Joe Stanton: A one-man Coast musical institution
Anna Nobile – The Local weekly – Dec. 28 2016 – Sechelt BC
Joe Stanton is practically a household name on the Coast. The singer songwriter, currently based in Halfmoon Bay, has been a Coast resident for 20 years, entertaining visitors and locals alike at all the usual haunts. His philosophy of playing “wherever they’ll listen,” has seen him playing at festivals and stages across Canada and Europe, as well as some rather unusual venues. He was part of Via Rail’s Artist on Board program, playing two intimate sets a day to passengers travelling from Vancouver to Toronto. Then there was the time he played in a hot air balloon over the Swiss Alps. “That was really amazing,” says Stanton. “You get to go to all these places you never would have thought to go,” he says with generous understatement about being on the road.
Stanton has been playing guitar since he was 10 years old, picking up his father’s guitar whenever dad put it down. Now, 30 years into his career, Stanton has six CDs and two BC Country Music Award nominations for his work with Tom Neville in their duo, Joe Friday. He played at the U.S. National Finger Style championships in 2001 and was a finalist at the Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk song writing contest in 2002. “I did not do well, I was so nervous,” Stanton laughs, recalling the finger style championships. “Kerrville was more fun. More relaxed, more songwriters, more camaraderie than competition.” Stanton began his finger style of playing after hearing Bruce Cockburn’s song “Foxglove” on the radio while stopped at a traffic light. “That’s when I decided that’s what I wanted to do,” says Stanton. He’s also a prolific songwriter, having written around 200 songs. “But I find that for every ten songs there’s maybe one keeper,” he says modestly. Stanton also has an extensive repertoire, covering favourites like Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot and the aforementioned Cockburn. “Story songs have caught my attention the last couple of years,” he says. “People like Guy Clark.”
With 2017 just around the corner, the musician’s list of gigs is quickly growing. He’ll be playing at The Old Boot Eatery in Sechelt Thursdays in January from 6:30-9:30pm beginning January 12. He’s also putting on a concert series at the Coopers Green Hall, with the first one scheduled for February 3. And while the date hasn’t yet been confirmed, he’ll be opening for The High Bar Gang, featuring Barney Bentall and Shari Ulrich, when they come to the Coast in the new year. “I’ve gotten bored with many other jobs over the years,” says Stanton. “But I’ve always stuck with playing guitar.”
More information about Joe and his upcoming gigs available at joestanton.com
The Precious Littles keep their country traditional on Sometimes You Win
By Adrian Mack – The Georgia Straight
Sometimes You Win (Bearwood Music)
You’ll never catch them on CMT or JR Country, but the Precious Littles can knock pretty much any bunch of new-country jarheads into a cocked Stetson. The Sunshine Coast five-piece provides yet more confirmation that, sadly, the best roots music lives in the margins. Headed by songwriter, vocalist, and picker Joe Stanton, the Precious Littles keep things trad in the manner of John Hiatt, placing songcraft, crisp production (by Ray Fulber, with guitarist Simon Paradis), and precise musicianship ahead of the drawling gimmickry and Nashville mimicry of too many Canadian country artists (who usually come from Alberta).
In other words, the Precious Littles are proudly old school, ’70s-style, and not in the through-punk-darkly manner of the average alt-country outfit, either. This is straight-up stuff, from Stanton’s lived-in vocals to Tom Neville’s fiddle-playing to Jay Johnson’s simple yet graceful backbeat. Guitars get a little distorted in the slightly grittier “Sleeping Dogs”, but tracks like the swinging “Cheatin’ Train” wouldn’t sound out of place on a Commander Cody album, and “99 Days” might have dripped off Merle Haggard’s yellow-brown chin beard, back in the day.
Posted on March 23rd, 2011 by BC Musician Magazine
DATE OF CD: 2008
LABEL: Bearwood Music
You can’t judge this CD by the cover. The design is modern and very indie-alt. But opening with a swinging country two-step, the Precious Littles clean the barroom floor with their through and through country. It’s like Jimmy Buffett wafting on the breeze and a margarita in your hand and you’ve the perfect soundtrack for the dog days of summer.
Passenger Stanton in the Roots Music report
There a few artist that are able to capture the essence of musical expression. Joe Stanton is one such artist. Passenger Stanton is a beautifully composed album rich with depth and passion. Taking his experiences in life and fusing them with his expertise of the guitar, Joe gives Folk music a gift that is his music. From the moment I pressed play, I was awestruck by the talent of Mr.. Stanton and his band mates. Joe’s love for the guitar is shown by his excellent picking skills, and are enhanced by his heart felt lyrics and powerful voice. The instrumental is absolutely
beautiful, the vocals are full and vibrant, and the overall production of this album is flawless. I strongly recommend a listen to Joe Stanton’s Passenger Stanton.
By Wayond Digges Roots Music Report