Writer of The Week: Joe Fletcher
Joe Fletcher taught English before leaving to pursue music. His students might have been sad, but we’re certainly happy to listen to his bluesy brand of Americana. His latest album, You’ve Got The Wrong Man is set for release on Sept. 23. We spoke to him about his transient recording process, songwriting as a 3rd-grader and more.
How would you describe You’ve Got The Wrong Man?
It’s my third record, but the first without a band backing me up. It’s a true solo album in the sense that 3/4 of the songs are just me singing and playing guitar. The others have some background vocals and minimal percussion. Everything was recorded live on an old cassette four-track machine into two microphones. Nothing was edited or overdubbed and no effects were used. It’s just a very bare bones look at this set of songs.
What drove you to record it solo, rather than with a full band as you did on your last two albums?
There were a few factors. I’ve used this four-track to record ideas and demo songs for at least ten years. As I started doing that with the first batch of songs that wound up on You’ve Got the Wrong Man, I quickly realized that some of them sounded finished to me. Once I decided I was going to make the record this way, I kept on writing and if I felt the song was done at this stage it went on the record. If I got the urge to add an electric guitar part or an organ, it got nixed and put in a pile for the next record.
I’ve also been on the road for the better part of the last three years following the release of White Lighter. I have trouble saying “no” to tours and things just kept coming up. Playing live is what I love to do, and I will choose it over a week in the studio any day of my life. Recording a record myself on a mobile device allowed me to set up shop wherever I wanted to record. It also works out nicely because, as much as I love playing with a band, I wind up touring solo a fair amount of the time. This record gives folks that particularly like that side of me something to listen to at the beach.
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