Tonganoxie teen returns to Nashville for record gig
She and her mother flew to Nashville on Jan. 19. That afternoon they met with Joey's producers.
The next day, Joey, her mother, and Major Bill Welch, a U.S. Army officer from Fort Leavenworth who accompanies Joey on his acoustic guitar, met the band members.
"On Thursday and Friday, I went in and did some scratch vocals," Joey said. "They're vocals that they don't keep, it's a thing so the band people can know where they are in a song."
The next day, she went to work again.
"On Saturday, I laid down two of my songs," Joey said. "Sunday I was off and on Monday I went in and did my other two vocals."
Then the next two days, Joey got to watch the process of mixing the vocals of herself, as well as backup singers, and the instrumentals.
But the recording wasn't the only thrill of her week in Nashville.
Joey sang Saturday night at the Nashville Palace.
"I sang two songs, then I got an encore and there were people chanting my name, wanting me to go back up and sing," Joey said.
From that appearance, Joey caught the attention of an Alabama writer who took pictures of her and said she planned to publish a story about her in an Alabama publication.
And, Joey also caught the attention of the main singer performing that night at the Nashville Palace.
"He came over and he gave me one of his demo CDs that had songs that he had written and recorded and he wanted me to sing them," Joey said.
As if that wasn't enough, The Osborne Brothers, members of a bluegrass band that had just finished singing at the Grand Old Opry, made a visit to the Nashville Palace.
"I was performing, and two of the members (of the Osborne Brothers) came over to me when I was done, they said wow, you have got a voice, -- you are going to go far," Joey said. "It was really cool."
Major Bill Welch, who is an operations research analyst at Fort Leavenworth, said two of his activities -- working for the U.S. Army, and playing acoustic guitar -- are "as different as night and day."
Welch and Joey became acquainted about two years ago when they were competing against each other in the Colgate Country Showdown.
"My interest was sparked," Welch said.
"When I heard her sing, she was awesome. I told her if she was ever interested in taking her show live and wanted a guitar player to please give me a call because I wanted to play for her -- and she took me up on it."
With his boss' blessing, Welch took a week off work to play guitar on Joey's new CD.
But, Welch, who has five years before retirement, isn't about to quit his day job.
"I'm married and the father of three," Welch said. "I've got to provide for them. But when Judy (Joey's mother) does the bookings, she is very sensitive to that. She tries to get it to where I don't have to take time off from work."
From the beginning, Welch has been impressed with Joey.
There's her talent.
"I truly believe that Joey has what it takes to make it in this industry," Welch said. "I have seen her perform for the last 18 months and her comfort level on the stage is tenfold what it was when I saw her 18 months ago.
There's her work ethic.
While recording her CD, Joey had to sing one song over and over -- for two hours.
"She never batted an eye," Welch said. "If you sing one song for two hours, the normal person is going to get real frustrated with it. I never saw that and I never heard it in her voice."
There's her personality.
"She's very positive," Welch said. "She's very down-to-earth."
For example, Welch was impressed at the Nashville Palace when two young ladies on the front row were screaming for Joey.
"She immediately goes down to the front row, meets with those girls, talks to them, gets to know them and makes a friend," Welch said.
There's her loyalty.
"Joey had told me when we started playing together that if something ever came out of her singing -- a Nashville contract -- that she would want me to go with her," Welch said. "She's loyal like that, and she wanted to drag me along and I was more than happy to go."
And, there's her family.
"She's very focused and she's got a lot of support from her mom and dad," Welch said.
When he retires, Welch, who also is a songwriter, said he'd like to move to Nashville and work as a studio musician.
"But I'm also smart enough to realize that that's a difficult situation to get into, but Joey has given me a toe in the door," Welch said. "Well, who knows -- I may be driving her bus instead of playing guitar for her at that point."