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Joe McGuinness grew up in a large musically diverse family. Mom, Dad, aunts, uncles, grandma and grandpa along with a slew of kids - all singing together was a regular occurrence. Joe was born with music in his soul; started playing the piano around age 3, picked up the saxophone at 8-9 among other instruments, and finally the guitar at 13, shortly after moving from Arizona to Georgia. Even though they tried, no teacher seemed to be able to add any more than he already innately knew, and he just continually grew from there.
Joe had tinkered with writing ditties very early on. He spent a brief period in a rap trio, played sax in the school band, and other musical experimenting early in his childhood. He wrote his first "real" or complete, if you will, song when he was 13. A tune about losing his grandfather who had recently passed, called "Reminiscing". The attention he received from it torpedoed him onto the songwriters path. He joined his first band shortly after picking up the guitar, playing lead with a group of much older musicians. "It was great," recalls Joe, "I was 13 and the rest of the guys were all in their 40s, and treatin me like I was a key part of the band. Started touring with them, and got my head too big to continue playing with them, so when Mom and Dad drug me back home from the road, I started my own band; Gathering..."
"Gathering" originally was Joe's big idea - create a songlist played by Joe, and the band would be city-specific. The thought being, Joe could tour by himself and pre-audition local musicians to play the gig with him. "A Worldwide Community Band" as he called it, "Gathering" in each city. Of course the plan never quite reached fruition, so he gathered some high school friends to play a series of little known Atlanta spots. Joe remembers, "The band broke up cause I got all stupid over my first girlfriend. The first of several women who sidetracked my focus..."
After the band split, Joe's style began to morph, as it does every couple years. He focused on soundtrack music and stage shows, writing a "Rock opera" based on his own idea of good and evil, God and the Devil, and the on-going battle therein. It was never competed, though several songs were finished. Once again, close to completion of project, Joe met his future ex- wife/baby's momma, and again causing his focus on his projects to shift. After a brief period of road tripping, the couple was married and pregnant. Moved to a house in GA, Joe cut his dreadlocks off and got a job as an HVAC installer.
Then, after couple years of marital decay, divorce, personal introspection, a couple more "sidetrackers" and a couple years of mystery time away from music, Joe finally set out to complete his first professional record. The songs for "From These Seeds..." were written in this mysterious period of transformation, the album revealing a snapshot of the man and what he's been through so far in life. This first attempt brought quite a buzz, including winning the Atlanta Blues Challenge in 2008, and the CD was named Atlanta Blues Challenge's Best Self-Produced CD as well as making it to the top 25 of the International Blues Challenge Best Self-Produced CD's.
Since releasing this award winning, highly acclaimed album, Joe has been hitting the Atlanta scene hard, amazing audiences with his acoustic guitar work, powerful voice, quarky song styling, and mockery of the banjo. Playing with many different musicians around Atlanta's thriving music scene, and wowing crowds with his solo show, Joe decided to "step it up" and give yet another attempt at a band, hence the birth of The McGuinness Trio!
His latest effort, Tin Umbrella, is a full band sound with all the members of the Trio, Joe McGuinness, Aaron Trubic and Scott Callison, as well as guests musicians. As with each of Joe's songs, these are a continuing journey in Joe's life mixed with a unique collaboration with Oliver Wood on the title song.