Green, Billy Joe
Origin: Lake of the Woods, Ontario
Billy Joe Green is from the Moose Clan of the Kejick Ojibway Nation located on the most north-westerly section of the beautiful Lake of the Woods, straddling what is now the Ontario/Manitoba border. "Way back in the woods, among the evergreens" is where Billy Joe first heard the soothing, comforting, thick chords and melodies of his dad, David Green's guitar. Dad sang the country blues standards of Jimmie Rogers, Hank Williams, Ernest Tubb and Wilf Carter. Uncles Cecil, Fred and especially 'the talking guitar' of Robert 'A-go' Green, along with brother Richie, helped fuel the fire within the young musician. Billy Joe came to know that this music was a family trait that flourished within the Green Clan. Billy Joe's son, Jesse Green, also plays guitar and leads the native rock band, PEACEMAKER, from Winnipeg. Numerous uncles, cousins and nephews have taken the challenge of learning how to play the guitar, all by ear and sheer determination. Billy Joe sees this factor as a blessing as he considers that the learning of a certain technique, riff or scale by ear always keeps the music new, fresh and certainly challenging. However, Billy Joe encourages upcoming musicians to take lessons if their parents can afford them. Still in his teens, Billy Joe was asked by guitarist, Martin Tuesday, to join The FEATHERMEN, a fiery young group of primarily Ojibway musicians. He jumped at the chance. At entry level, he became the second guitarist, but soon learned all the songs and was exchanging lead guitar lines with Martin Tuesday, a very progressive musician for his time. Soon the elder members of the band came of age and joined the then flourishing ranks of bar room musicians. Billy Joe, still tender in years, was asked to join another bar band. Armed with only a 1964 Les Paul Jr., sunglasses and no I.D., he moved ahead quickly in the ranks, learning how to play, drink, live and survive the life of a bluesman. For over three decades, Billy Joe has worked as a sideman and bandleader in Winnipeg, Vancouver, San Francisco and Edmonton. He has rocked, reeled, boogied, tumbled and stumbled - only to get up again and carry the blues banner one humble step further. He's up and at 'em once again. His latest release includes brand new original bluesy songs along with a couple of Billy Joe's favourite Robert Johnson songs and Don Nix's 'Black Cat Moan'. To wind it all down, Billy Joe and Edmonton's keyboard ace, Andrew Glover, join for a heartfelt and soulful version of 'Greensleeves/Titlum's Lullaby', sure to become a listening favourite for many. Be sure to check out Billy Joe Green's great website.