Joey Stuckey Trio – In the Shadow of the Sun
9 tracks (offered in both stereo and mono)
Joey Sutckey is a Macon, Georgia resident who lost his senses of sight and smell as an infant due to a brain tumor. Pneumonia kept him home from school for a year and he was home schooled while recovering. He fell in love with music on public radio, especially on Saturdays, and that love for the sounds and the production of the music he loved pushed him into getting into recording. He began with garage bands in their home garage. His own musical work began in at 17 taking lessons in guitar from music professor Terry Cantwell. He went to Mercer college and studied with jazz guitarist Stanley Jordan and with Professor Steven Crowell later on. Despite his physical limitations, he has become a prominent musician and music educator in his home state of Georgia and well beyond.
Stuckey sings with power and authority and plays both guitars and synthesizers on this album. Charles Arnold is his drummer, Nestor Jaenz is also on vocals, plays bass and keys as the other part of the trio. Randell Bramblett plays organ on a track while Tom Rule is on keys for two others. Al Chez on trumpet and Darrel Hendricks is on trombone for a track. The Howard Middle School Concert Choir is also on the track with the horns.
“You’re So Wrong” opens the album and is the album version of the song. It’s a rocking cut with a strident beat. Stuckey offers up a nice guitar solo on this one, too. The radio pop hit by Van Morrison “Domino” gets slowed down and turned into a blues song on the text track. A dirty guitar groove runs throughout; it’s a cool take and the song really gets transformed. “Ain’t It Good To Be In Love” features the horn section and was written by Joey’s friend Charlie Hoskyns of The Popes who passed away in 2017. It’s a big and marvelous tune with the horns blaring and building with the children’s chorus into a vibrant and moving cut. Danny O’Keefe’s hit “Good Time Charlie” gets turned into a country sort of blues cut with guitar and piano setting tone. Fairly true to the original cut, Stuckey sings with passion and emotion. “Troubles Come in Threes” is a gritty song with some nice organ and a groove faintly reminiscent of perhaps The Doobie Brothers. Stuckey sings with more real emotion and wails on his guitar nicely.
“Still Me, Sane and Free” features keyboards and cool overall sound. Stuckey shows off his pipes and offers up a big guitar solo. Up next is “Truth Is A Misty Mountain,” also featuring some good keyboard word, a rocking blues lead vocal, a stinging guitar, and even a little bass solo. Georgia music giants The Allman Brothers Band get a homage from Stuckey with a cover of “Whippin’ Post.” He puts his own spin on the guitar and vocal delivery, making the guitar lead more his own sound. As in the original, we get a huge dose of guitar to savor and Stuckey’s brand of emotive vocals. The opening song is reprised, here the radio edit version. It’s slicker and tad cleaner sounding than in track one, but it’s cool, too.
Stuckey does a fine job as band leader and audio engineer along with his trio mates and Sun Studios in Memphis. The album has a nice sound and the songs are a mix of well crafted originals and interesting covers. Stuckey’s career as musicin, educator and Macon’s ambassador of music. Born in Florida, his home of Macon, Georgia is really what he identifies with. Weaned on country music from his father and opera, classical and sacred music by his mother, Stuckey has formed his own idea on music, blending rock and blues into a cool mélange of music. I really liked the CD and look forward to catching his live act some day!