Bio – Joe Wiseman
Joe Wiseman (Smokin’ Joe) has been a lover of music all of his life. Some of his earliest memories are of folks in the kitchen, playing guitars, accordions, harmonicas and singing the popular songs of the times as well as the classic traditional songs. His musical tastes are eclectic and run from rock, blues and folk to the traditional songs celebrated in Newfoundland kitchens. Smokin’ Joe currently plays acoustic rhythm guitar and is lead vocalist with Smokin Joe and the Wolves and Keltic Jam. Joe has been playing with friends in bands and counts as band members, folks who have played for 20 to 30 years in other bands.
Smokin’ Joe began writing songs last year and now has dozens of songs to his credit and others in the works. The songs have a blues feel to them with many in the traditional 12-bar structure. These songs flowed quickly from his pen. He has since turned to other genres including folk and rock. These songs take longer and are written structurally differently than the initial 12-bar blues songs. Smokin’ Joe has also tried his hand at adapting traditional songs to today’s urban sounds. Two projects are in the works at the present time. The second is Smokin’ Joe Wiseman: Blue Smoke and will feature a kind of Cajun, Traditional, Blues flavour of original content. It will combine acoustic and electric sounds to create a unique sound. The first project entitled A Field By The Sea was released in 2007.
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Joe Wiseman, or Smokin' Joe as he's better known in music circles, has released his first CD: A Field By The Sea.
Frank Gale: The Western Star
A lover of music all of his life, he said some of his earliest memories are of folks in the kitchen playing guitars, accordions, harmonicas and singing the popular songs of the times and the classic traditional songs. Wiseman said his musical tastes are eclectic and run from rock, blues and folk to the traditional songs celebrated in Newfoundland kitchens. He plays acoustic rhythm guitar and sings lead vocals with Smokin' Joe and the Wolves and Keltic Jam. He said his voice has been compared to Leonard Cohen, Johnny Cash and Jim Morrison.
His CD is a compilation of 10 of his originals, along with Moonshiner, which is his own adaptation mixed in with the lyrics from several versions of that particular song. Wiseman said the CD's title song, A Field By The Sea, is about people leaving Newfoundland and "not" ending up in the field by the sea.
Another song, The Legend of the Blue Puttees, is a tribute to the Newfoundland Regiment and Wiseman has even included photos of his two ancestors, Harold and Clyde Coish from Seldom, Green Bay, on the CD jacket. Harold was killed at Beaumont Hamel, France, and Clyde at Paschendale, Belgium, in another horrific battle.
Wiseman said the song also aims to remind people that Newfoundlanders per capita had the highest casualty rate of any of the allies in the First World War. As a result of what Newfoundlanders gave to the effort, King George V renamed the Newfoundland Regiment the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, the first time such an honour was bestowed in war time. "I wanted to tell the story of what happened at Beaumont Hamel on July 1, 1916, when the next morning of just under 800 soldiers that went into that battle only 68 answered the roll call. This represents the character of the Newfoundland people," he said.
There are 1,000 copies in the first run of his CD. Some of the numbers can be heard on the Internet at www.mypace.com/smokinjoewiseman The CD involved several musicians, including Juan Albarren from Indianapolis; Fab Tranzer from Florida; and Jason Roller from Tennessee and was produced by Wolf Publishing in conjunction with Juan Albarran..
He began writing songs four years ago and now has more than 40 songs to his credit and others in the works. He has tried his hand at adapting traditional songs to today's urban sounds and recently began collaborating with son Waylon who is arranging the instrumental side of some of his dad's songs.
Wiseman is the co-ordinator for the Newfoundland Branch of the Songwriter's Association of Canada (www.songwriters.ca) He is a Gold Member of SongU and maintains a member page at www.songu.com/members/smokinjoe. He is also an Executive Member of the Bay St. George Folk Arts Counci. (www.bsgfolkart.com).
He said his second project, an Electric Blues CD, is near completion with a 2009 CD release date.
In previous lives Joe Wiseman has held the position of President of INNOVA Multimedia since the company's founding in 1994. He holds a Masters of Education Degree in Educational Foundations (1980) from Memorial University. He brings with him a diverse set of experiences in the educational field as well as in the business sector. He has served as a Staff Development Officer, Principal, Supervisor of Schools and co-owner of the Compu-College School of Business in Stephenville, Newfoundland. In addition to his educational experience, Mr. Wiseman brings with him extensive marketing and sales experience acquired in the insurance industry. As an agent he exhibited stellar performance rising quickly to the prestigious National Quality Award, which he retained for four years, as well as qualifying for the Million-Dollar Round Table.
In addition to the above-mentioned qualifications, Mr. Wiseman was a member of the Curriculum Committee for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship for the Newfoundland Department of Education, was a member of the Bay St. George Information Technology Coalition, and is a past director of the Nfld. Alliance of Technical Industries (NATI) and Operation ONLINE. His volunteer activities have include a seat on the board of the Newfoundland and Labrador Tae Kwon Do Sports Hall of Fame, Chairman of the Board of the Bay St. George Senior Citizen’s Home as well as being a Director in Stephenville Minor Hockey.