Local Musician finds her audience by Jonathan Cholewa, Uptown-Marquee
Baltimore, Maryland, is not the first city that comes to mind when I think of hot music scenes. Therefore, it is perfectly understandable why someone who is interested in music and lives in Baltimore would want to get as far away from there as possible. Such is the case with San Diego transplant Bridget Joyce.
Growing up in Baltimore, she studied piano and learned to play guitar and write songs all by the tender age of 12. As she got older, she began playing the local scenes in various cover bands, playing her originals and along the way developing a loyal following. However, she soon became disinterested in the local scene and cover bands in general. With a sister already living in San Diego, Joyce decided to make the move from the cold waters of the east, to the warm shimmering beaches of the west.
"I made good money in Baltimore playing originals with my bands," explained Joyce, "but I played covers too or you couldn't make a living. So when I came here I said, that's it. No more cover music. I'm going to play my own stuff."
Although the move has paid off, things were not always easy. She did not have a job, so she joined up with another musician and formed a duo, playing of all things, cover music. Things finally reached a boiling point. "I got so mad at myself," she said, "because I wasn't doing what I wanted to do. I wasn't happy playing music to people who were drunk and didn't appreciate what I was doing, in a sense."
She began playing for money down by the wall in Ocean Beach, where she was living, armed with only her 12-string. She got her first job at a coffee shop, Jungle Java, which was located just a few doors down from her street spot." My sister bought me my own P.A. system, and I started playing the coffee shop by myself," said Joyce. "I was attracting huge crowds. I would play my butt off on my 12-string for 4 hours straight, no breaks."
Influences from the Cranberries to Toad the Wet Sprocket helped her land an outlet for her original material at the coffee shops. But Joyce wanted to record her original music. At a studio singing vocals on a friends album, she met Kevin Krohn, a keyboard player who agreed to play keys and sing back-ups on her tunes. Eventually, they added guitar player Cliff Edwards, bassist Eric Fahr, drummer and vocalist Rob Alexander and percussionist Al Wilson to the ensemble. Was this the beginning of the Bridget Joyce Band?
"They weren't my real band at first," she said, "just my studio band. Then they all decided that they wanted to quit what they were doing and join me as my band." In a short time the band emerged from the studio with a heartfelt 7 song CD entitled PURPLE. The collection is a mixture of well-crafted lyrics and shimmering melodies.
The newly formed Bridget Joyce Band began practicing and gigging. The first shows were at the Belly Up tavern in Solana Beach. " We started playing the Neighborhood Watch shows, that was our first time out, and we won, won, won, all the way up to the finals, where we got first place."
The accolades didn't stop there. The band was nominated for Best New Artist and Best Local Recording, which they won, at the annual San Diego Music Awards. Several gigs and many television appearances would soon follow. They became regular's on the KUSI news being the "go to" band for the Adams Ave. street fair. And the Labels? They have come a-calling as well. The band has been contacted by several major labels but has not made any deals or decisions.
The band is set to release the follow up to PURPLE, titled TEENAGE GIRL. The CD can be purchased at local record stores, any Borders Books and Music or through the web site www.bridgetjoyce.com.