Tuesday, June 07, 2005:

Joe Sun with Shotgun

Joe Sun with Shotgun -- One Timers
Joe Sun with Shotgun -- Home Away from Home (I'll Find It Where I Can)
Joe Sun with Shotgun -- A Little Bit of Push
In a hardware store today to try to match some hex-head screws for a super-sturdy bookcase, I noticed the far wall was completely lined with bins of LPs. This was a good find. $1 apiece, and it had some gems. I spent hours looking through them, found obscure bands from Brussels and from New Zealand, and a few classics (Bill Withers -- Still Bill) in fair shape. This one was one I picked up on a whim. Supposedly you can't judge a book by its cover, but I judged the LP by its cover--thought to myself "I bet this guy's got some solid music." It wasn't until I got home that I noticed the blurb from Johnny Cash:
Joe Sun is the greatest new talent I've heard in twenty years. His style is unique, his songs are super. He is in a class all by himself, and he's first class. If he continues to keep his individuality, and always remembers who he is, what he is, and where he's going, he will soon be one of country music's biggest names and with his diversified talents could become one of the all time greats in country music.

Allmusic.com doesn't have an entry for him--bio or discography--but countryworks.com does. Sounds like an interesting character, though he never had the level of success, on his own material, that you'd hope for after hearing the LP. As far as I can tell his music's all out of print, though I'd be glad to find otherwise.

"One Timers" is about loneliness, real friends, and fair-weather friends. The steel guitar's tip-top; the rhythm rolls along nicely; and the flourishes from the backup female vocalist make for nice icing.

"(Home Away from Home) I'll Find It Where I Can" is another track about loneliness, though this one is to a S.O. and is threatening infidelity. According to allmusic.com it was written by Michael Clark, and Jerry Lee Lewis covered it the year before Joe Sun (Waylon Jennings followed suit a few years later). I like it, though I'm not in favor of cheating in general. It's a bold, brassy track, not one to put up with any shit.

"A Little Bit of Push" isn't a saucy disco track, though it might sound like one. No, it's about dreams: working towards them and not. Tells a nice story, but then, success almost always makes for a nice story. It's in sort of a Charlie Rich/Harry Chapin vein (but with better singing than Chapin can muster). Again, the music's good enough but Sun's backup vocalists (Suzee Waters, Lea Jane, Phoebe King) make it all the better.

These songs should all have been big radio hits but weren't.

... On another note entirely, Murder on a Sunday Morning. Dayum. Greatest film I've seen in a long time. 'nuff said.

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Joe Sun...LP with "Old Flames..."(he had a hit with it before Parton), "Midnight Train of Memories" and a fine, fine rendition of "Long Black Veil."
Great LP. Been trying to find the single "West Texas Wind" he did circa 1985-86. A great talent. Played him on the radio in my early country format days.

Good to find another fan of Joe Sun. He did real country when the radio stations were playin' Eddie Wabbut's "I'm Dwiving My Wife Away," bubble-gum country at its best. Joe is still out there. You can find some newer stuff from Dixie Frog records (out of Belgium, I think, I love the name). He does a great minor-key version of "Johnny B. Goode," and his other songs are of the same caliber as his older ones. Of course, there'll probably never be another "Bombed Boozed and Busted," or "Livin' on Honky Tonk Time." The steel guitar you refer to was Neil Flanz of Shotgun. The guy was awesome (sorry for the hackneyed phrasing).

Dixie Frog is not from Belgium, it is from France. Joe Sun also released two albums and videoclips on Austrian Label Crazy Music www.crazymusic.at


You're right. It could be I got that idea (about Dixie Frog being in Belgium) because the CDs shipped from Belgium. It's been a while.

Thanks for the tip on Crazy Music.

Joe Sun is touring Europe this summer (2006) and has two new CDs, "Joe Sun's Greatest Cuts, Vol.2" and a new one "Joe SUNdries."

Anyone know where Joe Sun is performing in December 2006 or January 2007?

Dunno. Maverick magazine wonders what happened to him too, and this fellow claims to be able to put people in touch with him, but if this forum post is really by Joe Sun, you might just email him directly. :-)

Best of luck with it ... pity he doesn't have a site up.

joe sun has a new christmas song out. you can see his bio and hear the song on myspace, joe sun and the allstars. just thought id tell ya i am the son of his old bass player.

I met Joe last week on Captiva Island, Florida. Super nice guy.

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