We met way back when in a West Texas town but not El Paso. Barry was based in Dallas and I was in Midland. It was the mid 70’s and we were playing music all over Texas in what was then a thriving music scene for solo performing artists. The restaurant/bars where we learned our craft and played our original songs and cover tunes were many and we worked five and six nights a week. There were gigs in Austin, Dallas, El Paso, San Antonio, etc. I especially remember many great times at the Cantina Santa Fe in Corpus Christi and also The Bar and Cody Cattle Company in Midland/Odessa. We were learning to be professional musicians. We booked ourselves, promoted our first indy recordings, partied hardy, drove ourselves from city to city and in general, managed our young careers as best we knew how. We had a blast doing it.
Attracted by our admiration for each other’s music, we became fast friends. On off days and many all-nighters we would play guitars, listen to our favorite albums, do the crazy things that young musicians do and in the process create a life long friendship. We weren’t thinking about it then but it was the birth of duology. As time flew by and we evolved and grew as artists we recorded many albums of our own original songs. But, the constant for us was always the fun of playing guitars together. I’ve always loved instrumental guitar music which began with the Ventures and Chet Atkins and Andre Segovia and of course, my teen fav “Rebel Rouser” by Duane Eddy. I will never forget discovering Leo Kottke and how that rocked my world. I loved Henry Mancini music and luckily discovered Bluegrass along they way. Instrumental acoustic guitar always on our radar, Barry and I fell in love with the first album from The Dave Grisman Quintet and the brilliant guitar licks by Tony Rice. We listened to it endlessly back in the day and it is still, years later, on my top 10 list of favorite albums.
Barry and I wrote a few guitar pieces back there in beginning like “The Berries” that I put on my first album (vinyl don’t ya know as digital had not been born) and I wrote a couple more instrumentals on my own. A few years later Barry surprised me with a wonderful instrumental guitar tune titled “Woodwork” dedicated to my father after he had passed. We went our separate paths but the friendship didn’t suffer and we never lost touch. We did shows together, went camping, stayed at each others homes and Barry sang and played guitar on my first recordings. Later, there were bigger stages and more important gigs. Barry did shows with stars like Ray Charles and Willie Nelson. Because I was New Folk winner at the Kerrville Folk Festival, I got to know performers and songwriters like Steven Fromholz, Chuck Pyle and even Peter Yarrow of Peter Paul & Mary I opened shows for Willis Alan Ramsey and Guy Clark and later David Wilcox and Bruce Hornsby and so on. We graduated to better known venues and played to bigger audiences in concerts and at music festivals.
Let’s fast forward to 2001. Barry was living in Nashville by this time and I had settle in the Hill Country south of Austin, Texas. Austin became a very productive place for me and Joe&Tree (my wife and I) gained a following with our music there and released several albums and toured the Sothwest. Barry and I got together as much as we could. While I was visiting him in Nashville once we wrote a piece called “Happy Accident” and that was the start. We wanted to write enough to make an album so he flew down to see me in Texas. My wife left for the weekend and we were free to do our thing. We wrote and recorded four tunes on my little mini disc recorder during what we fondly refer to as the Elk Sessions (my Cousin Bill had given me a big bag of Elk Jerky). What a great time and the project was under way.
My wife, Tree, and I moved back to Nashville in 2002 and we bought our first home. Barry and I got back to work on our instrumental guitar music. It didn’t take us long because it was so much fun. With flesh and bone, wood and steel, duology had created their first of four albums. After the first album we headed to the studio to record “Like Water Falls”, a Christmas album and then our first production album “Cruz Azul” with drummer/producer and good friend Tim Grogan.
Joe and Barry, duology, both live in Nashville, Tennessee now. Currently we are trying to find you; the audience we may have missed but have always believed is out there. Our fellow acoustic instrumental guitar music lovers. We want to meet you and share our music. It has been a long road and a big adventure but the journey continues. If you like instrumental guitar music and you are a fan of artists like Leo Kottke, Michael Hedges, Tommy Emmanuel, Bob Evans, Bruce Cockburn or Pete Huttlinger we hope you will want to give us a listen too.