny is it just came full circle the other day because I’m sitting there playing all these Dead songs and Allman Brothers songs with members of the Dead and The Allman Brothers and I kept joking that I learned all these songs when I was 12 or 13 … then 35 years later it all kind of comes around.

JJ: The drawing power I’m not sure about. The highlight is when we actually play something correctly … you can never really plan on successfully delivering an emotional performance but when you get it, that’s the whole point.

JJ: Yeah, make some money. It would be cool if I could make some money at this thing.

High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or cowen@vaildaily.com.


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