"West Side" Joe Schicke was raised in Memphis, TN, and earned his recording and performing credentials with Memphis' Blues Rock Queen Reba Russell. After playing with Reba for five years, Joe started his own group, Minivan Blues Band, which became a staple of the Memphis roots rock scene. He also played gigs with Memphis blues artists Earl the Pearl, Billy Gibson, Larry Lee (guitarist for Al Green), and Big Joe Turner (bassist for Albert and B.B. King). Joe has shared stages with Charlie Hunter, Tower of Power, and James Cotton, and worked in the studio with legendary producer Willie Mitchell. Joe moved to Ft. Collins in 2007 and has since worked with local artists such as Saja Butler, Bevin Luna, Jeff Finlin, Lionel Young, John Magnie, and Al Chesis. Joe currently leads his band West Side Joe & The Men of Soul, with Steve Amedee of The Subdudes on drums and vocals, and Taylor Tesler of American Idol's Casey Abram's touring band. It's a world class rhythm section backing a world class singer/songwriter and guitarist.
The band released their first album, Keep On Climbin', in 2021. The album has gained critical acclaim and was the #1 played album by Colorado artists on Colorado radio for the month of June 2021.
Keep On Climbin' is mostly blues, R&B, rock & roll, soul, and funk - the brilliant creations of African-American artists which most modern popular music is based on today. This is what inspires the band to write their material. The best way to understand is to get to a Men of Soul concert, but in the mean time, listen to the album! The band enlisted a who's who of Colorado musicians to help, folks such as Lionel Young, Cary Morin, Al Chesis, Bevin Luna, Vi Wickam, and Saja Butler, in addition to Joe's old friend from the Beale St. days, Al Gamble of St. Paul & The Broken Bones. It was recorded at Stout Studios in Ft. Collins by local engineer and drummer Darren Radach, and mixed by Toby Vest, Pete Matthews, and Dawn Hopkins (who used to run live sound for Isaac Hayes!) Mastered in Nashville at TrueEast by Alex McCollough (John Prine, Lucero).
“The band writes their material and squeezes the best out of the rock n roll, blues, rock, R&B, and soul to compose their brilliant compositions that don’t take much time to resonate with the audience.” - Alicia Parker