Q&A with Fort Worth based multi-instrumentalist Andy Joe Pearce, captivating blues with rock and soul music

"The most important lesson I have learned is never give up. Don’t listen to negativity, and believe in your vision. Work at your craft and never stop learning. Whether it’s writing or playing your instrument make it part of your daily routine. I’m a firm believer that it takes 10,000 hours to become competent."

Andy Joe Pearce: What Did I Know

Fort Worth, Texas based multi-instrumentalist artist Andy Joe Pearce (Guitar, Piano, Vocals) grew up in south Louisiana as part of a musical family. On a school field trip in 1975 he saw BB king at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival which led to his fascination with the blues and soul music. Andy started playing in bands in 1978 in Baton Rouge where he began to learn the craft of songwriting from his cousin Rex Pearce. He went on to work for Phoenix Atlanta music as a staff writer where he met and wrote songs with Danny Simpson, Fred Moss, and Jeffery Sisk. Andy has written songs for various artists over the years, covering the genres of country, blues, and alternative rock. Andy has performed at the Larry Joe Taylor festival, the House of Blues, and Texas stadium. He is currently the music director of the Lindsey Kate Band.

(Photo: Fort Worth, Texas based multitalented artist Andy Joe Pearce grew up in south Louisiana)

Andy will be released a new single titled "What Did I Know" (March 2024). Andy says: "... a reflection on growing old and realizing that you don’t know yourself ..." Written and performed by Andy Joe Pearce, recorded at The Chocolate Room Studios, Opelika, AL. The Chocolate Room is a personal studio for Grammy-award-winning producer, engineer and guitarist Larry Mitchell. Andy has shared the stage with The Atlanta Rhythm Section, Tanya Tucker, Randy Floyd, Mark David Manders, Amy Grant, Susan Grey, Lloyd Maines, Lannie Flowers, Susan Hickman, Robben Ford, Greg Koch, Brent Mason, Gwen Hughes, Andy Timmons, and Buddy Whittington. He has recorded with: Grammy-Award-winning producers Larry Mitchell, Michael McDonald, and Kevin McKendree; Greg Westfall, the Calamity Janes, Will Ray, Stevie Gurr, and Louis Conti. Andy is constantly honing his craft with local artists in the Dallas Fort Worth area and is very passionately a part of the Andy Wood Woodshed guitar community.

Interview by Michael Limnios

How has the Rock Counterculture influenced your views of the world and the journeys you’ve taken?

I’m a big fan of progressive rock. It doesn’t really affect my song writing, but it is something I return to time and again. I love traditional acoustic drumming. I just find that it is inspiring personally. I like being in an actual studio with a live drummer. There is a synergy to a Bass and Drum rhythm section that is undeniably unique.

How do you describe your sound and songbook? What's the balance in music between technique and soul?

I’m primarily blues based in my songbook. My sound tends to be influenced by my desire to make music that has a soul. It’s a constant journey that I am always on; having said that I am a fan of harmony and “don’t bore us get to the chorus” school of thought.

Which meetings have been the most important experiences for you? What was the best advice anyone ever gave you?                             (Photo: Andy Joe Pearce)

I had the opportunity to sit down for a couple of days with Joe Bonamassa and discuss music and strategies for becoming more professional and productive. He told me to be true to myself and discussed his “four wall’s strategy” for promotion and production. Also, Seth Rosenbloom was very influential in me pursuing this current single release. I was discussing my concerns and he told me this song was very worthwhile and that I should pursue it. Also, my producer Larry Mitchell inspired me to reach inside myself to find the emotional component to the song. He told me to believe in myself. Which is great advice for any artist.

Are there any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?

I have the pleasure of working with other developing artists. The Lindsey Kate Band is currently in the process of making an album. Watching her develop as a songwriter performer and singer makes me very proud to be part of her story. She is definitely an artist to watch.

What do you miss most nowadays from the music of the past? What are your hopes and fears for the future of?

I miss complex melodies. I am guilty of being formulaic myself; and I try my best to fight against it. I love some of the new artists like Leon Bridges. So I have hope that more interesting music is coming back.

What are some of the most important lessons you have learned from your experience in the music paths?

The most important lesson I have learned is never give up. Don’t listen to negativity, and believe in your vision. Work at your craft and never stop learning. Whether it’s writing or playing your instrument make it part of your daily routine. I’m a firm believer that it takes 10,000 hours to become competent.

Why is it important to we preserve and spread the blues? What is the role of music in today’s society?

Blues is truly American music. It’s integral to all forms of popular music. We need to support these artists because they bring emotional connection to so many people. The world is changing and music connects to both the past and the future.

Do you think there is an audience for blues/rock music in its current state? or at least a potential for young people to become future audiences and fans?

I feel like the future is bright for the blues. My son is a big fan of complex harmonic music. The blues definitely fits into that category. Artists like Anna Popovic and Seth Rosembloom are clear indicators of the healthy state of the blues. I enjoy meeting young fans of blues guitar every time I play. We’ve played over 200 gigs for 2023 and I’m always inspired by the young kids enjoying it.

(Photo: Andy Joe Pearce)

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