Fresh off the release of their new album Keep On Climbin’, Joe Schicke and his band West Side Joe & The Men of Soul are back with a music video for the title track of the album, released on July 29th. A biographical song that Schicke wrote during lockdown, “Keep On Climbin’’’ discusses the reality behind the American dream today. “I think my generation and younger wants to work at a job they love and make enough to live how and where we want. Society is not really set up that way, though. We’re supposed to just be happy with what we get and fall in line and be a good little consumer. That’s what this song is about. The video shows a version of that story.”
The video is set in Schicke’s hometown of Fort Collins – the city that really inspired the song. As the last piece of their album cycle, it was important to the band to feature the local community that played such a role in the creativity and inspiration behind their work. “I love how ‘Ft. Collins’ the song and video turned out,” says Schicke. “We recorded at Stout, a local studio, and we have two of the most amazing local musicians, Bevin Luna and Saja Butler, singing with us on the song, and we made sure to include lots of Ft. Collins features in the video, like CSU, Old Town, and Horsetooth Reservoir.”
The video was directed by local bluegrass musician Chris Weist from the band Woodbelly. “I think Chris did an amazing job,” says Schicke. “We had a local improv-comic named Jessica MacMaster to star in the video, along with my daughter, Stella. They had a chemistry that really comes across beautifully.”
For local listeners, the band will be premiering their new music video with a live show at The Lyric Cinema in Fort Collins. More information can be found on their website.
“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 Jeff Finlin, Lionel Young, John Magnie, and Al Chesis. Joe currently leads his band West Side Joe & The Men of Soul, who released their first album, Keep On Climbin’, in 2021 with a sound drawing comparisons to Los Lobos, Staple Singers, Tedeschi Trucks Band, and Little Feat. On drums and background vocals is Steve Amedee of Colorado legends The Subdudes. On bass and background vocals is Taylor Tesler, who developed his talents on the road with American Idol alumni Casey Abrams.