Tuesdays with Joey. Remembering Joey Broughman 06.07.2007

Tuesdays with Joey. Remembering Joey Broughman 06.07.2007

View PDF p 5 Ace June 7 2007 Remembering Joey Broughman

The Late Great Joey Broughman, 1953-2007. Lexington’s Music Community Remembers Joey Broughman

‘I can’t dwell on any demons, cuz Joey had a deep faith, that everything would be all right.’
—Frank Schaap

“Every time I slip on my finger picks and put my hand on my fretboard, a whole bunch of Joey Broughman comes out of my guitar. If we ‘fingerstyle’ guitarists had to pay a royalty for every lick he taught us, he would have been a rich man. What started off as a “one-off” show opening for John Hammond at the Kentucky Theater turned in to a two-year residency at Lynagh’s every Tuesday night. And what nights they were.

We would set up two chairs with a cocktail table between us to hold our assorted picks, capo’s, ashtray, Red Stripe and Irish Coffee’s, and let ‘er rip. Gary Davis, Willie McTell, Blind Blake, Robert Johnson, and the laughs never stopped (some nights instead of ragtime, we were just plain…well, raggedy), but the audience went right along with it. Like sittin’ in someone’s kitchen. When Joey would play ‘Stop Breakin’ Down’ or some obscure Bumble Bee Slim tune it could scare the pants off you (and if he got lucky that night, get the pants off a UK coed). I can’t dwell on any demons, cuz Joey had a deep faith, that everything would be all right. Tommorrow night at my gig in Brooklyn I’m gonna sing Gary Davis’s ‘I’ll be Alright Someday’ for the millionth time, but tommorrow night I might not be able to finish it.”
—Frank Schaap, NYC

“I knew Joey for near 20 years. He was the only person I ever knew in Lexington who had more and better stories than me. I never saw him behave as anything less than a gentleman and I never saw him angry. I’m not sure I ever saw him collect a cover charge, either. So we all got in free and we all had fun and he had helped make it happen. He was a soft touch with anyone he liked and he liked almost everyone.”
Paul K (Paul Kopasz)
Louisville, KY

“I got the sad news about Joe while vacationing on the beach. Not the most uplifting topic to hear about when you’re in the midst of sun and fun. However, I have spent most of my mental efforts thinking not about the obvious (not having Joe around anymore), but rather tryingto focus on all the cool things he brought to the Lexington music scene, particularly to all of us blues enthusiasts. Each time I try to pull off a fancy finger pickin’ lick faintly reminiscent of Blind Blake or Mississippi John Hurt or the like, I think of Joe. Passed down the line like the old folk ledgends he admired, he showed me a trick or two on guitar and I’m forever grateful. With Joe, however, it wasn’t just about properly replicating licks, it was what you were trying to say with those licks and capturing the spirit of the music—and that’s priceless. He once told me, ‘It’s not a good solo unless you work up a good drool!’ I think he may have borrowed that motto from Santana, but still it’s stuck with me. And yes, I’m still trying to ‘work up that good drool.’ I’ll certainly miss him—miss his big laugh and slap on the back; I’ll miss hearing all his tales, his jokes, and most of all I’ll miss hearing him play that low-down sloppy blues he had perfected so well. A local legend. We can all take solace in knowing that a little piece of him will continue on in those of us who knew him and shared the stage alongside him. And the next time you might hear me play slide guitar or attempt to fumble through a few old Robert Johnson licks in an effort to ‘work up a good drool,’ chances are I’ll be thinking of Joe (and he’ll be laughing and saying ‘I love ya, man.’)”
—Jonny ‘Taildragger’ McGee

“Joey taught me so much about music. I learned how to play finger-style blues just by watching him do his thing. His band “The Sons of Hercules” (Dave Farris, Jeff Yurkowski, Steve Poulton) played at Lynagh’s Club all the time in the early ‘90s, and I hardly ever missed them. They were so much fun. Joey and Frank Schaap would perform acoustic duos as well and it was incredible. Frank told me he learned more about guitar in a month playing with Joey than he had in the last 20 years. He was that good. I had the honor of playing with Joey in “The Painkillers” off and
on over the last 10 years and I cherished our gigs together, but the best times were hanging out at Joey’s apartment after a gig with his amazing music collection, cold beers, smokes, and guitars in arm’s reach. I always knew good times and A LOT of laughter and smiles were just a phone call away. His friendship meant the world to me and to everyone who was lucky enough to know him. I miss him terribly and I hate the fact I will never see him again. I love you Joey.”
—Willie Eames

“Joey Broughman was, as the song goes, ‘a walking contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction.’ He was a recluse, and also friendly, outgoing and generous. He was a serious collector and musicologist, and he’d share anything that he had. There was a certain sadness about Joey, and he was funny as hell. And he was a damn good musician, which is how he would want us to remember him.”
—Lexington filmmaker Tom Thurman

“Whenever I would see Joey he always had a smile and a warm handshake…’hey maaaaan how are you? How’s it going?’ He always made me smile and I will miss his face and his music…”
Otto Helmuth


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