Born and raised in Manning, Iowa, Joens moved to Los Angeles in the early 80's and spent the next 10 years stuck in traffic, paying way too much rent and trying to keep his bands from breaking up. Through his songwriting, he came to a stark, surprising conclusion: he missed the midwest.
After enduring 2 of the harshest Minneapolis winters on record, Joens quit his day job one memorable day in the mid 90's, became a full time musician and did something he thought he'd never do: move back to his hometown.
Ever since, he's continued to write and release his music, rich with the traditional and unusual aspects of small town life. John Prine once said that to see the big picture, sometimes you've got to look through a small frame, and Joens has continually taken the people and places of rural America and inserted them within the small frames of his songs.
"Midwest" is his fifth release. He regularly drives those two lane rural stretches of concrete and asphalt, traveling to gigs and trying to avoid deer.
There's probably more to tell, so if you just have to know more, stop by the house. There's cold beer in the fridge and the doors are always unlocked.