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Project Jem's first single is an instrumental named Rocco's Groove Thang. Hard hitting riffs with a bluesy groove. The tune features Billy Sheehan on Bass, Rod Morgenstein on Drums, Eric Levy ( Night Ranger) on Keys & Joey Jem on Guitar.
Stay tuned for concert dates !
Joey Jem is an established song writer, producer, live performer & studio musician. He is currently the Musical Director for Road Crew & 26 records / Sony Music Recording Artist Susan Aquila. He is currently recording Road Crew's debut album with iconic musicians Billy Sheehan & Rod Morgenstein.
Signature Series Jemster Guitars From JEM
The Great Joe Despagni developer of the Original Steve Vai JEM guitars named me Joey Jem in 1991 when he was building my signature " Jemster" Guitars. Here I am so many years later proudly known as
Joey's Top 10 List
Eddie Van Halen, JImmy Page, Randy Rhodes, Al Dimeola, SRV, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Gary Moore , BB King & just started appreciating Keith Richards & NIle Rodgers.
My Signature Series "316" Ernie Ball Music Man Guitars . Powered by SD 700 watt power amps , Marshall JVM, my very old Roland GP-8 & 4 Custom Marshall Lead 4x12 Cabinets. Loud & Proud !
Just completed recording Project Jem's first Single " Rocco's Groove Thang"
Featuring Billy Sheehan ( Mr Big, Winery Dogs, DLR ) on Bass, Eric Levy ( Night Ranger) on Keys, Susan Aquila on Violin the one & only Rod Morgenstein ( Dixie Dregs & Winger) on the drums.
Ever since my son died I dream music. I wake up around 5 30 am with a tune in my head. Go to my music room, pick up my guitar & record it on my i phone and send it to Don Chaffin. He brilliantly puts it all together lyrically & vocally. We have enough material for the next 3 albums.
Practice to exhaustion with my trusty metronome featured in this picture . Listen carefully to how other players phrase their lines & learn from them. I challenge myself to change my style of play, take myself out of my comfort zone. Most importantly . I don't take myself too seriously when playing live. Its amazing what you can accomplish when you respect & have trust in the talent that God gave you.
Q: Can you try to make us understand that powerful statement ?
A: Absolutely. I am an only child , I lost my mom to cancer when I was 12 years old & on September 2, 2017 I lost my son to a distracted driver. He was 2 1/2 years old. My mom put a guitar in my hand at 6 years old and made me sit in her bedroom for a minimum of a 1/2 hour a day to learn how to play that guitar. She told me that someday that guitar will be my best friend. It will help me cope with life's challenges as well as guide me through the good times and bad times. It will be there when I need to express my self , cry , laugh, scream. That guitar will help me make life long true friends. Brothers & sisters in music. I never turned to drugs or alcohol to bury my sorrows for my losses, instead I negated those negative low times by consuming myself with writing music & playing my guitar. I still have that same guitar next to me every day . When I lost my son last year I wanted to drive off a cliff. My life was over ! God had a different plan for me . My musical brothers from a band I was in 20 years ago came to me and literally lifted me off the floor. They flew in from all over the states and forced me to put my guitar back on and play a reunion show here in New York. They visited my son's grave with me and we cried together. I never thought of driving off that cliff again. Instead of death I am celebrating life through music keeping the memory of my son & mom alive. I have work to do on this earth. I won't stop until every child has an instrument in their hand. I am blessed to have the ear of some wonderful caring people over at various guitar companies. I want every school to have music rooms in memory of my son Baby Rocco. Music should be mandatory from grades 1-8 as well as grades 9-12. I want to give every child around the world the gift of music. I am living proof that Music saves Lives.
Joey Jem on Stage with his custom signature Ernie Ball Music Man "316" Axis guiitar.
Guitarist , Songwriter , Producer & Author of his upcoming book " How Music Saved My Life." Native New Yorker . Music is ageless , I never think about my age so don't ask.
Mostly my peers & every player I watch on the local stage. There is so much natural God given talent that you never read about. I am like a child in a candy store, I learn from everyone, every note I hear them play I appreciate. Without them the world would be an empty place.
Are you calling me old? (laughs) My advice to any musician…. NEVER QUIT!
My main Guitar is an off the rack Ernie Ball "316" Axis. I’m currently working with a team of designers to create a signature “316” AxIis . Amp wise I am using the Power Stage 700 from Seymor Duncan with a very old Roland GP-8 & Marshall 1960’s stereo cabs. In the recording studio I go dry with a 1990’s Marshall Jubilee & Marshall JVM but am looking forward to recording with my Power Stage 700 as well.
Growing up in New York Joe was surrounded by the ultimate music scene & some of world’s best musicians. Back in 1987 he cofounded the Band No Return which went on to national success but could never land that coveted Major record deal. Through-out the 1990’s into the 2000’s Joe – self-proclaimed “mediocre” guitar player managed to have his own weekly guitar column called “ROCK GUITAR WITH JOEY JEM” as well as a Ruthless teaching, Gigging & recording career. Joe also received artist endorsement deals from D’addario Strings , ESP Guitars, Seymor Duncan & JEM Guitars (Joe Despagni)- the genius behind the Steve Vai 777 Guitars from Ibanez. In 1991 JEM Guitars put out an entire series called the “JEMSTER” series. The Joey “Jemster” Guitar line. All fitted with ESP guitar parts, Seymors & D’addario’s. Interesting fact: Floyd Rose refused to back the line so the original Jemsters were fitted with locking Kahler Systems. The release party was called the Jem Extravaganza In New York featuring local guitar heroes Joey Jem, Steve Vai, Randy Coven to name a few. Joe & No Return kept pushing as the scene turned into the Seattle Grunge Era. No Return took a back seat and eventually disbanded in the mid to late 90’s. Joe went on to individually write & work with artists such as John Gatto of The Good Rats, Rod Morgenstein of Dixie Dreggs – Winger & various local artists.
The Second Coming of Joey Jem is driven by the tragic loss of his 2 year old son. Baby Rocco. His musical drive is no longer of a mortal stature however completely spiritual. “If it’s meant to be played, I am playing it”. Joe is currently the musical director & guitarist for Sony Recording Artist Goddess Rock & Road Crew. He is recording & writing new material for his band “Project Jem" featuring Billy Sheehan, Rod Morgenstein & Key Board Player Eric Levy ( Night Ranger) . In His spare time he is working on his 316 guitar line. volunteering & setting up music programs for children in local schools, event coordinator for THE BABY ROCCO FOUNDATION & an advocate for the Baby Rocco No Tolerance driving laws involving children that are hurt or killed by irresponsible drivers.
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