Homesick Blues: Joe Romeo moves back north | Music
Music
INDY Week's music blog

Archives | RSS

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Homesick Blues: Joe Romeo moves back north

Posted by on Thu, Sep 10, 2009 at 6:05 PM

click to enlarge New York songwriter Joe Romeo
  • New York songwriter Joe Romeo

It’s not so much a departure as a homecoming for Joe Romeo, the songwriter and Orange County Volunteers frontman who’s speaking now from his family home in Metuchen, N.J., about 25 miles Southeast of New York City. Romeo left the Triangle—and his girlfriend in Chapel Hill—last weekend to seek his fortune in the city, “to broaden my horizons,” he says.

Where his N.C. ensemble, The Orange County Volunteers, was a loosely assembled and hardly constant backing band—“I would just book shows willy-nilly and whoever I could get to come along would come along,” he says. “They’re like minutemen and women.”—his Big Apple back-up draws consistently from Romeo’s lifelong friends in Metuchen Americana outfit The Roadside Graves. But as much as a consistent band eases some of the logistical issues of performing, Romeo admits he’d still choose the spontaneity of a loose collective like the Volunteers. “Breathing new life into [the songs] is vital to stay with them, and to get behind them,” he says.

He’s hoping the move to New York will offer a change of scenery, yes, but also provide opportunity for his songs to reach a new audience, and maybe even become a career. “I lived in New Jersey for the first 22 years of my life, and I feel like I’ve gotten from this state all it has to offer to me,” he says. And in North Carolina, things were languishing in the status quo. “New York is New York, and by the law of averages alone, there’s more opportunity.”

Romeo makes his official move to Manhattan in October, when the apartment he’s lined up becomes available. In the meantime, though, he’s spending time with family and old friends, “writing like crazy” and working on a new record he hopes will be produced—like his self-titled debut—by Southern Culture On The Skids frontman Rick Miller.

“I’m trying to write a new batch of songs, which I guess is easier to do when you’re pining for someone,” he says, referencing the girlfriend still in Chapel Hill finishing work on her Ph.D., and whom Romeo describes as “lovely and smart, hence my fucking reticence to be separated from her.”

But despite his reasons for coming back, this isn’t necessarily a permanent relocation: “The overarching point is that making music is a series of tiny, tiny victories and demoralizing defeats, and you gotta be in it—I don’t wanna say ‘to win it,’ ’cause that’s lame—but you’ve got to stay relevant.”

Tags: , , , ,

Pin It

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Music



Twitter Activity

Comments

I was proud to call him Uncle Willy cousin with the same birthday

by Blackfoot on Proud to call him Lumbee: Willie French Lowery, 1944-2012 (Music)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

I was proud to call him Uncle Willy cousin with the same birthday

by Blackfoot on Proud to call him Lumbee: Willie French Lowery, 1944-2012 (Music)

Revive is my people. If folks were offended by this, I can assure you it wasn't intentional. Revive Music was …

by Matthew Allen on Art of Cool Festival, Night One: Revive Big Band's Music-History Concert Leaves Out Women to an Absurd Degree (Music)

Small crowds like the one in Utrecht The Netherlands where I was with my 7 year young daughter may be …

by George Hendriks on The blues of Randall Bramblett's career-long cult status—and the promise of his new Devil Music (Music)

Wow! I am speechless. Skylar that was amazing! You are very talented. I love your vocal range and passion. Thank …

by Rita Romaine Rakestraw on Video Premiere: Phil Cook and Skylar Gudasz Nod to Alice Gerrard in New Tribute Clips (Music)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation