Joe Gajan first picked up a guitar at the tender age of nine. He was gigging within two years and hasn’t looked back since.
Now, with an accomplished band in tow, he has released an album of rare brilliance. ‘Supermatic’ is an incendiary, high-voltage mix of killer guitar chops, driving rhythms and soulful, blues-influenced melodies.
The journey that’s taken Joe all the way to the release of what could well turn out to be the guitar record of the year is not a short one.
His rockabilly loving dad told a young Joe that he’d buy him a Les Paul if he stuck with the music for a year. More than three decades later, he’s truly earned that axe, having gigged and recorded all over his home state of Wisconsin and far beyond.
He has played with luminaries such as Dr John and The Outlaws and has released a steady stream of records over the years to boot. Friends have described Joe as something of a local legend, but he shuns such accolades, preferring to just do what does he best – make great guitar music.
That music is as much influenced by the great rockabilly and early soul records of his father as by the guitar heroes of later years. But you can still hear the influence of Hendrix, Page and Frank Marino in Joe’s music. Despite that, it is a unique sound that is very much his own.
As Joe says of the insanely catchy suite of songs on ‘Supermatic’, they are not just about showing off his nifty guitar hooks, they are about melody, about soul. They are songs as much for the musical connoisseur as for the casual listener. This is, in short, music for people – like all good modern instrumental rock records should be.
In crafting this mini masterpiece, Joe has enlisted the help of longtime collaborator Jimmy Erhardt on drums and bassist Dave Moran. The two are as good a rhythm section as you are likely to hear and perfectly compliment Joe’s musical vision.
‘Supermatic’ is a great record just waiting for an audience. A local legend he may already be, but this is an album that will take Joe Gajan’s reputation across the world.