EP Review: Six String Soldier by Joey Stuckey
Six String Soldier by Joey Stuckey
Georgia based, singer-songwriter Joey Stuckey might not be a name that sounds familiar, but to the inner circles of the music industry, he has long been considered one of their go to guys. A producer, composer, music columnist, sound engineer and hired musician who has opened for acts such as Ted Nugent, Trisha Yearwood, James Brown, The B-52s and Smashmouth, Stuckey is a veritable virtuoso. In his spare time, he is also a music professor at Mercer University, mentors young artists for a school in Los Angeles and collects professional awards like it’s his job. In case you need more, he is blind after surviving a brain tumor as an infant, graduated high school at 14 and has released, by my count, nine previous albums to date. The prolific and official music ambassador for Macon, Georgia returns with his latest aptly titled EP, Six String Soldier, available now.
Six String Soldier kicks off with “Blind Man Driving,” a fun, uptempo love song that flies on all cylinders while using a variety of instruments. However, within five seconds, Stuckey’s guitar playing commands your attention and holds it throughout the seven plus minute track. The guitar solo a few minutes in is but a hint of things to come. “10,000 Miles” opens with an air of mystery before the music blows the doors open. Quick hitting with a catchy chorus and lyrics such as “Like a voodoo doll/You stuck your pins in me/Long, sharp and straight to my heart…” this track has an irresistible guitar solo that you’ll want to listen to more than once.
Six String Soldier slows things down on the ballad “All Roads Lead To A Broken Heart.” Steeped in the blues, this Americana country track is heartfelt and relatable. As Stuckey sings, you feel the emotion behind the song at a visceral level, always a sign of something special. The mid-point of the EP keeps the tempo down with “Runnin’.” The emotional blues guitar work coupled with a subtle piano is beautiful as Stucky sings, “I never thought you’d be the kind of girl/To love and run/The kind of girl who hurts someone/But now I’ve learned/You’re just like all the rest.” “Runnin’” shows aspiring artists how to write a ballad by successfully marrying the sadness in sound with the hurt in the lyrics.
“Another Girl” looks at being fooled by love under a strong Americana vibe highlighted by prominent keyboards and yet another guitar solo that stops you in your tracks. “Lover’s Ride” picks up the pace with a blues rock feel. It continues the theme as it looks at being burned by love before Six String Soldier wraps things up with “Mr Mooney.” Vocally, “Mr Mooney” sounds completely different from everything else on the release. A song about loss and regret, Stuckey’s delivery is perfectly complimented by the instrumentation, particularly the piano. It is an incredibly effective way to close out this EP and it definitely leaves listeners wondering what’s to come in the future.
With a playing style said to be similar to Jeff Beck and Wes Montgomery, Stuckey knows his way around a guitar. The man has magical strumming fingers of gold. Vocally, Stuckey exists somewhere between gravelly and soothing depending on the song, which speaks to his deeper range and abilities. However, when you play the guitar as well as he does, it becomes a situation not unlike a John Mayer or Eric Clapton in that the playing is so affective that, good or bad, the vocals become secondary. In Stuckey’s case, Six String Soldier is a complete effort all around with strong storytelling, memorable melodies, and yes, truly phenomenal guitar playing.
Grab a copy of Six String Soldier right now and let us know what you think!