Joe Normal is a dichotomy. As his name would suggest, you’d expect upon meeting him he’d fall on one or another extreme... Either totally out there punk-rock style, anti-this-or-that, a complete abstract or misfit in a world of paint-by-numbers mainstream sheeple, or he’s an absolute regular guy, seeking to be of service to his fellow neighbor, watering the lawn and fixing the car on a Sunday morning… someone you’d introduce to your mom.
What I can tell you is he’s one of those truly multi-faceted musical artists. Prolific and independent, embracing and exploiting his diverse musical personas and inspired ideas in the various projects he leads. I would love to tell you he’s another Paul Westerberg or Evan Dando or Jeff Tweedy, but he insists he’s grateful to be nothing more than he can wrap his own name around… He is subtly, without a doubt, JOE NORMAL™.
However, Joe also possesses some of the same qualities that have made great writers out of the likes of those I’ve previously mentioned such as Conscience, Vulnerability, Grandiosity, Compassion & Love, Love of Humanity, and perhaps Tragedy. He is an Observer and Participant, a Seeker of Truth, Reflective, Reckless, Remorseful, Self-Reproaching… he is human, and so wishes to evolve over a lifetime. Ultimately perhaps, leaving a roadmap of song in his wake for anyone who happens to find himself traveling down a similar life path.
Prior to 2014, he released 4 Independent CD’s under the name HUTCH, including his critically acclaimed debut “Extended EP” and “Turn It Around” (Smile Records/Image Entertainment). His music’s been labeled by the press to be everything from Folk-Pop, Singer-Songwriter, Lo-Fi Indie Rock, Classic Modern Pop, and Powerpop, to Americana, Roots, and godknowswhatelse! A testament to an artist that isn’t content to reside fearfully within the boundaries of any one particular “sub-genre” (ahem), nor be persuaded into believing he must rush with the pack to adopt and mould himself to whatever flavor of the moment hype the industry sells to the masses. (I won’t even go into his recent success venturing into Psychobilly and Neo-Rockabilly with internationally recognized Horror-Billy band Cold Blue Rebels! Bloody brilliant!)
Having trademarked and re-adopted his early stage name JOE NORMAL™, he is currently pursuing a new home at a respected record label that understands and supports his musical vision, and is open to working with a music publisher to broaden the reach of his growing body of work.
Performing stages worldwide from coffee houses to grand theatres and music halls, Joe brings this experience with him into each new venue and employs his fondness for storytelling to engage his audiences, endearing them to each song, and to himself, hopeful that by revealing himself through his songs and his own experiences, perhaps the listener might relate and attach his/her own personal stories and feelings to his songs.
As Smokestack Joe, (leader of the train-themed children’s music group The Conductors), this talented parent of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder is reaching deep into the Special Needs community, making connections with other families on a similar journey, while enriching the lives and musical tastes of their children (since 2006) with an hip alternative to the square, bland songs and artists that parents are otherwise subjected to. An Educator and Songwriter, he started The Conductors “as a way to offer some cool music, something of substance, to kids that their parents can dig along with, too.”
Joe “Normal” Hutchinson has appeared on over 30 internationally released CD's. A valuable collaborator and sideman, he is fortunate to have history with artists as diverse as Stiv Bators, Sammy Hagar, Howard Stern, and many equally talented, writers and performers. He is always eager to collaborate with artists across musical genres to further expand his catalogue and as a way to avoid stagnation and complacency in his own craft, as an artist in his own right.
His passion for guitars and rock n roll have landed him a Gretsch Guitar endorsement, and helped shape his playing style, which ranges from the jangly, rockabilly influenced tones he gets from his Gretsch Guitars and Fender Amps, to his searing, gut-belching leads that channel Mick Ronson era David Bowie. He has impeccable taste for crafting memorable parts and writing signature musical hooks filled with tone, effects, and personality, on both electric and acoustic guitars.
It is JOE NORMAL’s wish to continue striving for the greater good, and hopes to deliver an honest, positive message that will remain relevant for years to come… Not bad, for your average Joe!