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The Joe Stamm Band visits Cadillac on July 4

The Joe Stamm Band posing for a photo used on their website.
Courtesy Photo
Joe Stamm Band
The Joe Stamm Band.

This week, The Joe Stamm Band will be playing at the Coyote Crossing Resort in Cadillac.

Stamm is an Illinois native, whose music is a “made up” genre called Black Dirt Country Rock.

“I got a lot of influences from what’s considered red dirt, which is a country movement that started in Oklahoma and is characterized with Texas and that region,” says Stamm. “But I’m from Illinois and we have black dirt here so that was kind of a nod to those influences and my Midwestern roots.”

According to Stamm, his roots shine through the lyrics of his music unintentionally. As he lets his imagination flow and stories develop through his songs, his personal experiences weave themselves into the story naturally.

“I don’t set out to write a song about being from the Midwest, it just kind of seeps through the writing because it’s my personal context I think,” Stamm says.

The rural experience is most noticeable in the lyrics Stamm writes. He thinks they resonate with people because of how real the experiences feel.

“I write stories that resonate with me and I’m just a normal guy from the Midwest so my hope is that that would translate into, you know anybody,” says Stamm.

While Stamm is a full-time musician, a job very different from the average “normal guy from the Midwest,” his journey there felt natural every step of the way.

In college, Stamm took a guitar class to fulfill his music credit requirement. According to him he began writing songs right away and started playing more and more shows until it felt right to quit his job and do music full-time.

Joe Stamm performing at the Levitt AMP Galva Music Series in Illinoi on June 2, 2024
Courtesy Photo
Joe Stamm Band on Facebook
Joe Stamm performing at the Levitt AMP Galva Music Series in Illinoi on June 2, 2024

The songs that Stamm writes are primarily created by his imagination, with influences from the Midwest environment and his “personal context.”

“I tend to write more reflective existential character and storylines,” says Stamm. “I like to think there’s a line of hope through most of those (his songs) but there’s certainly a melancholy tint to a lot of the stuff I write.”

Stamm says he likes to take writing retreats to get away from the distractions of everyday life and focus on the story he wants to tell. He likes to find corners of the Midwest that he has never been before and stay there during his retreats.

For Stamm, the exact destination doesn’t matter so much in his writing process, but the peaceful atmosphere a “middle of nowhere” Midwest vacation allows him to focus on the stories he writes.

Recently, the official fan club for the Joe Stamm Band, the White-Knuckle Club, celebrated its two-year anniversary.

The club is a paid membership group for fans of Stamm and his band that was started because of fans’ urge to support Stamm in all the ways they could.

“The purpose is just to support me so that I can create more music,” says Stamm. “Zooming out a little bit further there’s a community that call themselves the Stammily that I guess would be a larger representation just of the community that we’re we’ve been out here trying to build.”

According to Stamm, playing sold-out arenas isn’t the goal. Instead, he focuses on the community that his music has built and is grateful for the support he receives.

“We’re big enough that these people rally around us and that’s been enough to keep us on the road, so we just hope to continue growing that community,” says Stamm.

Stamm describes the process of gaining fans as a “grassroots movement”, picking up fans and friends one by one along the way.

Draya Raby is a newsroom intern for WCMU based at the Cadillac News.
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